Life in Altus: A Few Vignettes

Here are a few insights into life in Altus, our small town!

A few snippets of life in Altus! | Teaspoon of Nose

All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

Since I’m heading back East this month, it seemed appropriate to share a few random stories of life in Altus. They’re just tidbits: funny things that happened to me here, or observations that seem normal to some but have surprised me out here.

A few snippets of life in Altus! | Teaspoon of Nose

This part of the country is all built-in grid format. For a girl growing up on the east coast, that’s unusual. For example, to get to the nearest city to us (an hour’s drive away, but it’s the closest shopping or ethnic food), you leave the base and turn left. And drive in a straight line for an hour. No curves, barely any change in elevation. I’m not exaggerating.

I thought we had drastic weather growing up in North Carolina, but it’s got nothing on Oklahoma. This is NO EXAGGERATION, a series of days we had in February:

Saturday: high of 98

Sunday: Monday: rain and flooding

Tuesday: snow


For any Parks & Rec fans out there, we have a Food and Stuff! It’s called Atwood’s, and it’s a chain in this part of the country. Whether you need cowboy boots, camping gear, guns, farming equipment, pet food, LIVE CHICKS, auto and house cleaning and repair stuff, or a camouflage recliner, you can get it here. Anytime we have visitors I take them here, just to experience Food and Stuff in person. Ron Swanson would be proud.

A few snippets of life in Altus! | Teaspoon of Nose

This is a small enough town that everyone knows and talks about any shops or restaurants that are opening, months before they do. Everyone has been freaking out about Hobby Lobby. I heart craft stores and the next best thing is an hour away, so that will be great. But they’ve been talking about this for at least 18 months now, and the grand opening has been put off at least 3 times. I’ll believe it when I see the doors open.

We’re also getting another car wash this summer. This will be our fourth car wash, built within a mile of another one. Do we need another car wash? This is also a dusty-enough place that as soon as you drive out of a car wash, the dust immediately gloms onto your newly cleaned car, defeating the purpose in the first place.

An actual interaction I had (at Food and Stuff, no less):

[Me, minding my own business as I pay for a giant bag of dog food]

Nearby farmer (overalls, beer belly, the whole shebang): Why didn’t you use a cart?

Me: Because this is all I needed.

Farmer: But it’s so big! And you’re so small!

Me: …

Pay for dog food. Sign the receipt.

Farmer: Are you a Scorpio?

Me, thinking I misheard him: What?

Farmer: Are you a Scorpio? Your sign?

Me: No. [I had to go look up what sign I was after this, but it’s not scorpio.]

Farmer: Well I thought you might be because you’re carrying the dog food instead of using a cart and you’re left-handed.

A few snippets of life in Altus! | Teaspoon of Nose

Those are just a few tastes of the funny things that happen here. Life in Altus has been a strange mix of small town, farm culture, and military life, but it’s always interesting! What has surprised you when moving to a new region?

Want to see more? Here’s the things that most surprised me when moving to a small town!

9 thoughts on “Life in Altus: A Few Vignettes

  1. I know exactly what you mean about the weather – definitely a midwestern thing. It’s currently snowing here in Nebraska and it’s supposed to be 75 degrees tomorrow!

    1. Yeah it’s a weird place. But I think it’s something that happens in the midwest US – very weird weather!

  2. oh my goodness the weather sounds insane how do you ever know what to wear?!!! my skin would freak out as well as it gets really funny if the climate keeps changing. Nice to hear about where you are from!

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