Almost the “Pioneer Woman” in Norman, Oklahoma
I just finished reading “The Pioneer Woman – Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,” by Ree Drummond. I was struck by the great love story but also by the similarities to my life. I know the feeling all too well when she said “how did I ever get here?”
Got the L.A. connection – I was born and raised in Los Angeles – I never traveled to Oklahoma as Oklahoma is not exactly a vacation destination for a Southern California girl. Living in the San Fernando Valley –yes that valley known for the “valley girls,” I was always horse crazy. Begging my parents for riding lessons and eventually a horse, I learned to ride English style, jumping and Dressage, and I eventually owned my own horse.
My “Marlboro Man” came in the form of a real estate broker from Norman, OK, whom I met at a real estate convention in Cancun Mexico (I was by then a Realtor in Southern California). Although he doesn’t ride, he can country dance like crazy (he even showed me how to shuffle). Nope, never saw him in chaps, but he looks amazing in Wranglers. Who would have thought a long-distance dating relationship between California and Oklahoma would work – but it did. Before you knew it, I had hired a horse transport to move my horse and furniture (horse on one side and furniture on the other ) to Norman, Oklahoma (just 163 miles from Pawhuska Oklahoma and the real “Pioneer Woman.). Everyone laughed when my furniture was unloaded and there was hay between the cushions. Seventeen years later we are happily married with a beautiful 14-year-old daughter and a thriving real estate business with offices in Norman and Edmond.
Then there is the cattle connection. Yes, my friends and I take our horses on cattle drives in western Oklahoma. It’s 100 horses and 200 “sorta cowboys.” Ever seen the movie, “City Slickers?” I have replaced the English saddle with a Western saddle and the thoroughbred with an American Quarter Horse, but I am living my own Pioneer dream. I have managed to find a great group of friends who all have the “horse gene,” and we enjoy trail riding all around Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas. Living on 12 acres (not quite a cattle ranch – but a spread for a girl from S. California), I love the gorgeous night skies and stars. Just 10 minutes from Lake Thunderbird, I can be riding my horse around a scenic lake, galloping through woods and seeing turkey and deer around each bend.
No, I don’t cook the recipes, but since high cholesterol runs on my mom’s side of the family, that probably is a good thing for me – oh the butter!! But I do have the football-crazy-husband connection – except this one is the Oklahoma Sooners (we do live in Norman, after all, home of the University of Oklahoma). I have actually attended a friend’s wedding on the date, unknowingly picked by the bride, of the annual OU/Texas game. Not only did the ushers all have ear pieces and radios broadcasting the game in their pockets, but the groom did too. They looked like the Secret Service standing at the altar. I can’t imagine the groom’s audio experience of his own wedding ceremony, “do you take this woman to be your bride. . . touchdown!!”
Each year, after visiting family in Southern California, I return home to Oklahoma and think “how did I get here – but I sure am glad I did.” And yes, there are horse ears at the bottom of most of my pictures, too. Cindy Kerr
Posted on: Tuesday the 27th of March 2012.
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Written by: John Rhodes