Oklahomans honestly can say that theirs is a state of cultural diversity. This states has become home to representatives of many — if not most — of the known cultures of the world.
It’s a state of many colors, and not just in the landscape. Through education, occupational opportunities, military assignments, personal relocation, or other reasons, Oklahoma has gained residents from all the continents, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
We may not be the largest state, but we certainly have diversification in our numbers.
The traditions of other cultures have produced some of Oklahoma’s best-attended events, ranging from festivals to re-enactments, from annual reunions to competitions.
The clothing, the music, the food and the games of these cultures comes to life in numerous community events during an average year.
There is history, there is progress, there is future to be explored.
You can learn more about what cultural events are planned for Oklahoma by going to wimgo.com or by looking at the material in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/CULTURE.
You also can discover what is located within Oklahoma’s six tourism and recreation areas by going to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/TRAVEL-TIPS.
Enjoy the journey.
The Families Anonymous organization has a priceless Emeeting for parents of addicted children.
This organization is specifically tailored for parents’ who are dealing with an addicted child.
You simply read the stories and/or questions parent’s summit, then read the excellent responses they get from the more experienced members.
The Emeeting is an email (LISTSERV-styled) discussion group. It is the largest and most active group in the fellowship consisting of more than 500 members. It is available to the members 24 hours a day /seven days a week.
Members of the group hail from all over the world and share their Experience, Strength and Hope by typing their message to the list. The Emeeting averages more than 2,000 email messages per month.
One Important Note: many members choose to open a separate email account to keep this separate from their private email There are many free accounts you can open for this purpose
Those looking to subscribe to the Emeeting can do so by sending a “BLANK” email (nothing in the subject line or body of the text) to: TABW-On@mail-list.com.
You will then receive a confirmation email from the server that you must “REPLY” to without
The following is Part 2 of my responses from parents on what they have learned from their experiences with addiction and their child.
“I learned that I can only control how I react to a person, a situation or a comment.”
“I have learned not to engage in arguments with my child. Disengage!”
“I have learned my daughter’s addiction is not my fault.”
“I have learned that a relapse starts well before an addict actually engages in substance abuse.”
“I have learned It is a disease and that is cunning, baffling and powerful. ”
“I have learned It is so much more powerful than I am.”
“I have learned I am powerless over my daughter and her choices.”
“I have learned that powerlessness does not mean helpless or weakness.”
“I learned the more I try to control another person place or thing the less peace I have in my life.”
“I have learned that consequences do not matter to addicts.”
“I learned that my daughter is a sick kid trying to get better and not a bad kid trying to get good.”
“I learned to ask for help.”
“I have learned that 12-step programs work.”
“I learned to trust the process. ”
“I learned to let my son suffer his own consequences.”
“I learned that there is hope.”
What parent’s have learned through their own personal recovery:
“I learned that there is a God and it is not me.”
“I learned that I did the very best I could with what I had … and that was enough.”
“I learned that I love my daughter with all my heart but I have my own life to live.”
“I learned to save myself and let my family watch.”
“To live in the present moment.”
“I learned to be grateful for everything.”
“I learned that there are miracles.”
“I learned that I am worthy of love and have a tremendous capacity to love other people.”
“I learned that prayer is powerful.”
“I learned to experience all there is in this life.”
“I have learned about accepting the things I cannot change and learned to have courage to change the things I can. ”
“I have learned to forgive myself.”
“I learned that fear is selfish.”
“I learned to trust.”
“I learned to laugh again.”
“I learned how to have my head, my heart and my body in the same place at the same time.”
I learned to love this life I am living one day at a time.”
The cartoons in the “funny pages” of the paper are not just there to make us laugh. A cartoon is often the medium an artist uses to make us think. He uses it to make statement or moral point he wants to confer to his observers.
There was a Garfield cartoon earlier this week in The Oklahoman that I cut out and taped to my monitor to remind me that I’m OK.
Jon points his finger at Garfield and says, “You’re not perfect, you know.”
Garfield pauses to process this statement and thinks, “I must agree” but then he adds, “It is my one fault.”
First I had a chuckle, then I realized that I am just a person, not perfect, and I can own up to my faults, but I don’t have to carry the guilt of faults that are not really mine to own.
That’s pretty powerful if you think about it.
All parents look back at the way they raised their children and see mistakes they made, better ways they could have handled problems and crises than they did in the moment. Parents of addicted children are especially good at that. They heap blame and shame unmercifully on themselves. This is neither healthy nor helpful.
I have never met a parent mired in this world of addiction who did not enable his child. It is just a fact that, even after having read every book on addiction, attended Families Anonymous and/or Al-Anon meetings, had personal counseling by a licensed therapist, you will, on occasion, still enable your child. You do the very best you can, reaching out with love and encouragement, and there is no blame or shame in that.
Nothing you did drove him to make the choices he made.
Forgiveness of our loved one is a first step toward our own healing, our personal recovery. But the next step is to put the mistakes you thought you made with your child in the past. We did what every parent would do, has done and will continue to do, as they grope with the insane world of addiction.
I encourage you to focus your forgiveness on your addicted child.
No forgiveness is necessary for you!
I hear often from many individuals on how a friend or relative made a conscious decision one day to quit abusing alcohol or other drugs. The individual who suddenly quits may have had a short stay in the local jail, or perhaps he/she fails in love and that love, the person will tell you, was greater than his/her desire to continue abusing a drug of choice.
These examples are simply anomalies and may not be associated with the disease of addiction. The disease I write about in my blog is one of a chronic condition that is medically accepted as a brain disease, a primary disease. At this stage, an individual does not have the mental or physical ability to stop without help.
I recently had a conversation with an alcoholic who just celebrated 24 years of sobriety. I asked him how he found sobriety and he simply said that he decided one day to just check himself into an in-patient treatment program. He went on to say that most of the alcoholics he has met while in treatment had a similar experience.
I was taken aback by his explanation, so I decided to investigate further. My research indicates that it’s rare when an individual, of his own accord, makes a decision to enter an in-patient program. Sure enough, I learned that he was divorced and the divorce was a direct result of his drinking.
In addition, he was sent to jail for several months and of course, he lost his job due to inability to perform his duties. Finally, he admitted he was homeless and his car had been impounded.
Now, all this occurred over an extended period, but you can see that it was the accumulation of repeated consequences that brought him to his moment of clarity.
It’s obvious that if everything is going well in your life, as you continue to abuse alcohol or other drugs, there would not be any reason to make a conscious decision to go into treatment. This is why most alcohol/drug counselors will advise family and friends to allow the natural consequences abusing alcohol/drugs to create that moment of awareness for their loved ones.
If you have a loved one who suffers from the disease of addiction, reach out to them through love and do a formal intervention. Please get them the help they need.
I have never heard of an intervention that failed. Even if the individual refuses the help, he/she will know how much they are loved. Rest assured that eventually they will return and seek the help you have offered.
To understand the disease of addiction, I recommend visiting Dr. Kevin McCauley’s Web site and ordering his excellent DVD on addiction.
Holidays and winter days are just around the corner, and now’s a good time to make those last-minute preparations for colder weather.
If you haven’t already, there are some key repairs you should make, the experts say. Such as:
* If you have a fireplace, have it cleaned and inspected. A chimney sweep can remove built-up soot and creosote, which can lead to a chimney fire.
* Check the mortar for gaps and chips.
* Use a cap or screen on the top of the chimney to keep out birds and small animals. Fireplace experts say you should inspect the fireplace damper to make sure it opens and closes properly.
* Buy or cut up firewood and store it in a dry place, preferably away from the home exterior., call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
* Have a professional inspect your furnace. Clean the ducts.
* Change the furnace filters. If possible, have extras on hand.
* A programmable thermostate can help regulate temperatures better and save you money.
* If you have a hot-water radiator, have the valves bled. This is done by slightly opening them, then, when water appears, close them.
* Make sure all flammable material is removed from around the furnace.
* Check all doors and windows leading to the outside. Look for cracks and exposed areas around pipes. Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
* Replace cracked glass.
* If you have a basement, check for any water or gas leakes. You might want to protect window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
* Clean out gutters an downspouts.
* If necessary, add extra insulation in your attic and any other location that will accept it. Also be sure to inspect the roof and the flashing to avoid leaks.
* Check your foundation and seal up or cover any spaces where small animals could get under the house.
* Drain all outside hoses and disconnect them from the faucet, then cover the faucet.
* Know where your water cutoff is located.
These are just some preparations you can make. Learn more by going to http://knowit.newsok.com/severe-weather-oklahoma and checking the resources area.
I’d like to say that in almost 40 years in this business, I’ve heard it all. But I can’t. They just keep coming.
I’ve quoted many times longtime columnist and former Managing Editor Frank Boggs, who said, “The readers always write.” To me, it’s the journalist’s version of “The customer’s always right.” You’re gonna hear from them.
It may not be a column or an editorial they disgreed with. But it doesn’t have to be a commentary on a story or photo they saw in the newspaper or on line. It might be something they saw or heard somewhere and just wanted to make a comment on it.
It can be entertaining, to say the least.
Here are some samples:
* * * * *
“Do we still have people on the moon? I saw a show about all that stuff we left up there and I wondered if the United States still had someone up there watching over it.”
I answered him best I could that I didn’t know of anyone still on the moon, and that the “stuff” we left up there from previous space missions was mostly discarded material no longer used or working.
* * * * *
There have been a few space-related “contacts.” Mostly, late-night phone calls involving unidentified flying objects.
“Has anyone else reported seeing that round thing with the blinking lights flying over the water plant last night?”
“It was big. It just kinda sat up there a while. I just wondered if anyone else saw it.”
He hung up right after saying he would call the local Air Force base and ask if it “showed up on their radar.”
Oh, well. The Air Force knows full well how to handle calls about UFOs, blinking lights and aliens.
* * * * *
“Can you get a ticket for driving a riding lawn mower when you’re drunk?”
If you’re driving it on a public street, it’s possible. The offense? It depends upon where and how you were driving.
* * * * *
“My sister and I were wondering … how do you make mud?”
Well, you get the necessary ingredients, such as dirt and water, and mix them together.
You can shape the mix and use it for building, but you need to do so before it hardens.
* * * * *
“Can you drown by drinking from a garden hose?”
Yes. It doesn’t take a lot of water to cause a drowning. A couple of inches can do it.
Please don’t try that at home.
* * * * *
And there’s always someone who wants to talk politics. So you get a call like this.
“Who’s going to be the next president?”
Simple. The one who gets the most votes … from the electoral college.
* * * * *
There are some unusual people out there, thinking unusual thoughts. See examples in http://knowit.newsok.com/unsual-weird-oklahoma and checkign the state, nation and world categories.
There’s more to our “know it” communities than news about Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon, and there’s an open invitation to you to become part of it.
Each of these communities has other cities and towns nearby. Sometimes, it’s hard to distinguish where one ends and another begins, and.or there is overlap. We set up the online communities to include them.
“Why didn’t you just use north, south, east and west?” a reader once asked me.
We needed a focal point, a center for each coverage area. Problem was, we still had some equally (or nearly as) large cities close enough in some areas that it almost required a double-emphasis name. For instance, Edmond and Guthrie; Midwest City and Del City; Norman and Moore; or Yukon and Mustang.
There also are those who believe that Bricktown is almost a city within itself … and within Oklahoma City.
So why didn’t we put together separate “know it” communities for each of them? For now, it’s more manageable, more functional to do it this way. Will that change in the future? We’ll see. Just about anything is possible.
We do have a “play position,” or key story on the page for each community. That allows us to emphasize a story from any of the cities and towns in that area. You might have a big event occurring in Guthrie or Piedmont in the lead position in “know it: Edmond.” Or, it might be a critical city council meeting in Moore that leads “know it: Norman.” The top story for “know it: Yukon” might be something big in Mustang.
You see how it works.
But there’s more. You can contribute to the coverage for your area.
If you’re looking for a way to get the news out about an upcoming event, deliver a word of praise, or perhaps an update or follow-up is needed to those in your community. Here’s a possibility for you. Our “know it” geographical communities can help.
Need some help getting the word out about your upcoming event? Maybe you want to say “thanks” to an individual or group. Or, it could be that you need to send an update or reminder about a community happening.
Our “know it” geographical communities can help.
Readers can use Twitter feeds to get their messages out in the five “know it” online communities — Edmond, Mid-Del, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon. These include the surrounding area for each city.
Each community has a specific hashtag, similar to other web tags, that helps add personal messages, or “tweets,” to a category. Hashtags have the “hash” or “pound” sign preceding them.
The specific hashtags for the “know it” communities are:
- Edmond area — #knowedmond
- Mid-Del area — #knowmwc
- Norman area — #knownorman
- Oklahoma City area — #knowokc
- Yukon area — #knowyukon
The tags also can be added to other hash tags, such as #NewsOK or #okpreps.
Each “know it” community features a special area titled “NEWS SUBMITTED BY YOU,” where information such as news releases can be added.
To use that area, the reader creates an e-mail with a document or photo attached, then sends it to the address for the particular community:
Here are some tips for using this feature:
- Add the e-mail address to your list of those who normally receive your news. (The other e-mail addresses will not appear online.)
- Send your information and/or photos as a SINGLE ATTACHMENT to your e-mail. (PLEASE NOTE: Text from the e-mail will not appear online. An attachment may be a WORD document [.doc], a text file [.txt], a portable document [.pdf], or a jpeg picture [.jpg].)
- The subject line will be your headline, so be specific about what is most important that you want to emphasize. Example: Cross Timbers Elementary plans open house on Tuesday.
- Avoid punctuation and ALL CAPS in your subject line, but do capitalize the first letter of the first word and all formal titles.
- Remember to tell others about this service!
All sites can be accessed by going to http://knowit.newsok.com.
Editors and reporters consider information submitted for possible use in other sections.
Each community link is a “window” into that city and area, its offerings, its people. These are living, growing communities online, just as they are in real life. We continuously look for new information to add to them, in addition to the items that flow there from The Oklahoman reports.
The design is such that readers can glean a wealth of information about their community, quickly and efficiently, by simply clicking on the topic, ranging from stories to facts and figures on people, services and locations.
It’s all here for you.