If you take I-35 South out of Norman, you will soon come across Exit 104, Goldsby/Washington. Take that exit and keep going south on Highway 24.
You will drive about seven miles before coming to this sign. As you approach the town, there is a three-way stop. Turn right. Welcome to Washington, Oklahoma, in McClain County. The town was named after George Washington, an Indian Chief, who once lived in the area. (I have forgotten the name of his tribe.)
Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren loved to come visit. There was a ping-pong table in the basement, a trap door with a secret entrance (which was really a laundry chute, but no child would ever want to believe that!), fields to run in and play softball, a barn to explore, two ponds for swimming and fishing, a huge front porch with a swing, and countless cows, chickens, dogs, and cats. When the cousins were at Grandmother's house, everyone wanted to be there, too. Dominoes, Rook (with special Maynard Family rules), and teasing the children were standard game play for the adults.
Grandmother lived a good and full life, surrounded by her family and friends. She passed away on September 26, 2010, five days before her 101st birthday. My mother currently stays at the house part-time, but is preparing to move back to her own home. My mother and aunts and uncles have not yet decided what to do with the house and land.
My mother is 81 now and I haven't lived in the Washington area for over twenty-two years. But this is the place I was raised and it is a big part of who I am. There is a peaceful feeling that descends over me when I recognize the red dirt in the landscape and I know that I am truly home.
But I am struck by the question of how much longer will I be traveling this road to home? ...and it makes me a little bit sad.