I love that I was born here, and I feel lucky that I got to grow up where I did, along a little stretch of highway between two little towns just west of Tulsa. My childhood was spent roaming free on my bicycle through my sprawling neighborhood, where the typical lot measured two acres or so.
Now I live in the middle of town. On barely a quarter of an acre. People walk through my grass, something that's just not done by the innocent where I come from. Though I haven't seen the movie, I've thought of adopting the line from Gran Torino, "Get off my lawn," as my personal slogan.
Especially when things like the following happen:
- I find a fully cooked turkey hanging from my mailbox. No note, no message. There was a price tag, though: $47.32.
- An FBI agent armed to the teeth hangs out in a nondescript vehicle outside my house for hours, divulging only he "was assigned to watch this street."
- Homeschooled kids knock on my backdoor, trying to sell wrestling tickets "for school." A few hours later, one of the kids' mother is at my door informing me her son's leg had all but been torn off by my 12-pound dog and that I could easily claim the whole mess on my homeowner's insurance and would I please send them a check, thank you very much.
- We were asked to move our infant son's crib to another room by a neighboring church upon complaining about their noisy, rowdy youth group that experiments until 10 p.m. two evenings per week to find the maximum volume at which they can squeal their tires, rev their engines and crank their radios.
- I once found a QuikTrip taquito on my back porch.
- A construction worker on a job nearby stole water from our outside faucet to fill a large bucket nearly every day for a week. I never could get up the nerve to tell him to cut it out.
- We had a garage sale. We sold a broken TV as-was. Later the buyer called to inform us the TV was broken and that we needed to give his money back. After we reminded him the TV was sold as-was, he said, "Look, I know that. Here's the deal. There are no groceries in my house. We kinda need that money back for food. Meet us at the supermarket?"
- Also at said garage sale, our infamous elderly neighbor, whom we know only as "The Colonel," not only quizzed my American-born friend of Guatemalan heritage if she "had papers," but also asked if she'd like to split and grab a beer with him.
- After his Jeep was stolen right out of his driveway, The Colonel installed half a dozen security cameras on his premises. We know this because my husband, on whom The Colonel pounces during his yard work and practically orders him to come clean his gun collection, has seen "the control room."
Gladys Kravitz has nothing on me, y'all. I'd rather have a witch with a cute little upturned nose working her magic across the street than have to worry that there's something bad enough going on around here that calls for bringing in the feds.
I still love it here. It's just, on some days, I think I'd trade all of the above fun and laughter for a 30-minute commute to the hubbub of T-Town proper from some outlying bedroom community.
But only on some days.