I know I tend to think that where I live is the center of the universe, but in my eyes Enid is the very best place on Earth.
I was born and raised in Virginia. Fairfax county to be exact. It was a lovely place in the 1950’s and 60’s but has since grown up to be just another Washington DC suburb with all the problems of a city. Horrible traffic, too much crime, extremely high cost of living. It is nothing like my fuzzy childhood memories anymore and not a very nice place to live.
As an Army wife I traveled all over the country from pillar to post and lived in many different towns and climates. I didn’t even mind packing everything we owned and schlepping it halfway across the country. Every three to four years was another adventure with the making of new friends and finding out all about the towns and cities we had moved to. The posts we lived on were all very small communities and we all quickly bonded. we relied on each other in good times and bad.
Once George retired from the Army though we ended up in Austin Texas, and eventually the Hill Country in central Texas. We lived there for twenty years. It was difficult to make new friendships. If you weren’t “from there” then you weren’t trusted. For the first time in my life I was thought of as a “damned Yankee” which made zero sense to this Virginian. After twenty years George and I could count on one hand the true friends we had in Texas.
We moved to Enid three years ago and it was like going back in time to the Northern Virginia of my childhood, or to one of those remarkable Army posts. People are so friendly here. They don’t lock their cars, or sometimes their houses when they leave for the day. They rely on each other for friendship and a helping hand when it is needed. There are block parties with regularity. If a neighbor sees you working in your yard more than likely he or she will wander over to lend a hand.
Traffic can be “bad”..not like Dallas-Ft Worth bad. There are no traffic jams or six lane highways through or around town. A bad traffic day might take you fifteen minutes to get across town because someone wants to make a left turn in front of you or you need to wait for a train to finish crossing.
The cost of living is exceptional. We are doing quite well with George working3/4 time and me not at all. Quite a change from those 14 hour days I put in at my private practice and the 24 hour shifts George had at the hospital, or his dreaded 48 hour shifts at the nursing home.
There are celebrations here that rival the celebrations of my childhood memories. Children racing each other across the green, laughing like loons. Parents sitting in the grass sharing food and drink. Fireworks. Oh there are fireworks. for the new year, for Christmas, for Independence day. And there are parades..complete with cattle and cowboys, pretty girls on Palominos, kids on bikes, clowns and fire trucks, and kids bringing up the rear pushing brooms to clear the road of road apples from the cattle.
I never thought for a moment throughout the years that we would end up in Oklahoma. I am so very grateful that we did.