Okie Treasures



Katie Fikes

Pictures that embody inspiration; we’ve all seen them.  The subjects of these photographs we put on a pedestal are vastly different.  For many people, humanity is their inspiration.  For others, it is the animal world above and below the sea. Still for others, those pictures are of the natural world.

When I think of inspiring pictures I think of these broad categories. And when I want to look at such pictures all I have to do is go to my collection of National Geographic magazines and look at the cover photo. These photos inspire me in many ways because they show the world in which I live. Yet, it does so with a different perspective.

Many times I get into the dangerous routine of looking at those photos with my mouth watering to travel to the places depicted.  My wanderlust always acts up and I want to be anywhere but where I am.  I plan fantasy trips to places all over the world.  However, I am humbled and set back to reality when an issue about the United States comes out.  And so I start driving.  I am intrigued by the fact that I can overlook something so incredible.  I see all the beauty and adventure that I can find right in my own back yard.

As a born and raised Okie, I always thought I had to travel half-way around the world to see inspiring people, animals, or nature.  However, Oklahoma is saturated with things to do and things to see.  Oklahoma’s culture is just as rich as any other place in the world; and better yet, it is my own culture.  I can claim it and brand it as my own and share it with others who are actively seeking it out.

That’s why I have decided to embark on an adventure.  I’m going to delve into the culture around me and take anyone who is willing along with me.

“Okie Treasures” will be a column that is jam-packed with every aspect of Oklahoma living.  From the people and animals that inhabit the land to the land itself.  Every part is just a small piece of the puzzle.

Oklahoma is divided into six distinct geographical regions.  Each region has its own unique characteristics.  I hope to unearth any hidden gem a region has to offer and show others, who, like me, might not know about that precious stone.

I will take us on trips that explore zoos and museums all the way to shopping opportunities and festivals.  Everything within the Kansas border and the Red River and within the New Mexico and Arkansas borders embodies what means to be an Oklahoma.

My hope in creating this column is not only to inform others of the amazing sites Oklahoma has to offer, but also a more personal goal.  Yes, it may seem like I am being selfish or that I have a hidden agenda, but I am perfectly fine with that. I am seeking to quench the thirst my wanderlust leaves me.  I want to truly understand the words I am saying when I sing,

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain,

And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet

When the wind comes right behind the rain.

Oklahoma, ev’ry night my honey lamb and I

Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin’ lazy circles in the sky.

We know we belong to the land

And the land we belong to is grand!

And when we say–Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay!

We’re only sayin’ You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma–O.K

I hope you will join me on this quest to extract any “Okie Treasure.”