Rachel and I drove in circles around Lima and New Lima, Oklahoma on a hot summer Sunday afternoon. We failed at our task: trying to distinguish a border between the two towns. So we asked the locals and received a brief history lesson about the boundaries, and who we might talk with when we reached each side.
We were met with humanity, however, at the first address we were given. After sitting on the porch for a while because we were told, “They might take a while to get to the door,” we tried the back door. And waited some more.
But, the long-time citizen of Lima was sick. Based upon our observations, she was really sick. Her husband struggled to help her with “getting breakfast together,” and she “didn’t even feel like going to church that morning.” Feeling torn between wanting to offer help, and needing to leave, we were dismissed from this private scene politely and told, “Maybe another time.”
We hear that occasionally: “Maybe another time.” Knowing full well we will most likely not return to the towns we seek out, we generally answer, “Sure. Thanks very much.” The subtext of this conversation is most likely: “I’m trying to find a nice way to ask you to leave.” And, “We won’t be back; we can’t return.”
Outside again, we looked around and decided to go across the street to a house with a nice garden. That’s where we met Lorenzo and Molly along with a few of their grandchildren. Molly was a smokeless tobacco user (hence the video subtitles), and Lorenzo was a little hard to understand (hence more video subtitles)…and they were both warm, conversational and welcoming. I’d go back to hang out with them in a heartbeat.
I think New Lima, Oklahoma is a place where, regardless of the sweltering sun, our muscles relaxed a little. Thanks for your hospitality, Molly, Lorenzo and grandkids. Your porch is very comfortable.
New Lima and Lima, OK – Wiki
New Lima, OK is a town in south central Seminole County, about 20 or so miles south of I-40, just a few miles from Wewoka.