Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Have a little slice of my paradise

I have been wanting to share some pics of our little corner of lakeside here goes...This little sign greets you as you top the hill into Cookson. The Methodist Church is in the background. This church's pastor is a very wonderful, smiling lady who, while driving her bright red muscle car around town, offers a wave to every car that passes her. Yes, she drives a bright red MUSCLE car. I just gotta love her for that.

Across the street is the Cookson Country Store that has been in the same spot for decades. It was actually moved to this location as the previous location is currently at the bottom of Lake Tenkiller. It's a gas station, convenience store, cafe, pizza parlor, ice cream shop, deli, motel with cabins to rent and gossip center. Whew, talk about multi-tasking. There's a screen door that slams loudly as you enter and the floor is all wood, probably original. It's exactly what you would expect when you visit the lake.

Another local establishment that deserves praise is Flintridge Grocery.

It, too, is a gas station, but also offers groceries, fresh produce, locally raised meats, fishing accessories (including bait), deep fried munchies and movie rentals. Basically, if Flintridge doesn't have it, you don't need it! For many years both of these businesses offered charge accounts for locals. It's only been in the past year that this tradition has stopped. Our tiny town has grown enough to include so many more non-locals (us included) that account balances were being ignored and the honor system went to pot. I'm saddened by this, as it speaks to a decline in society and the shirking of personal responsibility.

One of our favorite places to eat is the Princess Drive-In. It's been here since the dawn of time and as a child, my family enjoyed the food here while visiting the area...little did I know it would later become my beloved home away from home. The hamburgers are still hunks of ground beef, flattened by the cook and fried on a greasy grill. The "fresh cut" fries are an actual potato shoved through a french fry cutter and fried frozen here. Alyssa loves the catfish, hand breaded and fried to a golden glow. For dessert, or any time of day, they offer chocolate (or vanilla) soft serve ice cream piled high, and I mean HIGH, onto a cake cone. Who wouldn't want one of those?! Family owned and operated, there are times when the Princess is closed and upon closer inspection, you find a note taped to the door that explains there is a grandson's school program, a family vacation or family reunion that just couldn't be missed. I guess that kind of love is worth waiting one more day to get my giant ice cream cone.

This shot is of the Illinois River merging with Lake Tenkiller, there is a huge bridge that marks the merging point. We cross this bridge numerous times a day, on our way to school and Tahlequah. Some mornings the steam rising off the water looks creepy and beautiful at the same time. You can see fish jumping, boats floating and jet ski's zipping along all summer long. The off season brings peace, tranquility and natural beauty which offsets the idiots who drive too fast with their big, stupid boats and litter the area with their trash. Tourists really piss me off.

Here's our road, it's about a mile of dirt, rock, squirrels, deer, dogs and roosters. It's lovely. Ignore the white, Styrofoam cup that is laying on the side of the road...too bad we can't pick our neighbors. NOT so lovely.

Since our road officially goes nowhere, it will never be paved. Due to water runoff and poor drainage, the county has to come out EVERY TIME it rains and fill in all the gaping trenches that appear, sometimes in a matter of hours. It's one of those things you overlook to live in such a place. In the morning I hear roosters crowing...hundreds of them, thanks to the people who live down the road, dogs barking, bees buzzing. It's comforting, all this nature. I love it here and can't imagine living anywhere else...unless it was Montana, and no one in my family seems to wanna go there. Welcome to my tiny piece of paradise...have a seat on the porch and enjoy the scenery.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Life of the Soccer Mom

Three nights a week of practice, games every Saturday.'s what we do. The soccer ball, fold up chairs, jackets, blankets, extra shin guards and snacks litter the trunk of the car. Our first game was an easy win. We drove 50 miles to arrive at 8:30am to find that the team we were playing, didn't exist. Yeah, you heard me right...didn't exist. We had a field full of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunties and uncles, not to mention players ready to play some ball. Thirty minutes after the game was supposed to start, we find out a "ghost team" made it onto the roster...what the hell?!

We finally got to play our first game and the girls were decked out in paw print face paint and eye black, for the intimidation factor. They looked painfully adorable. They ended up winning by quite a few goals and looked really good. Alyssa's coach refers to her as his "all-star" because he can put her in any position (even goalie!) and she does well. I am so proud of her. She has worked really hard this season and it all boils down to excellent coaching. She, as well as the other girls, wants to please Coach B and although he finds working with 11 girls somewhat frustrating at times (i.e. the talking and talking and talking), he is positive, dedicated and they love him. I'm not sure how many laps have been run due to an over abundance of girl talk, but they smile the whole time...and rib him while doing it!

In my role as Soccer Mom, I am having a great time. The weather has been nice, the moms are really nice and the girls are hard workers. I look forward to plunking my chair down next to the field, chatting up the other moms and yelling. Sometimes our hour long practices last two and no one seems to care. It's been quite fun and I look forward to a successful season. Go Tiger Cubs!