Buildings Reclaimed by the Prairie

An old hotel built of stone, old schools, roadside motel and a rock house abandoned to undergrowth are reclaimed eventually by the prairie that mothered them.

Have you driven past this old hotel in Muskogee? I’ll bet you have. It was last used as a hunting supply store and is located on highway 16 which enters Muskogee from the West and is named Okmulgee Street.

This was the front office. It is overgrown with vines, signs are gone and windows are missing. The rear cabins each stood separate and housed one traveling family.

The cabins are constructed of flat native stones as are many park cabins and shelters that were built by the W.P.A. in the dust bowl days of the Great Depression.

The arch above each “cabin” was outlined with bricks, possibly bricks from the Boynton Brick Factory. Now the property is abandoned and the prairie has reasserted itself in every crack and crevice. Shrubs and grass and weeds and trees are breaking up concrete and stone work.

Time and weather have rotted doors and window frames. Animals have found shelter along with hobos and vagabonds. Neighborhood children may have played here and teens lingered in the forsaken roadside rooms.

At night I imagine owls haunt the spaces.

What was this place like in 1950? I imagine an old car parked at one of the cabins, a father carrying a box of food and some luggage to the door. A child is playing in the grassy area out behind the motel. A mother seated in a old wooden chair nursing her baby in the welcome shade of a Osage Orange tree.

God has erased the scene with time and change and covered it with vines and branches, grass and wildflowers. I heard birds singing overhead, cicadas thrumming their afternoon songs, and wind like ghosts moving in the shadowy places making leaves shiver.The prairie wins!

Buildings Reclaimed by the Prairie

An old hotel built of stone, old schools, roadside motel and a rock house abandoned to undergrowth are reclaimed eventually by the prairie that mothered them.

Have you driven past this old hotel in Muskogee? I’ll bet you have. It was last used as a hunting supply store and is located on highway 16 which enters Muskogee from the West and is named Okmulgee Street.

This was the front office. It is overgrown with vines, signs are gone and windows are missing. The rear cabins each stood separate and housed one traveling family.

The cabins are constructed of flat native stones as are many park cabins and shelters that were built by the W.P.A. in the dust bowl days of the Great Depression.

The arch above each “cabin” was outlined with bricks, possibly bricks from the Boynton Brick Factory. Now the property is abandoned and the prairie has reasserted itself in every crack and crevice. Shrubs and grass and weeds and trees are breaking up concrete and stone work.

Time and weather have rotted doors and window frames. Animals have found shelter along with hobos and vagabonds. Neighborhood children may have played here and teens lingered in the forsaken roadside rooms.

At night I imagine owls haunt the spaces.

What was this place like in 1950? I imagine an old car parked at one of the cabins, a father carrying a box of food and some luggage to the door. A child is playing in the grassy area out behind the motel. A mother seated in a old wooden chair nursing her baby in the welcome shade of a Osage Orange tree.

God has erased the scene with time and change and covered it with vines and branches, grass and wildflowers. I heard birds singing overhead, cicadas thrumming their afternoon songs, and wind like ghosts moving in the shadowy places making leaves shiver.The prairie wins!

Livesay Orchard Peaches

Oh, what a wonderful way to spend a hot July morning–picking peaches at Livesay Orchards in Porter, Oklahoma! It is an experience to pluck those velvety orbs from the low hanging branches and lay them into the peach boxes. This little boy, Christopher Crow, was there for the first time. He was thrilled.

Brenna enjoyed reaching for the prettiest Glo-havens. The box filled too fast.

Aren’t the peaches a pretty picture? They smelled sweet and sugary. We carried them to the car and added them to the boxes of White Queen’s and a bushel of my favorite variety, Lorings, along with three fine stripped watermelons.

The melons thumped just nice and hollow when slapped with the palm of my hand. They had a yellow streak on the underside to show they were vine ripened and the rind felt bumpy promising to be sugary sweet inside.

My friend Joy Crow stayed in the shade wearing her straw hat. I often think I’ll buy a hat for working out in the sun and then I think, “No, I’ll just stay inside.” It was still not one hundred degrees. The morning was nice only about 85, since we went early.

 

Melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, nectarines and plums were sold alongside jars of canned peaches, jams and jellies, pickles and salsa, preserves, and honey.

 Isn’t Christopher cute?

We stopped at the grocery store afterward for my favorite Blue Bell home-style vanilla ice cream and after lunch and a swim in the backyard pool, we ate dishes of ice cream with sliced peaches on top. As my mother-in-law would have said, “It was a large day.”

Livesay Orchard Peaches

Oh, what a wonderful way to spend a hot July morning–picking peaches at Livesay Orchards in Porter, Oklahoma! It is an experience to pluck those velvety orbs from the low hanging branches and lay them into the peach boxes. This little boy, Christopher Crow, was there for the first time. He was thrilled.

Brenna enjoyed reaching for the prettiest Glo-havens. The box filled too fast.

Aren’t the peaches a pretty picture? They smelled sweet and sugary. We carried them to the car and added them to the boxes of White Queen’s and a bushel of my favorite variety, Lorings, along with three fine stripped watermelons.

The melons thumped just nice and hollow when slapped with the palm of my hand. They had a yellow streak on the underside to show they were vine ripened and the rind felt bumpy promising to be sugary sweet inside.

My friend Joy Crow stayed in the shade wearing her straw hat. I often think I’ll buy a hat for working out in the sun and then I think, “No, I’ll just stay inside.” It was still not one hundred degrees. The morning was nice only about 85, since we went early.

 

Melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, nectarines and plums were sold alongside jars of canned peaches, jams and jellies, pickles and salsa, preserves, and honey.

 Isn’t Christopher cute?

We stopped at the grocery store afterward for my favorite Blue Bell home-style vanilla ice cream and after lunch and a swim in the backyard pool, we ate dishes of ice cream with sliced peaches on top. As my mother-in-law would have said, “It was a large day.”

Azalea Gardens Park

The azaleas are all finished blooming but the park is still full of flowers.
 Crepe Myrtle of all colors bloomed along the paths.

Ducks and Canada Geese waddled everywhere. It was raining and the visitors were sparse.
The waterfall is a shady place on the hillside which has always been a favorite play place for my children.
White crepe myrtle and bottle brush bushes bloomed along with Canna lilies.
Children had  deserted the playground equipment, but there were two teen girls running back and forth under the park’s sprinkler fountain.
It was a drippy day and plenty hot, but my ride through the park was worth the time. The scent of these white blossoms was like a fine perfume.