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August 2021

Edmond to Everest Mother and daughter on an adventure of a lifetime

Blue Hippo Festival Outside the Box OKC Ballet’s Kara Troester


People-watching is one of my favorite pastimes. One of my favorite places to people-watch is at POPS on Route 66 in Arcadia. Sometimes I ride up there, and sometimes I drive up there. I enjoy watching families make seemingly the most important decision of their lives as to which grape soda they’re going to enjoy the most. Which is understandable because there are dozens of them. Me, I just grab some variety of lemon lime soda and just hang out. There are lots of car clubs that meet up there, so there’s always something to check out. If you like people-watching on overload, check out Heard on Hurd. If you can, grab a table outdoors or bring your own lawn chair and watch the people eat, visit, maybe even dance a little. And as a bonus, Heard on Hurd is a dog friendly event, so if you are into dog-watching, and people-watching – this is the event for you. Of course, you have to brave the crowds. So maybe staying home is more your thing. There’s no need to be left out of your Edmond people-watching. Every other Monday, our Edmond City Council meets, and the meeting is streamed live. There’s a wonderful portion of the event, called “Citizens Comments” that rarely disappoints. These are our neighbors, highlighting important topics – and their important opinions about city government. Truly more than just people-watching – it’s an opportunity to learn more about our wonderful city, with a generous side of entertainment. Dave Miller Publisher & Back40 Design President

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Features 8

Blue Hippo Festival

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Local Eats: Neighborhood JA.M.

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Edmond to Everest

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Outside the Box

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Azzurra Farms

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En Pointe at Home

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Lorraine’s Collection

Business 22

Freedom Health Solutions

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INTEGRIS Health Edmond

Columns 7

In Other Words With Dave

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Louise Tucker Jones

ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l sales@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA 1024 W Covell, Edmond, OK 73003 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com August 2021 Volume 17, Number 8

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2021 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l EDITOR Jennay Wangen l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Angie Clemens Byers l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend, Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond area homes. Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.


EVENTLOOK By Dave Miller

Blue Hippo Festival

Edmond Historical Society & Museum, Stephenson Park August 6th & 7th

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Every community along historic Route 66 has its own personality. Edmond has one particularly quirky roadside attraction that has become a bright blue beacon to folks traveling along Broadway—the Blue Hippo! Much like the blue whale of Catoosa, the hippo is an ironic icon for a town built on the prairie. Which is exactly why it’s so fun! The fact that the hippo’s background is sprinkled with mystery and hijackings just adds to the allure of this hometown oddity. As the Edmond Historical Society & Museum began creating a new exhibit about Edmond’s role along Route 66, a grand opening ceremony seemed in order–but not an ordinary ribbon cutting. They want to celebrate the exhibit in a big, humongous way. “And nothing says humongous like a hippo,” said museum director, Amy Stephens. The Route 66 Blue Hippo Festival will be held at the museum and in Stephenson Park on Aug 6th & 7th from Noon-4:00pm each day. Activities, which range from carnival games to historic house tours, will all center around the themes of Route 66, Edmond history, and of course, hippos. Live artists will be in the park painting or drawing—you guessed it—hippos, and musicians will be playing BLUEgrass and the BLUES. Visitors can participate in a community art project, an oversized artwork of a blue hippo that will hang in the children’s play area of the museum. Blue classic cars will be viewable, and there’s even a classic Hungry, Hungry Hippo station. “This grassroots festival is based on the premise that history doesn’t have to be so serious,” Stephens said. “Our Covid-weary community could get behind some silliness. Adults are invited to join in the same activities as the kids.” Edmond certainly has other important landmarks along its route. The 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse is significant as the first school in the territory after the Land Run. The community of Arcadia, directly east of Edmond, has the wellknown Arcadia Round Barn and Pops. But there’s something about a blue hippo that screams, “Stop and take a selfie!” Although the actual blue hippo will remain at its location at 12th & Broadway, guests to the festival will have ample opportunity to take photos with a blue hippo mascot or a scaled-down version of the hippo being created by artist, Jay Tracy, for the museum’s permanent exhibit. “Wear blue clothes, dye your hair blue—just have fun with it,” Stephens said. “I guarantee that you won’t leave this festival feeling, well, blue.” For festival information visit EdmondHistory.org. To learn more about the blue hippo, visit www.edmondoutlook.com/ happy-the-blue-hippo


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FOODLOOK FEATURELOOK

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

Neighborhood JA.M. Neighborhood JA.M. is now open in Edmond! Serving classics for creatures of habit, decadent sweet takes, freshly made biscuits, sammies and bennies daily from 6:30am to 2:30pm. They’ve found their niche catering to both early risers and the brunch and lunch seekers. Though this is the concept’s fifth location, Edmond is the first location to be custom built for Neighborhood JA.M. The patio is spacious with shade and heaters, making it an option year round. Ample table and booth seating can handle the crowd and all their cravings. The bar offers extra seating and allows an up-close view of the well stocked bar with libations served from 8am until close. The Man Behind the Jam Neighborhood JA.M. is the brainchild of restaurant industry raised, Michael Kraft. Michael’s father Hank is behind some of the area’s best restaurants, serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Hal Smith Restaurants. While studying Hospitality Management at Ole Miss, Michael was inspired to create a place where breakfast could go beyond just another way to start the day and become an occasion worth celebrating. He returned home and began working on the concept, bringing a fresh take to the brand’s thriving lineup of restaurants. Beyond the Cup Neighborhood JA.M. serves Topeca Coffee, grown in El Salvador and roasted in Tulsa. The quality of the process from seed to cup produces a notable difference in taste. Michael had the opportunity to travel and meet the farmers in El Salvador. He says, “We value relationships with our purveyors and source ingredients we feel confident serving to our guests.” Espresso drinks are carefully crafted in addition to the bottomless drip coffee. The iced Sam Elliot signature latte is made using coffee ice cubes, ensuring flavor until the end. 10

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Joshua Lindsey

Neighborhood JA.M.’s cocktails, beers and wines offer an opportunity to kick brunch up a couple notches. The Wild Thornberry cocktail is made using locally distilled, wild berry infused Loyal Gin. The Bubbles on Lift Off mimosa flight is the perfect way to toast the day. Scratch Made Modern No corners are cut with biscuits rolled fresh all day and served alongside housemade jam. Proving their commitment to local, the menu features the products of more than 30 local brands. The Heap, as the name suggests, is piled high with hash browns, two eggs your way, your meat of choice, pico, avocado, cotija, cilantro and chives all on top of toast. You can’t go wrong with the Bennies. The Westside features lox served on a toasted everything bagel with ample toppings. For those wishing to stick to the lighter side, try the not-soaverage Avocado Toast with Campari tomatoes, eggs, arugula tossed with champagne vinaigrette and balsamic glaze. The Acai Bowl and Bison Bowl offer a nutritious and filling start to the day. Sweet cravings can be satisfied with the creative pancake offerings and the Excuse Our French (Toast), made with challah bread, mascarpone, fruit and maple cream. That’s My Jam Neighborhood JA.M. will bring a new option to East Edmond along with a good neighbor spirit by supporting local nonprofits and offering discounts for first responders and nurses. Be sure to check out and join the waitlist via Yelp, and take advantage of their range of ordering options from carry out to full-service catering. Visit Neighborhood JA.M. East Edmond at 2332 E 2nd Street, Edmond, OK 73034.


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FEATURELOOK

Jess Wedel

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

Edmond to Everest Jess Wedel earned the nickname “Nak” as she made the journey toward the top of Mount Everest. Naks, female yaks, live at higher altitudes than any other mammal, are unbothered by subzero temperatures, and navigate steep inclines with surefooted confidence. Jess had an affinity for Naks before earning the nickname, “they’re cute, very tough and a little mean if you get in their way.” Jess and her mother Valari left their home in Edmond to journey to Mount Everest in March of 2021. To their knowledge, they were the first mother and daughter pair to ever attempt the climb. Over the last several years, they completed all the prerequisites without it being a spoken goal. Jess says, “Sure. Everest was always in the back of our minds, but it wasn’t the intention from the beginning.” No Obstacle too High Valari fell in love with climbing on a trip to Mount Rainier twenty years ago. On a trip to Nepal with her husband in 2013, Valari made her first attempt to ascend Mount Everest. Unfortunately, their trip was cut short due to complications with their older daughter Colby’s cancer diagnosis. A few years later Jess developed a rare form of ovarian cancer. She went through surgery and chemotherapy with mom by her side, cheering her on through every obstacle. Colby has since recovered as has Jess. When declared cancer free in 2016, Jess got serious about climbing, “Having a life threatening diagnosis changes everything.” The Wedel family has faced obstacles much higher than Everest. Jess and Valari climb in honor and in memory of those who cannot. 12

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Respecting the Mountain The process of climbing Everest is demanding on resources, time, body, mind and spirit. Jess and Valari spent many days in their tent, hunkered down as they waited for unpredictable weather conditions to pass. Valari recalls, “Those were sweet days. We talked and laughed, but we spent a lot of time in silence together.” They hoped for a moment at the top together. “I made it farther than anyone thought, farther than I thought I would,” Valari says. Her battle with asthma worsened, and she made the decision to descend early. Jess speaks of her mom with reverence, “It takes wisdom and guts to make the call to leave. Mom values and respects the mountain and her life.” Jess was heartbroken to say goodbye to her mom on the mountain, but was determined to keep going. With the peak in sight, the crew prepared to summit while acclimating at the last basecamp. A few hours before Jess’ summit rotation, a member of the Sherpa crew became ill and the climb was called off. Jess made the descent of Mount Everest in the fastest known time. She donned her trail running vest and ran without looking back. Starting at 17,400k, she ran 35 miles descending 8000 feet in 10 hours and 50 minutes. Unexpected Expedition Her journey to Mount Everest didn’t end as planned, but Jess was soon back in her preferred higher altitude and ready to climb again. Just hours after returning home from Nepal, she received a call from RMI Expeditions in Washington with a request that she join their team as a mountain guide. “It’s come full circle to see Jess lead expeditions up Rainier.” Valari joined Jess on Mount Rainier in July and was amazed as she watched her insight and instincts take over, “The climb was flawless, healing in a way. I sat back in awe of her, yet again.”


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FEATURELOOK

Julia Blasdel

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

perfect way to introduce the community to the program. Julia serves as a graphic artist for the City of Edmond. She says, “It’s so exciting to see my artwork displayed in such an innovative way and so close to my office.”

Edmond Electric’s Program to Spread Public Art

A Blank Canvas for Local Artists Jessica’s hope is to add local artists to the pre-approved list of art and to have sponsor businesses partner with local artists to create custom designs for their utility box wrap. “My hope is that sponsors will think outside the box, of course!” Edmond’s public art program began twenty years ago and has picked up momentum recently with many new public art pieces added throughout the city, the Rollin’ Deep Mural festival, and VIBES art walk. The pilot program was a hit; three more wraps have been completed with more underway. Those interested in sponsoring a utility box wrap may submit a request by selecting a pre-approved design or submitting original artwork to be approved by the Edmond Visual Arts Commission. In most cases, the boxes being wrapped are on the property of the business or individual submitting the application, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Jessica says, “we’ve had some ideas thrown around about a utility box wrap outside the Rodkey House and the Edmond library. A sponsor has expressed interest in covering the cost.” Costs vary depending on the size and complexity of each box, but Jessica says sponsors can expect the contribution to be between $500 - $1,000 per box. The City of Edmond will coordinate installation through their streamlined process. For more information about Outside the Box, visit the City of Edmond’s website or contact outsidethebox@edmondok. com.

Outside the Box Utility, transformer and traffic boxes play a valuable role in our city’s function, but these large green and silver boxes are not exactly pleasing to the eye. They sit next to traffic lights and in business and residential areas throughout the city. Jessica Lyle, Edmond Electric’s Community Program Manager, has spearheaded an effort to turn these unconventional canvases into works of art. Thinking Outside the Box “We’ve seen how art can transform a space. Adding utility boxes as ‘canvases’ to the already thriving public art program just makes sense.” says Jessica Lyle. She began working on “Outside the Box” in early 2020 and says the City of Edmond council and staff were immediately intrigued by the idea of adding these boxes to the public art program. The pilot program was completed in July 2020 with four traffic boxes in Downtown Edmond. The first boxes were wrapped using repurposed artwork from the City of Edmond’s 2020 calendar. Artist Julia Blasdel says, “I added a whimsical touch to some of Edmond’s most iconic places. It’s one of my favorite projects to date.” The artwork, paired with the high foot traffic location was the

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FEATURELOOK By Amy Dee Stephens

Shannon Campbell

Penny Antkowiak

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Azzurra: The Little Blue Farm Last year, two high school science teachers joined forces to create Azzurra Farms out of a backyard greenhouse. Shannon Campbell and Penny Antkowiak grew 6,000 plants and sold nearly every one of them this spring. They both felt pleased with the successful sale and the side income to their teachers’ salaries–but there was deeper meaning to their enterprise than the simple love of gardening. “I grew up on a farm with a huge garden outside,” Shannon said. “I drove a tractor and was involved in Future Farmers of America my whole childhood. My dad taught me so much about nature, but then he got sick in early 2020 and passed away. I felt a little defeated. If Dad could have just seen how this turned out, well, that would have been precious.” For Penny, gardening was the lifeline she needed to face the struggle of her Multiple Sclerosis. “Penny doesn’t need to go home from school and sit,” Shannon said. “This is something to strive for. To live for.” Besides the healing power of gardening, Shannon and Penny both found that Azzurra satisfied their natural instinct to educate. “We enjoyed interacting with the customers who came to our spring sale, answering questions about why we don’t use pesticides or how easy it is to propagate basil,” Shannon said. Following their teacher instinct, Shannon and Penny, who have a combined total of 47 years in the classroom, taught plant camps and incorporated gardening skills into their ecology lessons at school. “It’s important for kids to learn about bees and how to grow pollination plants,” Shannon said. “We grow flowers, herbs and vegetables from high quality seeds, and we only grow plants from our zone. Many of our plants you would find at a store, but we have some that are harder to find, such as African marigolds that grow five feet tall and Nasturtium plants with edible flowers,” Shannon said. Shannon and Penny selected the name Azzurra, which loosely translates to “little blue farm” in Italian, because Shannon loves Italy, and when she purchased an acre and a half property in north Edmond six years ago, she felt like it was her own “little oasis.” Penny joined the venture, and their friendship has blossomed through gardening. “We’re just two teachers, trying to give back to our community. It’s a labor of love. After a long day of teaching, it’s great to come home to something you enjoy.” They hope to expand into additional greenhouses in the future, but for now, seeds are already growing in preparation for their fall plant sale. “Maybe we can open a storefront someday,” Shannon said. “I wish my dad could have seen our greenhouse this spring, filled with 6,000 little pots. Azzurra Farms really is a tribute to him.”


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BIZLOOK

Freedom Health Solutions By Maria Veres Keeping your home or business disease-free is a constant challenge these days. Freedom Health Solutions can help. The Edmond-based company offers a full range of air purifiers and sanitizing solutions for every space. Breathe Freely Again Disinfectants do a great job. But they only work for a limited time, and then disease-causing microbes come right back. Air purifiers get rid of airborne viruses and other harmful particles before they ever have a chance to accumulate.

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Air purification systems are more than just filters. They actually cleanse the air through a combination of filtration, oxidation, and ionization. Besides zapping germs, the purifiers also reduce allergens and odors. “They’re great for pet owners and people with chronic health conditions,” says owner Corey Watson. Freedom Health Solutions distributes high-quality Aerus products, manufactured with technology originally used by NASA. They also sell high-quality disinfectants and sanitizers. The company serves business and residential clients throughout the OKC area. Corey is a native Oklahoman who also owns another health-focused local business, Visiting Angels private duty senior care. Safe Solutions for Every Need Aerus air purifiers are budget-friendly and easy to maintain. Most last up to five years or more and use only about the same energy as a ceiling fan. They cleanse

Air purification system

the air twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, eliminating the need for constant disinfecting. Clients can choose from a wide variety of purifiers, from small mobile units to large systems for medical offices and other businesses. Freedom Health Solutions offers free air quality testing and free equipment demos for up to twenty-four hours. “The best way to learn about what we can do is to see for yourself,” says Corey. “This is an affordable, long-term solution.” Freedom Health Solutions is located at 2000 West Danforth Road, Suite 132, Edmond. Contact them at 405-227-8484 or www.freedomhealthsolutionsok.com.


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BIZLOOK

INTEGRIS Health Edmond By Maria Veres Many Edmond residents used to go elsewhere for medical treatment. Now, thanks to the high quality of care at INTEGRIS Health Edmond, patients from other parts of the state are coming here. The center has expanded its beds and services just in time for its tenth anniversary in October. Meeting Edmond’s Medical Needs INTEGRIS Health Edmond has more than doubled in size, going from 40 beds to 102 beds. They’ve also expanded post-acute care services and outpatient

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services, including physical therapy, radiology, and more. Patients have access to an on-site pharmacy and highly qualified specialists. Arcadia Trails INTEGRIS Center for Addiction Recovery offers comprehensive in-patient addiction treatment. “We’re excited that we can provide such a high level of care,” says INTEGRIS Health Edmond Chief Hospital Executive Jon Rule. Fighting COVID-19 New construction is always a challenge, and it’s even harder in a pandemic. “We have treated more than 400 COVID-19 patients,” says Rule. “These are our friends, our families, our neighbors. Our caregivers have been outstanding.” INTEGRIS Health Edmond is committed to protecting the community through vaccinations. The on-site pharmacy has all three FDA-approved vaccines available by appointment. “The vaccines are very effective,” says Rule. “We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

INTEGRIS Health Edmond

A Great Place to Grow With a tranquil, wooded 45-acre campus, INTEGRIS Health Edmond has plenty of room to keep pace with the city’s future needs. The campus is user-friendly and easy to navigate, with no downtown traffic snarls or parking headaches. “We’ve received so much support from the city, the Chamber of Commerce, and the people of Edmond,” says Rule. “We’re going to continue to grow and meet the needs of this community.” INTEGRIS Health Edmond is located at 4801 INTEGRIS Parkway and online at www.integrisok.com.


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FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

En Pointe At Home

Photo by Diana Bittle

Photo by Jana Carson

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Oklahoma City Ballet dancer, Kara Troester, feels like the luckiest dancer in the world. She’s surrounded by the best dancers from around the world, and yet she is the local talent. “It’s incredibly rare for a professional dancer to work in her hometown,” Kara said. “Many dancers go their whole lifetime without that opportunity, so I’m very privileged.” As a three-year old, Kara began training at a ballet academy in Edmond under Lisa Webb. During Kara’s junior year, she homeschooled in order to focus more fully on dancing. At 17, she was offered a job in a Kansas City ballet company and spent two years “learning about the ballet world.” She felt tugged back home, however, and was thrilled when her audition earned her a place with the Oklahoma City Ballet. During the Covid-19 shut-down, Kara was especially grateful to be home. Her parents built a miniature studio for her to continue dancing, until the company brought the dancers back together into two separate pods. “Dancing in masks was not easy, and it pushed us to communicate and express emotion in new ways—especially with our eyebrows,” Kara said, laughing. Professional ballet companies are intensely competitive and physically demanding. “We train in the studio from 9:00 to 5:00, five days a week—but most of us then go home and cross-train at the gym or take yoga classes so that our whole body is physically well-rounded,” Kara said. “The ballet dancers I know are so smart, too. They mentally meld their mind and body in a way that most people don’t have to, having a deep understanding of music and being able to memorize the moves for a two-and-a-half-hour performance.” An added element to the physicality of dancing on stage is the costuming. According to Kara, “It’s interesting to put on a tutu and realize you can’t see your feet or wear a big, heavy prop on your head. You have to compensate for the extra weight or wings or whatever you can no longer see—but you learn to adapt. We are so fortunate to have such gorgeous costumes to go with incredibly beautiful music.” Kara is excited to begin full performances again this year, which is also the ballet’s 50th Anniversary Season. As part of the celebration, she was recently featured in a video wearing all gold. Not just clothes, even her skin, hair and eyelids were painted gold! “This season is a mixture of dance styles ranging from super classical to incredibly contemporary pieces,” Kara said. “Alice in Wonderland is a crowd pleaser that’s cute and quirky, and I always enjoy The Nutcracker, which I’ve done over 100 variations of in my life–but Sleeping Beauty is my alltime favorite.” Unlike her colleagues, Kara is fortunate to have her family and friends in the audience as she performs. “I can see my parents sitting in the audience! It’s not just a sea of black from the stage,” Kara said. “There’s nothing sweeter than performing for people you know and know you’re giving back to your own community. When the audience applauds, it’s such an amazing feeling that I’m often brought to tears. It’s like heaven on earth. I’m so blessed to dance here at home.” Visit www.okcballet.org to learn more.


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ALOOKBACK

Moonflowers and Memories By Louise Tucker Jones

Since I grew up on a farm, people often assume I know a little about gardening. Wrong! My daddy always plowed the field for a huge vegetable garden and the whole family helped plant and harvest. But knowing when or how to plant was not my job. My job was to gather eggs, wash dishes, take care of my pet rabbit and baby chickens, and help Mama can all those vegetables we planted. In the summer, my brother and I would often race through pastures, explore junkyards and wade barefoot in cool creeks. Then I grew up and became a city girl. However, my late husband, Carl, and I always lived on an acreage or near a greenbelt. My little bit of country. We also

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enjoyed all kinds of flowering plants but were especially fond of moonflowers. They came up unannounced each spring and bloomed till fall. Moonflowers are evening flora with large, white blossoms that shine bright under moonlight but die away in the hot sun. They bloom only one day then new blossoms replace them. Carl loved and pampered them. In fact, the moonflowers were in full bloom on the day he went to heaven. It felt like those lovely blossoms were honoring him. My moonflowers continued to produce dozens of beautiful blossoms each spring. (see picture) That is, until this year. Nothing sprang up in their designated garden space beside the deck. Obviously, the horrendous winter temps took a toll. I truly miss seeing those beautiful blossoms each evening. But thankfully, I had one stalk in a pot that was somehow protected from the sub zero winter temps and it’s now growing. In fact, just had it’s first blossom. And yes, I’m definitely pampering it.

The beauty and fragrance of flowers make unforgettable pathways in our souls. Some of my favorite childhood memories were seeing morning glories and wild roses climbing roadside fences on my morning bus ride to school, or walking along dirt roads with sunflowers swaying in the summer breeze. Truth be told, I never totally became a city girl. Country is forever in my heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


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FEATURELOOK

Gretta Cobb

By Maria Veres

Lorraine’s Collection All her life, Greta Cobb has loved flowers and bright, cheerful colors. Now she’s sharing that joy with others in a big way. Through her business, Lorraine’s Collection, she hand-crafts colossal flowers to brighten up events and indoor spaces. Creativity in Bloom To get a better idea of what Greta creates, picture the largest sunflower you’ve ever seen, then imagine the blossom at twice the size. Many of Greta’s designs are a full two feet in diameter. She uses several materials for the flowers, including tulle, foam, crepe paper, and even tissue paper. “Each one is a little bit different,” she says. Greta’s unique business was born during the stay-at-home orders of Spring 2020. “I was thumbing through social media,” she recalls, “and these gigantic flowers kept catching my eye. I thought, ‘I want to make those!’” She shared her vision with an event planner she works with. Her colleague asked, “What’s stopping you?” and Greta knew the answer—nothing. When lockdown ended, she purchased bright red foam to create flowers and got to work. “I didn’t like the first one,” she admits. As she made more,

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she realized she needed patterns, so she started making those, too. Once she had a variety of designs, she set up a photo shoot to showcase what she could offer. “It was magical,” she recalls. Living a Dream Before founding Lorraine’s Collection, Greta didn’t think of herself as an artist. Her only formal training was a college class she took as an elective. She surprised herself by making an A in the course, and creating a project her teacher loved—a paper-mache basketball. But in the years that followed, work and family didn’t leave her much time to pursue creative projects. A mother of three and grandmother of two, Greta still leads a busy life. When she’s not working, helping family members with their businesses, or caring for her grandbaby, she’s chauffeuring her youngest son to high school activities. “Creating these flowers is my therapy,” she says. “I converted one of our bedrooms into an office, and I just go in there and lose myself.” The business’s branding reflects the delight Greta takes in her work. The name comes from Greta’s middle name, Lorraine, which she has always loved. The company’s logo uses her favorite colors, pink and purple. Greta can custom craft colossal flowers for weddings, parties, dances, and other events. Her designs also make stunning additions to home or office decor. Whatever the project, she loves brightening clients’ lives and embracing her own inner artist. “I do have a creative side,” she says. “I’m just now discovering what it is.” To learn more, go to www.lorrainescollection.com


1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003

Profile for Outlook Magazine

August 2021  

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