1: cherry street. We lived in this neighborhood. Old growth trees. A city -maintained duck pond within walking distance year round. Neighbors who stopped to chat when they were out walking their dogs. Historic homes. Booming businesses, again walking distance from my front door.
2: sidewalks. The older neighbors have sidewalks (same here). But unlike denton, we could afford to live in the noeghborhood with sidewalks and therefore could teach Emagene road safety very early. Without sidewalks, it is hard to explain that cars drive in the street and people walk on the sidewalks. We each have our own space and staying in our space can greater guarantee our safety when distracted by the butterflies, lighting bugs, and wildflowers. Granted some people in Tulsa still had trouble understanding what the purpose of a sidewalk was and would stop traffic because they were strolling down the middle of a street with sidewalks available on each side, but i'm choosing to overlook that flaw today. Besides whenever I think of them I am reminded of a conversation I had on this topic with an old timer at work. His response, as always, was "that really chaps my hide when people do that!" (I love jim!) Which moves me on to...
3: my job: I worked in live theatre with a bunch of characters that became family. As with every family, there are a handful of members you try to avoid and others you embrace with joy every time there is a reunion. But not only did the people make the job interesting and something that was looked forward to, the job itself was ever-changing yet the same. Predictable in that everyday we ran cable, plugged things in, fixed something broken, used a drill, climbed something, hammered something and made a lot of noise while suffering from drinking bad coffee. It was ever-changing in that the artists were always different, the production lay out would be unique from the gig before. And when the audience was added the ability to stay on your toes and make the magic happen on time and safely added another level of excitement that cannot be attained sitting around watching the children eat leaves.
4; my circle of spiritual women: I don't really think this one needs much explanation. Now don't get me wrong, I have met some amazing spiritual women in every place I've lived and have stayed in contact with most of them. This group is special due to the open arms that helped me battle home sicknesses and depression while reminding me to stop and let the children eat leaves. I am forever grateful!
5: the first time moms I met through yoga and a holistic support group. Nothing can compare to the deep connections made in moments of vulnerability. There is no place quite as vulnerable as the rawness of first time motherhood! Having a network of like-minded women in the same place in life was healing, helpful, comforting and watching our babies interact was nothing less than magical!
6: my proximity to things: Woodward park, coffee shops, restaurants, zoo, children's museum, Whole Foods. While DFW has all these things, many require over an hour drive and the chance of being stuck in horrendous traffic! In Tulsa, I could walk to most things, afford all of it, and make it back home before the hunger meltdowns moved in.
7: Medicare and other open minded health programs you would be surprised to find in the reddest state imaginable
8: the fire of potential that was sweeping the city. Life was just retuning to downtown. Young entrepreneurs were taking over the city and therefore the city was a buzz of possibilities to be tried, owned, and remodeled. New life was entering the downtown arts districts at an infectiously rapid pace. In the 3+ years we lived there, downtown went from dead and scary after 5 to alive and bumping.
9: my front porch. Classic, Deep South porch. Morning sun, afternoon shade. Ceiling fan. Big swing. You get the idea.
10: and lastly, the novelties and local businesses. joe Momma's Thai chicken pizza. Jobots iced mochas. Dilly Deli's Michael Roy sandwich, the American Theatre Company, Tulsa Ballet Theatre and staff, Cainn's Ballroom, Cherry Street Farmer's Market, May Fest, I Am festival, and so many more!
If you plan to drive across country, Tulsa should be a stop on your adventure. I plan on taking the girls on Route 66 one season when they'll get something "educational" out of it. Tulsa will be one of the longer stops on our journey.