Mercy, what a week! Days of pain, fear, and worry that came from much trauma and drama in the lives of our family, friends and the country. Yesterday the sun shined and spring put her toe out once more while the forecast called for rain and cold including frost yet again with the new week. We were tired both physically and mentally tired yesterday morning, arising late. We could let the day slip by or push forward to try and grab some joy. It was a late start in more ways than one, but we headed west dreaming of Santa Fe but knowing we could not make it in the half dozen hours we had.
Shortly beyond Joplin the land leveled into the longer stretches of flat land reaching for distant Oklahoma hills. The fields were velvet green while rivers and rivulets raced forward from recent rains. DH observed the cattle seemed satisfied. They too appreciated the nice day. We headed for the Gilcrease Museum and drove right into town with complete ease which was helpful in our low energy state. We had visited here over a quarter of a century ago with kids…enough said. I always wanted to return. While we did make it to the Philbrook last year, it took a while to make it to the Gilcrease again. It definitely was worth the push to get there.
The Gilcrease grounds were beautiful. Passing through grand gates, we wove among just budding dogwood, redbuds, and azaleas trying to bloom. Once inside, we did not begin to absorb all we saw. Once the mind sees so much color and content, it reaches a saturation point. Starting with tired minds did not help us, but again, we pushed on. Photos were not allowed here which saddened me. The pictures of Remington, Charlie Russell, and other famous western artists were wonderful. We met the work of new artists too. The wood carving of Willard Stone was absolutely amazing. and the museum had a good deal of his work since he was Oklahoman. The works in cherry and walnut ached to be touched, but I did not dare. The wood seemed to speak under the influence of Stone’s hands. He not only found shape and design, but he slicked the wood as satin smooth as a river stone.
There was a special exhibit of Woody Crumbo’s work called Bending, Weaving, and Dancing. Also an Oklahoma artist, Crumbo supported himself as an artist by doing traditional dancing. Some of his work was in Kiowa Flat style, other work had more depth. It all reflected movement. In a little work room aside, a Fancy Dancer costume was set up in front of tables obviously used as a model for painters. Beautiful.
The museum was busy due to a special artists day. The restaurant was serving only an expensive brunch for the day. I was sorry to miss the buffalo burger with fried green tomato and breakfast food is not my favorite meal anyway. However, we were so hungry it was better than fighting traffic to find a place to eat. So we sat in the beautiful dining area that overlooked the beautiful Osage Hills, which would be nicer later in spring for sure.
We wore out long before we wanted to, but DH said we would return someday. Ha, I don’t have another quarter of a century left! But both were glad to see all that we did. DH remarked on the color in the paintings. I liked that there were also many colorful headdresses…such lovely feathers and beading. Some were more than 120 years old…one can only imagine the men who wore the war bonnets. I loved seeing the many moccasins…the deerskin dresses and shirts, some trimmed with horse and human hair. It was all fodder to mull over in the brain once we returned to our ordinary life.
The day had been well worth the push.