Things I’ve learned in Oklahoma

There are so many things about Oklahoma that make it a whole different culture from what I’m used to.  This city girl has learned a lot about living in the country.  I was just reminded of it again as I was sitting here at the Laundromat watching a man ride by the post office across the street on his horse.

One thing I didn’t know before was how straw bales are made.  I always thought it was the stocks that were left after wheat was harvested, but this last spring I watched people let their lawns (they have big lawns in the country) go unmowed.  Then they mowed them and let the shorn grass lay for a few days, and then there was this big tractor that went around and picked up all the dried grass and turned it into large cylindrical bales of hay.  They don’t repeat the process, so apparently only the first spring mowing is saved that way.

I’ve always heard the expression “Knee high by the 4th of July” in regards to corn, but by the 4th of July here the corn was above our heads and tasseling.  However, in the last few weeks I’ve watched the corn stalks yellow in the heat.  We heard a weather report a couple weeks ago where they said we’d need an inch of rain a week for the corn.  We got a fair amount of rain the other night in a thunder storm, but I can’t see how we’re going to get an inch a week as hot as it’s been.

There have been days when the humidity has been so high that as soon as I leave an air-conditioned area and go outside, my glasses fog up.  Mark took several pictures last week of people in floaties out in the river and you could barely see them for the steam rising off the river.

Another thing that took me a while to accept was the sound the crickets make here.  I asked two different groups of locals what that sound was and they looked at me funny and said, “You mean the crickets?”  They aren’t the peaceful, melodic crickets we have back home.  These sound like a thousand frenzied rattles being shaken continuously.  The sound is so loud that on movie nights we have to turn the volume up on the speakers all the way so people can hear the movie.   I miss the crickets of the northwest.

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