Stephanie Clinton is a SAHM to two boys ages 9 and 4. She loves their hugs and kisses but does not love wiping their snotty noses. In her past life she has been a Gymboree teacher, an activity director at a retirement home, a business manager and a celebrity sighter. She likes to think of herself as a pretty decent cook, artistic, crafty and sort of okay with a sewing machine. She is a free lance writer, administrator for Oklahoma Women Bloggers and contributor to Metro Family Magazine. In her free time (if there ever is any) she can be found reading, volunteering in her community, singing, avoiding housework but most of all blogging about her stay-at-home adventures. Visit her at www.hugskissesandsnot.com
People love lists.
The top 100 colleges in the US, The best small towns in America, Top 10 vacation destinations, 20 ways to save money on your Disney vacation, the 50 best companies to work for.
I would read all of those lists.
But then you see the negative lists. The ones that highlight how all the foods you thought were good for you are actually killing you; the safety hazards in your home that you have overlooked and it’s a miracle you’re house hasn’t blown up yet; the list of towns that are the worst place to live. How depressing.
Recently one of those depressing lists came out listing the worst states in the US. Oh great. Oklahoma was near the top, “According to CNBC, Oklahoma ranks among the worst states in the nation for crime, health and air quality.” (source: NewsOK) You know what? I claim that is a bunch of B to the S. Sure we have an obesity problem, the pollen count is through the roof and will give any asthmatic nightmares, and the lowest common denominator has brought our crime rate up. Nobody’s perfect. However, there is a whole lot of good happening here.
Let’s talk about the museums, the festivals, the beautiful nature. Did you know that Oklahoma is one of only four states that has more than 10 ecoregions? You don’t have to travel far to find a beautiful vacation destination. Oklahoman’s love festivals…everything from noodling festivals to various music festivals. Did you know we even have a hot air balloon festival? How they pull that off with our blustery weather, I’m not sure, but more power to ’em.
Everybody is going to have a different opinion of what they look for in a place to live. Not everyone is going to agree regarding politics or religion; that is going to be the case no matter where you live. One thing 99% of us can agree upon is the high standard of good will and hospitality in Oklahoma. One visit to the Oklahoma Memorial Museum will define, in no uncertain terms, how Oklahomans can rise to a challenge. When faced with hardship or tragedy they pull themselves up then offer a hand to their neighbor and pull them up too. The worst situations bring out the best in us and there is no such thing as stranger in these circumstances.
One of my hilarious friends who also happens to be a OkWB member, Sabine of Suburbia, had this to say about this stupid list: “Earlier this week I read about the poll ranking Oklahoma as the 2nd worst state to live. Then this morning we went to the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market. We ate Elote puffy breakfast tacos sitting on the sidewalk while listening to a sweet older couple play a guitar and banjo duet. The kids raced to put money in the tip jar. We stopped for coffee and muffins. We listened to various local musicians including a super talented guitar player. I bought almost a complete weeks worth of groceries, all Oklahoma grown and made, while the kids watched the magician on the corner. There are certainly things I would change, a lot of things, but it was nice to be reminded that this place I call home is pretty great at times.”
So, CNBC, I’m making a new list. The list of lists that I’ll never read. You’re on it.