Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Growing up in Oklahoma you learn that when you look at the sky and it turns a sick green or yellow color,  or that weird blackish grey all hell is about to break loose someplace.
You can watch the weather but your ready to run to your fraidy hole or your basement or your closet or your bathtub and can get dressed in jeans and tennis shoes from a dead sleep in about 20 seconds if that siren goes off at 2:00 A.M. You can get a mattress off the bed and over the tub lickety split.

 In the spring it becomes a routine to load your bible , photo albums and grandmas quilts into a garbage sack and put it where you can grab it on the way.  Your kids have a backpack packed with flashlights and water. The dogs leashes are out and the cats crate is in the hall.  You tell your neighbors if you have a shelter or a basement but everybody hunkers down together.

But sometimes there is no place to go.

And a  teacher lays her body over six children in a school hallway and begins to pray, a husband wraps his wife in his arms in a closet, Coworkers and customers huddle in a bank safe, an elderly woman crouches in her bathroom with her little dog in her arms.

 And there are survivors, somehow they are spared.

But sometimes that Son Of a Bitch is a Monster so big, so evil, so powerful it eats everything in its path and leaves a path of rubble and pain and loss that's so unbelievable the world sits up and takes notice.

And thats when the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.

A Father rushes to a school and with others starts digging to pull children out, finds his own child didn't make it but keeps helping to search for survivors.

A young man runs to another school and in spite of having rubble fall on top of him and running a nail though his hand digs a tunnel and starts helping people out of a building.

A mother crawls out from under a brick wall with her son alive and intact.

Everybody who can starts searching or helping the injured.

Neighbors go through debris piles listening for any noise that means someone might be in there.

 People start checking  demolished cars, calling out, searching anyplace because someone might be alive.

Medical , Police, Fire Departments, come rushing in.

Churches start gathering supplies, food, meals, volunteers rounding up and organizing and providing and comforting.

All within a matter of minutes or an hour.

And everyone cheers when they find a survivor whether its a wet  kitten or a Grandma because its LIFE.

And we all break when the list of the dead goes up and we worry over the missing, but we do not stop working in whatever way we can to help.

 Some use Okie as a insulting derogatory term

Today we are redefining the word OKIE.

A term describing a state of mind of  people who may fall down but don't stay down, are brave and stubborn, who give generously of all they have. Who work together, grieve together and build together.
Rooted in red dirt and backbone they are proud, maybe not born here but proud never the less  to embrace the tribe.

1 comment:

  1. They called me an okie when I move to Nebr. Now they would have to call me an OKIE. The term back then was derogatory but I ignored that and just smiled because I knew I was probably the classiest, funnest and best looking girl in school. Oklahoma has great looking women.