Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Trip To Graham: Days 1 & 2

When I came into this world, my parents lived in a small town in north central Texas called Graham.  Graham is a little town with a population of about 8,500 people.  My dad's job in the oil and gas industry brought them to Graham in the early 1970's.  It was the place where my memory begins. It is where I took my first steps, made my first friend, started school and rode my bike through the neighborhood.  It is the town where I spent my innocent childhood years, and I hold those years so dear to my heart.  It was a good place to grow up.

In 1987, my dad's job moved us back up to Oklahoma City.  For my parents, they were excited to go home.  For me, I thought my life was over.  Everything I knew was in Graham.  I have never been one to accept change easily, so I was not looking forward to starting a new school, making new friends, etc.  Thankfully, I survived that critical transition and even grew to love my life in the Sooner State.  But when I think about those early years of my life, I think of Graham, and I wanted my children to go back one day to see all the special places that are a part of my history.

This past Saturday morning we packed up and headed south for the four hour drive down the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.  We pulled into town about 3:00 in the afternoon, checked into our hotel, then went directly to visit my friend Shauna and her mom, Janice.  Shauna is my oldest friend.  And I don't mean old as in age (she's actually a year younger than me), but I mean old as in I've known her longer than I've known any other friend. She and I don't even remember meeting, but our moms were friends and say that I was three and she was two. Shauna's family lived across the street from me in Graham, and we spent nearly all of our time together. Even after I moved to Oklahoma, for years we spent a few weeks each summer together.  It was great getting to visit with her in the same house we played dolls and Barbies in as little girls.  We all went to dinner together, then we went back to the hotel for some swimming before turning in for the night.

After breakfast the next morning, we decided to go for a little drive out to Possum Kingdom Lake.  The drive is quite scenic, and we found a sandy beach to pull over and let the kids get their feet wet in the water. Next on the to do list was a trip back into town for a famous vanilla cream coke at Dairy King (not Dairy Queen). It is a must!  We spent some time walking around the Library and Shawnee Park before meeting up with our friends for lunch.
 The girls at Possum Kingdom Lake
Hannah at Shawnee Park

For the afternoon, we decided to walk around the town square which features cobblestone streets and lots of cute shops centered around the Young County Courthouse, pausing to take a few obligatory pictures in front of the gazebo on the courthouse lawn.  
 Leah and Hannah at the gazebo
Silly girls

We then caught an afternoon movie at The National theater downtown.  The theater was in operation when I was very little (I saw my first movie, Mary Poppins, there when I was four), but shortly after it closed down.  For the remainder of my years living in Graham, it was closed, but later was renovated and reopened.  The kids enjoyed seeing a movie in such an "old" theater.  Our evening ended with more swimming and visiting with friends.  We collapsed into our beds that night, exhausted but happy.

The National Theater

PS) I had planned to blog during my trip, but internet service was a bit sketchy and we were so busy that I figured no one would mind if I took a few days off. :)


Susan Struck said...

What a great trip!

Maria Rose said...

How great that you are sharing a bit of your personal history with your kids, making it part of their history too!