The young family had already looked at several other houses when they drove up to the cute red brick ranch on the quiet street. As they strolled up the walkway to the home, they had no idea all of the wonderful memories these grounds...those walls...would soon hold for them.
There in the driveway, they will meet their neighbors who will become their best friends. They will share laughter and tears, happiness and heartache, joy and sorrow. They will become like family. They will go to church together, celebrate together, and support each other.
In the front yard stands a lone little "Charlie Brown" tree. That tree will drive the dad crazy as he digs it up and plants a new one several times over the years. Those two little boys will run many many circles around that tree and have so much fun watering it...and each other. The flower beds lined with greenery will soon burst forth in bright reds and pinks with the impatiens and roses the mom will plant.
Inside the home, the foyer will become the place of countless Nerf basketball games with the dad and his two sons. Little Match Box cars will soon shoot across that very tile floor.
Just to the left, the beautiful wood built-ins will come to be the resting place of family scrapbooks, framed photos of the sweet little boys, and the momma's special Christmas village each December. Sitting majestically in the middle of those shelves is the feature of the house - a beautiful brick fireplace. Oh the times the young momma, wrapped in a blanket, will sit there holding her little boys while snowflakes fall outside.
Sun shines through the tall dining room windows where family and friends will gather around the oak table laughing, eating, and celebrating together.
Out the sliding glass door will sit a little "Flintstones" car and a bubble mower on the patio. They will be waiting for the two little guys to drive and mow all over the lush green grass. When their "work" is done, they will enjoy many hours swinging and sliding on the blue metal swing set.
Back inside the kitchen, soon the young momma will make yummy lunches and dinners. She will bake birthday cakes and peach cobblers in the pretty little kitchen with the huge cabinet pantry. At the counter the two little giggly boys will stand (one on his tip toes, the other on a little stool) dying Easter Eggs...their eyes sparkling in delight.
Down the carpeted hallway a little baby will learn to crawl. In the little hall bathroom, the momma and her boys will sit like ducks in a row in the bathtub with a baby mattress over them as sirens wail and winds swirl outside.
In a little bedroom, the brothers will spend hours racing cars around a figure eight race track, hammering plastic nails on their work bench, and lining up their knights for a great battle around their castle. They will snuggled into their beds and listen quietly as mom and dad read Goodnight Moon every. single. night. Then, after being tucked in and the lights turned out, they will "shhhhsshhh!" and giggle as the family cat cuddles up at the foot of one of their beds.
In the next room, the momma will set up a little home business. She will teach scrapbooking classes, sell scrapbooking supplies, and host her friends at scrapbooking crops. Sometimes, late at night she will crop, tape, and journal these very memories into her own family albums.
At times, the entire family will end up in the master bedroom at the end of the hall. A little thunder and lightning will be enough to send the little guys scurrying through the door to pile into bed with their mom and dad.
In the big garden tub, those same two little guys will enjoy baths full of bubbles and little toy boats. There will be bubble beards and so much laughter the dad will hear them all the way in the living room.
This home will be the very first house they purchase.
This home will be the very first home all four of them will live in together as a family.
But before that can happen...they will need to go to the Federal Building to sign some papers. Just a few days before they are scheduled to do that...two men will blow up that very building. It is then that this young couple will discover the Oklahoma Spirit. They will watch with amazement how this state comes together to love, support, and help each other get through it. These people show the world that "Okies" are survivors.
Four years later, the little family is settled into their life in the pretty red brick home on the quiet little street. The dad is away on a business trip when the mom gets a call from those neighbors they met in the driveway. The ones that have since become like family to them.
The young momma learns there's a storm coming. It's a big one. It looks worse than the others. She gathers up her little boys, and hurries them over to the neighbor's house where they take cover in a closet with their friends.
They listen to the reports of devastating destruction on the radio and soon realize the tornado is headed straight for them. They pray...they comfort each other...they listen. Then fear turns to astonishment as the storm changes course. It turns. It heads north. They are spared.
The days that follow are filled with helping each other, gathering supplies, cleaning up, making phone calls, checking on friends, reading the stories, and watching in awe as once again these Okies show the world they can survive.
The people of Oklahoma rebuild...stronger, safer homes. They learn lessons. They become even better survivalists.
A year later the young family packs up and moves on to a new state, new job, and a new home. They never forget the years they spent in Oklahoma. They never forget the people and they never forget the Oklahoma Spirit that they witnessed through two great tragedies.
Fourteen years later, the family has moved a few more times. Yesterday, the mom watched in horror the news that came from her beloved former home state of Oklahoma. The memories came flooding back and the tears sprang to her eyes. Her heart hurt.
She picked up the phone and dialed the number of those best friends still living in the house across from that red brick house on the quiet little street. It rang busy...so she wiped away the tears..and dialed again...and again until finally she heard her friend's voice on the other end. They were okay. They had survived. Again. In the same closet. Relief filled her soul.
This story is a true story. It's our story.
We are the family that lived in the red brick house on the quiet street.
Pray for Someone & Do A Good Deed
Today...I did my May Quests in honor of our beloved Okies. I prayed for them all day long. Tonight Hubby and I will send money to the Salvation Army and Samaritan's Purse to support their efforts in helping out our Okie friends.
We know the Oklahoma Spirit that lives in each and every Okie we know. They are hurting. They are digging out. They are cleaning up. They are comforting each other. They are helping each other. They will rebuild. They will survive.
And they will be in our hearts, prayers, and tears in the days to come.