Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. That’s where we were headed.
Our friends, Randall and Julie, extended gracious hospitality to Mike and me during our short visit to Oklahoma at the Leisurlee Acres Cattle Company, which is their cattle ranch outside of Cache, Oklahoma. There were sprawling pastures, shady trees, friendly cows, no traffic, and a distant view of the Wichita Mountains.
Randall and I grew up together. His parents were close friends with my mom and dad. His dad and my mom have known each other since toddlerhood because our grandparents were also dear friends throughout their lifetimes. His siblings have always been our ‘cousins.’
We all reached adulthood, went our separate ways, had families, and lived life. We kept in touch occasionally, but hadn’t seen each other in person for ages. About 20-plus years, in fact. When I stepped out of the motorhome to greet Randall, the timespan slipped away. He was family–we were welcomed and the visit was perfect from that moment on.
Randall and Julie had a spot ready for us down their long lane. It was within walking distance to their home and beside the lush, green cow pastures. I spent my growing-up years in the country, so this was a setting near and dear to my heart. Only someone who has spent many years in the congestion of a large city (Jacksonville, Florida), where traffic, crime, and lack of personal space is the ‘norm,’ can appreciate that first cleansing breath of fresh air while standing on real grass (and being able to spread arms wide and twirl in a circle without touching another human being–Sound of Music style). That’s how much I loved being there. It wasn’t a location thing, it was a soul thing.
Our visit was easy. Except for water, we were pretty self-sufficient. The weather was cool, so generator use was minimal. We ran it just enough so Mike could work. The four of us would meet up in the late afternoons for dinner, swap stories, and share memories. We then went back to the RV for the rest of the night and pursued our individual interests during the day. On the weekend, they gave us a tour of the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge and recommended a buffalo burger at Meers Restaurant. We had the pleasure of meeting Julie and Randall’s cohorts (the majority were retired Army veterans and their wives) at a cookout on Saturday night. There were lots of delicious food items, humorous shenanigans, and wild and hilarious stories.
It was, hands down, my favorite ‘camping’ location ever. It was an uncomplicated, down-to-earth, and renewing visit spent enjoying the simple things. I loved visiting with Julie on the back porch. Mike had the opportunity hold the gate while Randall introduced a young bull to the herd. We got to do some four-wheeling around the property. We spied turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes throughout the visit. We had a colorful hummingbird that flittered outside the RV window every morning. Even the dogs eventually became friends and started tolerating each other towards the end of the trip. Yes, it was a fabulous visit with family.
I also loved the cows.
Julie and Randall, we cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to spend time at your home. Thank you for sharing your oasis with us. We can’t wait to visit again–if you’ll have us.
P.S. Randall is a retired Army veteran. I want to thank him for his service and also the service of his friends. It was an honor to meet each and every one of them.