Sooner Sister

By Mary

Nearly one year ago I flew to Oklahoma to spend a few days with Nicole before she officially joined the Slattery family and relocated from her Oklahoma roots to the soil of the mid-west, here in central Wisconsin.

After an April wedding, and a May honeymoon in Texas, Nicole settled both herself and her worldly possessions into the apartment that she shares with Robert in Saint Joseph’s Ridge.

St. Joseph Ridge is an unincorporated town running along Hwy 33 with a population of about 500 people. Oklahoma City may be a larger city than little St Joe’s; with it’s population being around 600,000. Even if you were to take a head count that included all the dairy cows surrounding the nearby pastoral area, St. Joe’s still would be a far cry from the census count of Oklahoma’s densely packed city and metro area.

Over the past year, Nicole has done a fantastic job of adjusting to the cold northern winter, to the dark earth, and to the lifestyle and ways of our clan. After the full four seasons cycle, she’s been inundated.

Despite the inundation, there are drawbacks to living in such a rural area. Making friends can be quite a challenge. Back home my Sister-In-Law was accustomed to being surrounded by a group of classy suburban southern friends who she could watch TLC and buy snow cones with. Here we don’t even sell snow cones, and she has to watch sports with Robert instead of TLC.

Nicole did more than bring her material things to Wisconsin though. She also brought with her a wonderful sense of humor and a Sooner heart that is full of love, and open to both humor and adventure. Growing up in the Bible Belt, I bet she never imagined living a life in the Midwest as the wife of a carpenter. I know she always imagined having lots and lots of babies, but really, I dare to say she probably would have thought about having experience like the urine jug saga. I doubt she ever thought that pregnancy pictures such as these would be taken after the traditional post Easter Vigil powwow at Leo and Leona’s.

Initially I must state, this little impromptu photo shoot was designed to highlight the heels she was wearing (she knew it would make Kate proud). However, I got a little carried away and decided that my water chugging Sister needed to show off how fantastically photogenic she is. What better place is there to take pregnancy pictures than behind the bar?

Of course one picture is not enough: especially when the bartender wanted in on the shoot.

Even with her pioneer sooner spirit, Nicole got a bit overwhelmed by the last invisible shoe shot. Maybe it was just baby related acid reflex, I dunno….

After last weeks pow-wow I owe that sister-in-law something special. She’s made life here more complete, and I hope that I have made her life here a bit more full too. If only I liked TLC and was able to buy snow cones…..

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