I flew home 2 weekends ago to watch my sister, Cara, graduate with a degree in gerontology from OSU! It was so nice to see family and friends in the short time I was there.

I love traveling. Especially via air.

I’m a notorious people-watcher especially at airports. I always bring a book to read and music to listen to but wind up doing neither because I’m so intrigued by the different people around me. My favorite type of traveller to watch is the woman who appears to be prepared for anything and everything, yet seems panicked and frantic. She’ll look like she just stepped out of a J.Crew magazine and accessorized with everything possible – matching belt, matching scarf concealing the matching necklace…she may even be wearing sunglasses inside the airport…maybe even an impractical-shaped hat. But she’ll definitely be wearing heels that would cut off the blood supply to my bunions. She’ll also be carrying a massive purse in addition to her carry-on with wheels. Once she sits down, she’ll perform a juggling act that goes like this: hand sanitizer. lipstick. tip-tap on phone. side-bangs sweep. sip of iced latte. repeat. But she’ll appear nervous or unsure of where she’s supposed to be – like she may have forgotten something, or lost it in the abyss of her purse. This is my favorite traveller to watch. I’m always torn between asking if she needs help or remaining quietly entertained. Usually I just sit comfortably snacking on my ziploc bag of animal crackers and chuckle.

I talked to Tyrel when I reached my gate at the Denver airport that was departing for OKC because as soon as I reached the gate I already felt closer to home! After living in the northwest for a few months, it’s funny what you realize you miss. I miss plastic flip-flops being worn beyond the pool-side. I miss people carrying around their soda as their preferred caffeinated beverage and sipping it through a plastic straw in a paper cup. (Here, it’s always a cup of coffee.) I miss the big hair that doesn’t move despite how hard the wind blows, the over-sized belt buckles, the courtesy wave (which Tyrel is determined to spread), and people sitting on their porches sipping sweet tea and lemonade like they don’t have any better place to be than in the company of the people they’re with. When I tell people I’m from Oklahoma I’m proud of it. People may argue there are not be as many things “to do”, but this I know for sure: you can’t beat the sunrises and sunsets, the thunderstorms, the barbecue, the sounds of summer, or the hospitality. I sat down at my gate departing for OKC, and the woman next to me began talking to me like she’d known me forever. It’s startled me at first because I’ve grown accustomed to people not doing that, but as we continued chatting I thought to myself, “Yep. She must be flying home to Oklahoma too.”

There are so many people I wanted to see in the three days I was there and so many things I would have liked to fit in, but ultimately, time with my family was the most important thing on my mind. Especially spending time with Cara (my sister) now that she’s a college grad and all.

Cara has a beautiful way about her – the way she interacts with people and cares for them with such immediacy is astounding. I’ve always admired that.

My grandparents still hold hands and that makes me feel happy and good. They didn’t know I was taking their picture.

This was only one of four ceremonies. (Very different from Tyrel and I’s graduation from TU!

…there she is!

…Cara and Ryan. Awesome. Love it.

Lunch with the family! (I wish I would have photographed the centerpiece in the kitchen my mom had put together for the occasion. She knows how to make people feel special and welcomed as guests in her home.)

…opening graduation presents.

I got to see the Kennedys too! Great friends. Family. (Minus the blood component.)

Cousins that I had the privilege of seeing briefly!

I am so thankful for my time in Oklahoma with family. Particularly the time I had with Cara.

Feeling pretty thankful after reflecting on my time in The Sooner State! Even though Cara didn’t graduate as a sooner but as a cowboy…just had to clarify.

(I thought it would be fun to end this post with a song from the 90s – “Waterfalls” TLC – so if you subscribe via email and watch the YouTube video linked to the song…my apologies! Haha let’s just say we hadn’t watched the video before I posted it.)



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