I’ve always enjoyed a good fireworks show. I like the high aerial displays, with the wide spread of brilliant streams of color. You know, the kind that fill the sky with bright, multicolored patterns.
I don’t necessarily need the loud boom, but it does serve as a punctuation for the display, so I accept it as just part of it.
In my years, I’ve heard plenty of “oohs” and “ahs” during Independence Day celebrations. I’ve also heard a variety of “ouch” and a few other exclamations. In fact, I’ve issued a few of them myself.
That’s one reason I’ve gotten to the point that I actually would rather watch a display than participate in one. Just say I had a few lessons learned.
I’ve seen what happens when someone is careless with fireworks. From burns on the body to burns on the earth to burning houses to glowing auto interiors and other unintentional blazes, I’ve seen, heard, or felt what happens when things don’t go as planned.
I’ve also been involved in reporting on beautiful displays done right, as well as things gone bad, where people and property suffer.
Like most, I enjoyed fireworks from one perspective as a youngster, and have learned to enjoy them from another way as an adult.
Besides, I don’t run as fast these days, so if a projectile comes my way, it takes a little longer to dodge it.
Give me a cool drink, a comfortable chair, friends and family and a great view, and I’m ready to watch the show.
It’s generally safer that way.
Have a great, happy, safe Fourth.
My daughter was complaining yesterday about how hot it was in Midwest City. She apparently forgot how hot it was last summer, when you could boil an egg on the sidewalk every day of the summer.
She tells me that it just feels hotter this summer. I guess I can’t argue, I told her, the older you get, the more the heat affects you. At least from my perspective this is true, of course she is only 18, I tell her, when I was 18 I wasn’t bothered by the heat. This isn’t true of course, but she doesn’t know this.
Reminds me of the stories from my dad and grandpa, about walking through 6 miles of snow and ice to get to school, when a loaf of bread cost a nickel.
I guess each generation has their horror stories, I know this because when I told my daughters that when I was in school, when I wanted to find someone, I drove around until I found them. No cell phones. Their jaws dropped in amazement. The horror!
They asked me what I did as a child for entertainment. I told them I went outside and played. Again, shock and awe. They couldn’t believe kids actually went OUTSIDE to entertain themselves. True story.
So the next time my daughter tells me its too hot to go outside, I will tell her the story of when I used to walk half a mile to school, in the sun. Beads of sweat dripping off of my brow. Thinking how nice it would be to have a cell phone to call someone for a ride.
Only thing is, I had no idea what a cell phone was at the time.
She doesn’t need to know this.
I can see my dad and grandpa smiling now.
Noticing the other day that the one Thunder t-shirt stand in Midwest City has blossomed into three stands overnight. Impressive growth!
I guess if there is ever a time to sell Thunder merchandise on the street corner, now is the time. I haven’t stopped to look at the t-shirts yet, but I will say the ones that I can read from my car are pretty clever and colorful.
Someone told me that some of these stands are operating illegally due to NBA merchandising laws, but I say more power to them. Making people proud of their community team by selling a few t-shirts, nothing wrong with that.
I hope the Thunder continue to win and bring home a World Championship, that would be incredible. It’s amazing the power of a sports team to bring together a community. I wish that we could bottle that and use it year round, maybe do something crazy like eliminate homelessness or help cure poverty or crime.
I wonder how much money is being made by local stores and outlets on Thunder merchandise, I bet it is astronomical. I hope at least a small part of the proceeds are being put back into the community.
You know, do some good.
“Have I got news for you.”
Ever heard that phrase? Most of us either have said that, heard it, or done both during our lives. There’s always something we think is important enough to share with others and they with us.
A few years ago, when we established our “know it” communities we offered readers a chance to share news releases, alerts, recognitions and other information (including photos) by sending their items by email to any or all of the five sites:
Many groups and individuals have participated. You can see what they are sending by going to the reader-submitted area (upper right) of each community:
(Note: You can see all of them by going to: http://knowit.newsok.com/)
The instructions also advise that editors at The Oklahoman will consider items submitted for publication in the newspaper. That has happened.
But now, that has been enhanced by using a page, labeled News From You, each Saturday in the Local/State section of the newspaper.
We even include posted blog material.
So how can you get your information to us for consideration?
You can send to the communities, as mentioned above, by following the directions for emailing.
Or, you can send email to Metro reporters Vallery Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), Matt Patterson (email@example.com), Jane Glenn Cannon in Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Diana Baldwin in Edmond (email@example.com).
It’s your news to share and be shared.
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
You don’t have to be a world traveler to have an enjoyable time for rest and relaxation. And there are plenty of spots right here in Oklahoma that can be entertaining and inexpensive.
Visit http://knowit.newsok.com/travel-tips and wimgo.com to learn what our state has to offer. For tourism purposes, the state has six regions: Frontier Country, Great Plains Country, Green Country, Kiamichi Country, Lake & Trail Country and Red Carpet Country. Each has its unique set of possibilities.
There are some wonderful museums throughout the state. Each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties has museums and/or historic sites that present the past, present and future.
See great worship sites, the large military installations and more.
There are major art exhibits, outstanding historical displays, noteworthy educational sites and lots of musical entertainment possibilities. You can, in a matter of hours, take a trip through time, from the age of dinosaurs to space travel and beyond.
There are top-notch sports venues, great places to get outdoors, as well as Oklahoma’s lakes and streams. Whether it be through the small towns or the large cities, you can see how the residents of our state make their livings and what their contributions are to the state, the nation and the world.
From artwork to natural beauty, Oklahoma has plenty to see. So plan a trip or two, a long weekend, or maybe your next lengthy vacation here in our state.
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.”
You’ve most likely heard that Oklahoma has a weight problem. You may even have one of your own. If so, you aren’t alone by any means.
Obesity is the visible, unfortunate outcome. What gets us there is what really has a grip on our state and our country.
We’ve become too lazy, the experts say. We aren’t concerned about physical fitness. And, we’ve become too lax in our efforts at eating right.
Let me rephrase that. We don’t work on eating right.
Of course, there are those who do exercise, eat right, get the right amount of sleep, cut down on stress and live happy, energetic, successful lives.
I know they’re out there. I’ve seen them in commercials and printed advertisements. Those ads don’t lie, right?
For the rest of us, there is an ongoing battle to do better, or a surrender to those factors that ultimately will shorten our lives.
Don’t expect a lecture from me on being fit and healthy. I’m in that battle myself, as are many people I work with, am related to, or simply know.
These battles are complicated, of course, when other health issues enter the picture. Not everyone can participate in an active, strenuous exercise program. Others have to eat certain foods.
I will admit, however, that there are things anyone can do to improve.
Check out http://knowit.newsok.com/fitness-and-nutrition-oklahoma and see what you can do. It just might save your life.
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.
A couple of days before the long Fourth of July holiday weekend and a few reminders that just might help you have a safe time and save some time.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, along with county and municipal law enforcement, will be watching closely for those who have been drinking and are driving. That extends past the highways and into Oklahoma lakes as well. So, boaters beware.
Also, on the roadways, you had better have your seat belt on, and, in the water, have your life preserver.
As far as travel, check The Oklahoman and NewsOK for roadwork sites to be aware of, and be especially patient on south Interstate 35 north of the Red River.
In a news release Wednesday afternoon, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said: “Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation report significant weekend traffic backups on I-35 this summer at Marietta near the Texas border, particularly Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Tie-ups are much less frequent during non-peak times, such as mornings and weekdays.
”In addition to the caution normally expected of drivers in and near work zones, motorists are asked to expect delays of at least one-half hour during peak travel times in this area. Delays are often longer in the event of collisions.
“The construction zone can be avoided by using an alternate route such as U.S. 77, which runs parallel to I-35 throughout most of the state. Other possible alternates include U.S. 69/U.S. 75, U.S. 81 and U.S. 377.
“A six-mile stretch of highway is being reconstructed in the area. The $13 million project is expected to continue until mid-October. However, incentives are being offered for early completion. All ramps remain open.”
ODOT is not kidding, folks. I traveled through that area a couple of weeks ago and it was just as described.
Weatherwise, it should be hot, so have plenty of water and plenty of sunscreen. You’re going to need it.
And lastly, be careful, with fireworks or any other activity. Make it a happy, safe celebration.
For a list of holiday activities, go to wimgo.com and entered a date and/or location. For additional information, go to:
Have a great holiday.