Life continues to throw curve balls, but it could be worse. I am grateful for the good that comes. Rain and some severe weather are in our future, even on Mother’s Day. So this morning we took a tiny ride out of town to “get away” just a wee bit. It was my choice to head to Afton, Oklahoma, less than an hour from us. We could not go far but this round trip of about four hours let me sample things I love. Some things were hindered by Miss Biscuit as the heat came on strong mid-morning, and I just did not feel like leaving her in a car so I could look around.
I had seen a news item about Afton Station, and while it did not live up to my complete expectations, it was a soothing trip to the past. House in an old DX station this lovely couple have a tiny, quite tiny in fact, collection of Buffalo Ranch and DX memorabilia. The real draw is the fourteen Packards they have on display…all for free.
My grandfather had a DX station for many years, so that was my first attention getter. The old filling station is in pristine condition and clean as cake platter after the party. However, you can still stand in the show room which was once the garage part of the filling station and smell that tinge of oil that has seeped into the concrete beneath the paint. I sensed it the moment I walked in; I was moved with memory!
The few things they had from Buffalo Ranch were in a showcase. Probably many readers will find the term Buffalo Ranch meaningless, but to me and others of the Route 66 era, the term will evoke a range of reminiscences. I suppose some would have called it a tourist trap. I remember: buffalo burgers, gasoline pumps, beaded moccasins for sale, plastic tomahawks, fenced in animals that were mostly huge, curly haired buffalo, and a ring of riding ponies. How I remember one of my rides! I was about six dressed in a plaid dress hitting my knees and a great pair of cowboy boots. While riding that pony, I was transported right into the world of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry….for about ten minutes.
I am not a big Packard fan, but the cars were beautifully restored. The town was a mere crossroads that had seen better times for sure. So we angled back towards Grove and Grand Lake. Ah, we hit Sailboat bridge and more memories. My other grandfather spent many a weekend crossing the Kansas border into Oklahoma for boating on Grand Lake.
It was already getting quite warm so we avoided leaving Biscuit in the car for shopping. However, we found a Poultry Swap which was outside and just a dandy place full of down home folks. There were tables of “junk” along with the chickens, ducks and eggs. Nothing I wanted to bring home except a ten pound bag of Vidalia onions being sold by Shriners.
So we grabbed a hamburger in a McDonald’s drive-through and meandered back roads coming home. Oh, the land is so beautiful in spring. The pastures and meadows were green as a summer grasshopper; trees with new leaves thick and lush cast cooling shade over fields and creeks. Cattle seemed happy to be lounging in the luxuriant grass. So we had not been far, but I had traveled years backwards and felt like I could go forward again in new week.
I have lovely flowers this weekend gifted to me by friends. It may be Mother’s Day, but we all need mothering of some kind no matter how we are. Women seem to understand that best and look out for each other. I am grateful for all the women... and men... in my life who think of me, nurture me, and keep me going.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all.