I grew up in Ohio, where the rolling hills are green, and covered with farms, apple orchards, and forests. Where fall is colorful, and leaves are made to be raked and jumped into. Where winter is cold and snowy, sled riding and tubing are a sport, and school will be closed for more than the allowable ‘snow days’. When spring arrives, the flowers begin to bloom, and the daffodils will be covered with snow at least once before it is official. Where the heat of summer cools off when day meets night, and the ‘lighting bugs’ take over the skies.
The army brought us to Oklahoma, the last place on our list of choices.
Top Ten Things I hate About Oklahoma
10). Wind & allergies- In the winter it’s a bone chilling cold that eats away at your skin. In the summer it’s hot air blowing in your face. No such thing as a refreshing breeze- 100 degrees plus, and 100 degrees plus air blowing in your face. Either way, if you did not suffer from allergies before you arrived, you will now. Here, it is always allergy season.
9). Carports- Carports are just stupid. They are not a garage, and a poor excuse for one. When the aforementioned wind starts blowing, you need more than a roof over a vehicle to protect it, keep it dry or clean.
8). Bi-polar weather- In all of my travels I have never encountered a climate so unpredictable and unstable. Not uncommon to experience random 70 degree days in the winter months, followed immediately by below freezing temps, and an ice storm (which we will talk more about at #4). Spring goes from cold to hot to cold- until finally, unbearably HOT in record speed. Out of the entire year, an estimated 95 days are 90 degrees or higher. The thing I hate most is that there is no clear line between spring and the onslaught of summer. And the day only gets hotter, instead of cooling down in the evening.
7). Dead, brown grass- By the end of the summers consistent heat and lack of rain, everything looks dead and brown. There is simply not an efficient, nor cost effective way to water everything as much as its needed. In the area where I live there is an average yearly rainfall of only 32 inches.
6). Flatness- It is strange to grow up in a place full of rolling green hills, and move somewhere so undeniably flat. It seems as though you can see for miles across open and flat plains, yet everything is still so far away.
5). No Ocean- A place so hot and flat should definitely have a beach at the end of it somewhere. I have never felt more landlocked in my life. I suppose I could put up with everything thus far, if it was a hot ocean breeze blowing in my face.
4). Ice storms- I can deal with snow. I have driven in white-out conditions. But ice-storms, forget about it. We are talking ice storms which most often include the destruction of power lines, causing no electricity, or heat for sometimes weeks at a time. Not to mention, in an area where snow is less common, there is a lack of salt, or salt trucks for the roads making driving an additional hazard. When it does snow even a little, or an ice storm comes through, the whole place literally shuts down. Upon impending storm, better get to the grocery store early to snag that last loaf of bread or carton of milk.
3). Rattlesnakes- Did you know that between 7-8,000 people in the U.S. will be bitten by a rattlesnake each year? However, there only about 5-6 deaths because of it, approximately 1 in 50 million. Statistics state that you’re chances are much higher to get struck by lightning! Statistics be damned! I don’t like even knowing they’re around, anywhere. Besides rattlesnakes, there are actually seven other snake species that are harmful to humans in the state of Oklahoma. Of course the most venomous of snakes live here, including: the Cottonmouth, Copperhead, and several Rattlesnake variations. Alaska is the only state that has NO venomous snakes, but I have no desire to move there either.
2). Tarantulas, scorpions, and all other venomous creatures- Let’s talk about spiders first. There are just a couple that we really need to worry about, such as the Brown Recluse, and the Black Widow, both venomous and potentially harmful. And although other spiders live here that may not be venomous, such as Tarantulas, they can still bite and cause infection. Not to mention, they are UGLY and it is very unnerving to be driving in the early evening and see one cross the road, especially when they are usually as large as my size 8 foot.
Scorpions- truth is, I have never seen one in the two plus years I have lived here, but you can bet as soon as I write this, I will. Statistics estimate approximately five species of scorpions in Oklahoma. And although their sting is supposedly only a little worse than a bee or wasp, it is something I never wish to experience.
1). Tornados- We’ve touched on my phobia of tornados in previous blog posts, but let me reiterate, we do have tornadoes where I grew up. I have had nightmares about them since I was a child. Fact is, I now live in “Tornado Alley”. Oklahoma has the third highest average of yearly tornadoes in the United States, at 62 per year. The highest averages can be found in Texas, 155, and Kansas, at 96, both border states. Tornadoes destroy entire towns, and lives, as recently seen in the nearby town of Moore. Such devastation in a matter of seconds. It is unthinkable and too close for comfort. The continuing threat of storms of such magnitude make Oklahoma for sure a place I do not wish to live permanently.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I always make the most of any situation. I have done that here as well. I could turn around and write the ’10 things I love about Oklahoma’ and I think I will- coming soon!