Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution is prohibited without prior written consent.

Monday, August 29, 2005

My Town

TODAY'S QUOTES:

"I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests."

~ Pablo Neruda (Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, 1971) 

"...Where I was born, where I was raised, where I keep all my yesterdays...this is my town..."

~ Montgomery Gentry, My Town (Now Playing)

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Inspired by the "Grownups with Content Worth Being Featured" blogring, the following is my post for the "My Hometown" theme.  To find out more, go to this exceptional site .

Bartlesville, Oklahoma is where I keep all my yesterdays. 

Though I was not born there, it is the only home I ever remember.  It's where I grew up, played, learned, dreamed, wrote my poetry, went to school, met my husband (A.K.A. Childhood Sweetheart) married him the second time around, had kids, met my Savior, found myself and learned the value of family - not necessarily in that order. :-) 

My parents and grandparents still live in Bartlesville, as do my brother, sister and her family, as well as my husband's family.  It is also where two of my children live with their mom.  (I am blessed to have married into two wonderful children, in addition to the three wonderful children I brought with me.) 

I return to Bartlesville at least once or twice a month, and every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  There's nothing like the feeling I get when I come over the rise where you can get your first glimpse of the town...I am home, coffee is waiting at Mama's table, and if everyone is not there, they will be before the afternoon is out. 

Everyone gather's at Mom and Dad's!  We've been known to all show up on a Sunday afternoon, with no warning, and Dad (who is the cook) has enough Sunday dinner to feed all sixteen of us.  (Mom, Dad, Grandpa, my brother, my sister, her husband and three kids, my husband, my five children and myself.)  Their kitchen table has seated as many as sixteen at Christmas or Thanksgiving, with about ten the kids sitting at the 'kiddie table' in the living room.

Bartlesville is an oil town in the middle of  Indian Territory, with a rich history.  Founded in 1907 by Jacob H. Bartles, it found its beginning on the bank of the Caney River, where in 1870, Nelson F. Carr built a grist mill, the first business establishment in what would become Bartlesville.  Jacob Bartles purchased the grist mill in 1875, for $1,000, and built a store nearby.  Bartlesville was born.

Here's a photo of the present day spot where the city was born.  The stones you see are the foundation stones for Nelson Carr and Jake Bartle's long-ago business venture.  If they could only see her now!

Bartlesville was the first town in Indian Territory to have electricity, natural gas, running water, and telephone service.   Not far from this bend in the Caney River, you can see Oklahoma's first commercial oil well - the Nellie Johnstone No. 1.

The company that brought my family to Bartlesville from West Texas when I was but a babe of two years, was, of course, the Phillips Petroleum Company.  My father started working at a Phillips gas station in Texas, and has worked for the company (now ConocoPhillips) ever since.  Here is a shot of the old Phillips building downtown.

Some of the favorite local tourist attractions are pictured here:

Frank Phillips Home, now a fascinating museum.

The Price Tower - designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, now a upscale hotel and an art museum.

 

The Johnstone & Keeler General Store, restored and now home of Oklahoma's own Red Dirt Soap Company

The old train depot, which now houses the Chamber of Commerce, the Development Corporation and the Community Foundation

And, of course, the nationally famous Bartlesville Community Center, renowned for it's annual "OK Mozart Festival"

I loved growing up in Bartlesville.  Those were really good years, although I didn't know it at the time.  There used to be two high schools in Bartlesville.  College High, and Sooner High.  They combined in the eighties, when the Sooner High building housed the mid-high grades 9-10, and the College High building housed the high-school grades 11-12. The Sooner High Spartans and the College High Wildcats became the Bartlesville Bruins.  Good, bad or indifferent, we survived the merge.  My graduating class was the first to attend all four years in the new system.  Here's a pic of the high school today.

We were proud to be Bruins!  Although I wasn't athletic, I did letter in Choir, and go to state in Speech and Drama.  Funny how you spend anywhere from two, to four, to as many as twelve years with the same people, and then after graduation, you never see them again.  I often wonder about some of those really awesome friends with whom I spent my high school days.  I see some of them occasionally.  They seem familiar, yet different.  But the ones I really wonder about are those with whom I celebrated graduation, one warm almost-summer night in 1986, and then never ever saw again.  Life is a mystery.

I am also a proud mom and aunt to four current and/or future Bruins who live in Bartlesville now, and are or will be football and basketball players or cheerleaders.  I can't wait to go to some of the middle school and mid- high games this fall and cheer my nephew and son as they play for the old blue and white!  My youngest daughter, whom I gained by marriage to her father, will be down there in her cheerleading skirt and tennis shoes freezing and jumping and yelling her guts out, while her mother, her father, her grandparents and I (the other mother) are in the stands doing the same! 

It will be so nice to go home to those games again!

Well, if you were in my car, and we were in downtown Bartlesville, we couldn't leave without stopping by Murphy's Steakhouse.  I recommend the 4 oz. open-faced, junior hot-cheese-burger with hand-cut fries and brown "gravy-over-all".  It's what Murphy's has been famous for, for more than fifty years and is the very best!  Of course if you're really hungry, you could go with the full size instead of the junior!  Oh, and if you get the salad, try the house-blend garlic salad dressing.  We eat the dressing on club crackers while we're waiting for our food!  The other thing I will never forget about Murphy's as long as I live is the candy drawer.  All little guests of Murphy's Steak House get a trip behind the counter to the candy drawer.  It holds such treasures as Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, mini Chick-o-Sticks, Peanut Butter Logs and my favorite-- Sixlets!  I miss the days when I was young enough to leave Murphy's with a fistful of candy!  Now I have to settle for two peppermint patties for a quarter from the jar by the cash register.  Oh well, you can't stay young forever.

So, I hope you enjoyed my tour of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

It's "where I keep all my yesterdays...This is My Town."

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Montgomery Gentry's "My Town"

There's a "For Sale" sign on a big old rusty tractor.
You can't miss it, it's the first thing that you see.
Just up the road, a pale-blue water tower,
With "I Love Jenny" painted in bright green.
Hey, that's my Uncle Bill, there by the courthouse.
He'll be lowerin' the flag when the sun goes down.
And this is my town.

(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Hey!
Where I was born, where I was raised.
Where I keep all my yesterdays.
Where I ran off 'cos I got mad,
An' it came to blows with my old man.
Where I came back to settle down,
It's where they'll put me in the ground:
This is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
My town.

There ain't much goin' on here since they closed the mill.
But that whistle still blows ev'ry day at noon.
A bunch of us still go down to the diner.
I wonder if that interstate's still comin' through.
Come Sunday morning service, at the Church of Christ,
Well there ain't an empty seat to be found.
And this is my town.

(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Where I was born, where I was raised.
Where I keep all my yesterdays.
Where I ran off 'cos I got mad,
An' it came to blows with my old man.
Where I came back to settle down,
It's where they'll put me in the ground:
This is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
My town.

Well, I bought and painted up that rusty tractor.
You can't miss it, it's sittin' right there in our yard.
The County came and took that water tower,
And that's Jenny, with a baby, in the car.
Ah, we're off to Sunday service at the Church of Christ,
And if we want a seat, we better leave right now.
And maybe later, me an old T-roy will show you around,
Our town.

(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
Yeah, where I was born, where I was raised.
Where I keep all my yesterdays.
Where I ran off 'cos I got mad,
An' it came to blows with my old man.
Where I came back to settle down,
It's where they'll put me in the ground:
This is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)

Yeah, this is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
This is my town.
(Na, na, na, na, na.)
My town.

Friday, August 19, 2005

He Speaks

TODAY'S QUOTES:

A guy is shipwrecked onto an island, and arrives unconscious.  When he wakes up, he's on a beach.  The sand is dark red.  He can't believe it.  The sky is dark red.  He walks around a bit and sees there is dark red grass, dark red birds and dark red fruit on the dark red trees.  He's shocked when he finds that his skin is starting to turn dark red too.

"Oh, no!!" he says.  I think I've been marooned!"

~ www.cleanjokeoftheday.com

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing.  The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentmens slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place."

~ Mark Twain

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I hate those days when I am not sick enough to enjoy staying in bed, and not well enough to feel like I am accomplishing anything important.  This week has been full of those kind of days, while I have been taking antibiotics, and gargling with salt-water and listerine.  Food doesn't taste the same, I can't find a comfortable spot in the house, and sleep is fitful and intermittent, even in the middle of the night.  About the time I think I could actually muster up the energy to say, rearrange the furniture, I crash, and feel like I've been hit by a truck.

What is is about our inability to be still...to rest...to recuperate without feeling guilty or frustrated, or obligated to get up off our duff and do something?  I think I maybe should have spent more of this week practicing that "be still and know" attitude.  I think I missed too many opportunities to just rest, and listen for God's heart, God's instruction, God's whispered words of romance.

He did speak to me this morning, in those fuzzy moments between asleep and awake.  That's usually where He catches my attention.  Just some whispered instructions about the spiritual truths I am teaching our teenagers this saturday at Youth Outreach.  It was really refreshing to hear His voice.  Makes me wish I hadn't been so impatient to get rid of these symptoms and get back to my busy life. 

Oh well.  Once again I am grateful for new mercies and endless opportunites to get it right this time.  God is so good.

Hope you are having a wonderful day, and still find time to sit (or lie) in silence with God.  He's whispering something profound.  Are you listening?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Majesty

TODAY'S QUOTES:


Majesty, worship His Majesty,

Unto Jesus be all glory, honor and praise!

Majesty, kingdom authority, flows from His throne,

Unto His own, His anthem raise.

So exalt, lift up on high the name of Jesus.

Magnify, come glorify Christ Jesus the King.

Majesty, worship His Majesty,

Jesus who died, now glorified,

King of all kings.

~COPYRIGHT 1987, Songs, and 1981, Rocksmith Music, Words and Music by Jack Hayford


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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I used to go to the mountains of Colorado every summer as a kid for youth camp.  I remember it was amazing.  I felt like I was in a place where everything in creation stretched up into the clouds in an effort to declare its praise for our Creator.  I remember standing on a mountain, in a clearing of pine trees, with the sunlight filtering through the branches of the trees and thinking it was the most perfect place of worship I could ever find.


This weekend we went to a family reunion in Durango, Colorado.  I love getting together with family, people who belong to me.  We share memories and play games.  We eat and laugh.  It was a good reunion.  But even better, was the reminder of how awesome God's Creation is.  How it shouts of the love of a Creator, who sculpts the earth and paints the skies with us in mind.  This Majestic Artist, our God, calls to us from the mountains and the seas, painting trees, flowers, and the clouds so that we might notice and understand His great love for us.


July had been a stressful month.  Larry and I really needed a vacation.  We looked forward to loading up the van and starting off down the highway, leaving our daily stresses and obligations behind to spend a few days with each other and our children.  It was something we had looked forward to for so many weeks!


But what God had planned for us was so much more than a relaxing road trip and a weekend vacation.  He wanted to paint the skies and sculpt the earth, to shout His love for us, and remind us how Awesome and Mighty He is.  His Majesty shouted to us from the mountains to the valleys and back to the skies.


He was in the clear blue skies, the gentle rains, the breathtaking landscape.  He comforted us with views of mountains blanketed by fluffy white clouds. He refreshed our spirits with the crisp cool mountain air, that tasted unlike anything we've ever known.  He romanced and wooed us with sunrises and sunsets of every imaginable color and hue.  He awed us with the sheer majesty of His creation. 


And we are speechless.


And we are grateful.


And we are loved.


What a refreshing we have recieved from the hand and heart of such a Mighty God as He.


Here are some pictoral highlights from our weekend in the mountains:



View of part the city of Durango from the top of the mountain.



Mountain top view of Durango's beautiful Animas River.



I love this shot of the view of the mountains behind this great green shed.  The colors are so amazing!



As we left and headed toward Albequerque, New Mexico the clouds and the rain were amazing.  I especially love this shot of a hole in the rain clouds.  Notice the rain pouring down in the lower left hand corner.  Cool!


We stopped for the night in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  There we found this amazing place called the Blue Hole.  It was a natural spring, with the bluest water!  Here's some info from the website:


http://www.dtmag.com/dive-usa/BlueHoleStRosaNM.html


"The invitingly clear water in the 81-foot- (25-m-) deep bell-shaped spring well is produced from a cave system near the well's bottom that generates about 3,000 gallons per minute. The surface of the site is roughly oval-shaped with a diameter of 80 feet (24 m) at its widest point and approximately 60 feet (18 m) at its narrowest. The Blue Hole widens the deeper it goes until the diameter reaches 130 feet (40 m) across at its deepest depth."


Here also, are some of the pictures I took from the Blue Hole:





 I have to admit that I had a panic attack at the Blue Hole.  It defies all reason, and wasn't something I could rationalize away.  But when my kids stepped out on the ledge over that hole, my heart stopped.  I lost it, and began to tremble and cry.  I had to walk away, and not watch them, as they peered over the edge into that 81 foot deep well.  Now my brain knows they can all swim.  And my brain knows that if they fell in, Larry would be there in a second, diving in and pulling them out. 


But this fear didn't listen to reason.


It reminded me that I have other fears that I have to face.  I have to deal with things like this that worry and often frighten me.  I can't walk away and hide my eyes from life. 


My mother told me a story this weekend of an encounter she had with terror.  She was riding a few days ago with my father on the back of their Gold Wing bike, through the mountains of northern New Mexico.  The wind was terrifying.  She panicked.  She lost it.  She clung to my dad in sheer terror and cried while she prayed.  She made it through safely.  They found a place to pull over and she finally calmed down.  But for a few moments, she was overtaken and controlled by terror.  When she finally got it back together, she realized she had conquered her fear enough to get back on the bike and go on.  It was a turning point for her.  She felt strong and powerful, because she had faced the fear that only moments before had gripped her with terror.  After a couple of days with us in Durango, she climbed back on that bike with Dad and headed down the mountain with my two aunts and two uncles on her way to Sturgis -- a stronger woman.  I am amazed at who she is becoming.  She is chasing life in all its glory!  She inspires me over and over again.  And this weekend, she taught me about faith in the middle of terror.


Faith is absolute trust in God, in spite of what fear is shouting in my ear.  I want to be able to experience all the amazing wonderful things God has to offer me in this life.  God help me to face the fears I ignore, so that my faith might be strengthened in You.


Hoping you've gained, in some small way, a sense of the profound love of God and the awesome power of faith in Him,


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