I love sunshine and warm weather.
I will take it any day over the cold, snow, high winds and muddy roads of late.
Being stuck in one’s driveway is not good, but much better than being stuck in a ditch.
I’ve lived in Iowa long enough to understand that when the snow starts flying, it’s time to start flying home. The high winds can quickly shut off a country road with blowing snow.
After a rough start to the new year, I’m thanking the weather Gods for the nice weather of late. I hope it lasts right into spring.
I like it so much that I might even look at the spring seed catalog and think about ordering some seed and planting a garden. Or, I might just get my garden vegetables at the grocery store like I have done for the last umpteen years.
Some family members and I attempted to plant a garden some years ago. My brother-in-law plowed a spot of land and several of us spent a spring Sunday afternoon planting all kinds of vegetables. We even planted a patch of okra, a southern favorite.
Fried okra is almost as good a skillet of fried potatoes. Cut it, wash it, slice it, soak it in egg and milk and dip it in 1/3 flour and 2/3 cornmeal mixture and drop it in a skillet of hot grease until brown, and you are in for a treat.
Anytime I’m in my native Oklahoma and stop at Ron’s Chili and Hamburgers in Tulsa, I always have a half order of okra with my chili cheeseburger. Top it off with a cold glass of ice tea and all is good in the world.
My folks enjoyed planting gardens for years. They had a large garden in east Tulsa that they planted and tended to with family friends in the late 1960s – 70s. Later, after moving to their farm south of Tulsa in the early 1980s, they grew big gardens and my mom canned lots of vegetables and made butter and cream in a churn.
When we lived in Tulsa, they always had a small garden plot in the backyard where they grew tomatoes, onions, lettuce and such. My dad always enjoyed a wilted lettuce salad for an afternoon snack. Mom would break up the lettuce, heat up a skillet of bacon grease and pour it over the lettuce. My dad loved it along with some fresh garden onions and a cup of coffee.
Our garden venture wasn’t nearly as successful as my parents enjoyed back in the day.
Another thing warmer weather brings is college softball. The 2024 season got underway this week on Feb. 8.
Debbie and I are big fans of the OU Sooners, who have won seven national championships – 2000, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021, 2022 and 2023. We have gotten to see them play in Ames several times in recent years and hope to see them play this year at Kansas in Lawrence.
We enjoy watching softball on television and someday we hope to attend the college world series of softball in Oklahoma City.
Another spring and warm weather sport is fishing. I haven’t been fishing in years. This year would be a good time to try my hand at the sport again.
When I was about age 10, my folks and I camped on Grand Lake located between Tulsa and Joplin, Mo. My dad and I went fishing and I caught a big one. I was so excited that I dropped my fishing rod before reeling in the fish. Dad stepped into the edge of the lake and grabbed my pole before the fish took off with it. It was a four plus pound carp. My mom cleaned and fried it and we enjoyed it, even though it was a bit bony.
My dad loved to fish and could sit for hours on a river bank and wait for a bite. He and my mom fished most weekends after they got married in the late 1950s. One of their favorite spots was fishing below the dam at Oologah Lake northeast of Tulsa.
Some years later, we often spent a week at Greenleaf Lake near Muskogee, Okla. They had a heated fishing dock, as they were called, and I would fish there for hours. Fishing docks are common in Oklahoma and are metal buildings anchored to the shoreline. They feature a large hole in the middle and are baited. It costs a few dollars to fish there and it was always well worth it. Our family enjoyed many fish fries through the years at the lake.
Anyway, keep thinking spring and start planning for that fishing trip or vacation. It will be here sooner than you might think.
One of my dreams is to fish at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on a guided tour.
Sure beats the cold and snow!
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day.