Muskogee Okie: Sellers Enjoys His Free Time | Lifestyles

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It’s hard to tell Lora Sellers what she loves to do the most.

When not hiking with her husband, she can be at home painting or sewing quilts. Then there is the choir practice at Grace Episcopal Church. She and her husband also have a garden to maintain.

“I was kind of a lifelong learner,” she said. “If you live long enough, you have all kinds of opportunities to learn.”

She traces her love of art back to her childhood in the culturally rich town of Kansas City, Missouri.

“Growing up in Kansas City, we were regularly exhibited at the Nelson Atkins Art Gallery. The (Country Club) Plaza statues,” she said. “You develop an appreciation for this kind of thing very early on. “

She started painting banners for the Muskogee Azalea Festival about three years ago. They have all been on birds.

“I paint a lot of birds,” she said. “I don’t know why, but I’m fascinated by birds. Birds in flight. There’s one thing I love about birds.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, vendors started doing watercolors.

Sellers and her husband started hiking during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she had worked with a personal trainer, but it stopped when COVID-19 started. The sellers also underwent surgery. “

“The hike was something we could still do,” she said, adding that she and her husband got involved with the Oklahoma State Parks Passport program, which encourages people to visit each of the state parks. of Oklahoma.

She said she and her husband hiked 132.5 miles on 39 hikes.

They also have a large garden.

“We have built raised beds for the vegetables,” she said. “This summer, we built massifs on the facade. We planted 200 tulip, hyacinth, daffodil bulbs.

sharpen it

artistic talents

Lora Sellers discovered that the paint had helped her get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You can’t leave your house, you have the time to study and devote yourself to painting,” she said. “I’ve always painted as a hobby, but to actually work on developing a skill, I didn’t really start until after the pandemic.”

The sellers stated that she painted mainly in watercolors, “because I’m an impatient person and watercolors dry quickly.”

She said she also liked being able to throw work that she doesn’t like in the trash.

“It’s not like you have a $ 10 canvas and a $ 30 oil painting that you throw away. It’s a piece of paper,” she said. “It’s forgiving. There is no judgment with watercolor.”

Watercolor also offers more freedom, she said.

“It’s looser,” she said. “A river likes to go where it wants. It takes the path of least resistance. Watercolor is a bit like that.”

She said she could finish a watercolor in less than a day, while an Azalea festival banner could take three weeks.

“You have to lie on the bottom and let it dry,” she said. “My background is made up of many layers because of the play of light. I like to show where the light is coming from.”

“And I’m working full time so I can’t work on it until I’m on leave,” she said. “So when they only give us three weeks to do it, I’m sweating.”

Quilting alone,

with the others

Sellers enjoy quilting with others, as well as alone.

“I started quilting because a friend I worked with retired,” she said. “It’s a way for us to stay connected.”

She said she and her friend were going to Arkansas, where a group sewed together.

“Normally what we do is pick a pattern and we all go looking for fabric,” she said. “We all have the same pattern, but we all have different colors. So it’s interesting how the quilts turn out.”

The group quilted for 11 years, Sellers said, adding that the friendship kept them going.

The vendors said she also enjoys quilting on her own. The duration depends on the complexity of the project.

“I can produce one in three or four weeks,” she said. “It depends on how many other things I’m doing at the same time. If I have too many hobbies at the same time, one of them is going to suffer.”

She said she felt a sense of connection when she sewed with the group.

“When I do projects at home, on my own, it’s more of a creative process,” she said. “Usually it’s because I’m creating something as a gift for someone.”

Status display of

hiker point of view

Vendors learned about Oklahoma’s diversity through Oklahoma State Park passports.

“Oklahoma is one of the most diverse landscapes I think I have ever been,” she said. “The trees that we saw in Broken Bow and the trees that we saw in the Panhandle – completely different worlds.”

For Robbers Cave, she remembers “having crawled on top of the rocks, in the crevices, imagining the story of the bandits who were hiding in these caves”.

“We wanted to start by being manageable,” she said. “We really thought the most difficult hike would be Black Mesa. We were wrong.”

The toughest hike was cleared statewide last fall at Beaver’s Bend State Park.

“We decided we were going to do the Skyline Trail,” she said. “The Skyline Trail will separate the men from the boys. We started at 7:30 am and left at 3:30 pm. You go up the mountain, down the mountain, up the mountain, down the mountain. When I’m finally got back to the paved ground, I fell on all fours and kissed the ground, we were exhausted.

Black Mesa at the west end of the Panhandle was much easier.

“It’s a whole different picture,” she said. “You climb to the top of the mesa and you can see forever. You can see miles and miles and miles. It takes your breath away.”

Questions and answers

HOW ARE YOU A MUSKOGEE OKIE?

“I got a job opportunity here. It worked and I stayed. I made it my life here.”

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT MUSKOGEE?

“The people. The atmosphere of a small town. I love how friendly everyone is. I love the way people really care about each other. It’s a family town, although you are not a parent. “

WHAT MAKES MUSKOGEE A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE?

“We have a great mayor. I think he’s doing a great job of revitalizing. That’s what it takes, transforming these dilapidated buildings, some of these horrors.”

WHICH PERSON IN MUSKOGEE WILL YOU ADMIRE MOST?

“We have a tradition where we read the names of saints who have gone before us … It was so moving to see the names of people who touched your lives … Debby Schrader was for years a wonderful saint, who played a role in the Meals on Wheels program. Tom Alford sat behind me and sang bass in the choir for years, and his passing last year left us all speechless. I can’t say that there is only one person because each person has been significant. “

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU IN MUSKOGEE?

“The most memorable thing would be the friendships, the fellowship. We have amazing women in this city who really reach out and help other women grow. These relationships are the most memorable to me.”

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?

“Painting, quilting, hiking.”

HOW DO YOU SUMMARIZE MUSKOGEE IN 25 WORDS OR LESS?

“Small neighboring towns that are turning into a forward-looking future. “

MEET the Lora vendors.

AGE: 60 years old.

HOMETOWN: Kansas City, Missouri.

EDUCATION: Winnetonka High School, Kansas City; Diploma in Business Administration from Connors State College; Education program for ministries through Grace Episcopal Church.

OCCUPATION: Education Liaison Representative for VA.

FAMILY: Husband, Jerry; three sons, one daughter, three grandchildren.

CHURCH: Grace Episcopal Church.

LEISURE: Singing in the church choir, quilting, painting, hiking, gardening.


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