Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

April 22, 2014

Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

TAHLEQUAH — As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.

In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.

Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry. And now, she’s an optometrist, practicing as a civilian provider for the U.S. Army for the past 10 years, the last seven at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Her small-town roots are still important to her.

“I appreciate time with my family and friends. When you grow up in a smaller town, you rely so heavily on family and friends and simplicity,” said Padilla. “You can be quite content just about anywhere, as long as you have those two elements. You don’t need grand shopping or extensive museums to pass your days. Good conversation and good coffee go a long way.”

She remembers spending long hours visiting with friends over gallons of coffee at the Iguana Cafée, while listening to live music or poetry. She likes the fact that even today, you can still familiar faces everywhere you go – local eateries, shopping, coffee shops.

“I have a few friends from high school who have remained in the area, but with so much family still in Tahlequah, my time is limited when I return for visits,” she said.

Social media has enabled her to reconnect with many friends. It has been fun watching their families grow and their many adventures, she said.

“I was able to visit a good majority of friends and familiar faces when I was home a few years ago for my 20-year high school reunion; it was nice catching up with so many people at the same time,” she said.

A favorite memory of college was a trip with one of her best girlfriends - five weeks backpacking throughout Europe and staying at youth hostels.

“It is definitely ranked as one of the most amazing things I have ever done. My only regret is not splurging a little more. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.

Padilla met her husband, Marc, in college, and he was an enormous influence in her life.

“He believed in me long before I believed in myself. He has always been one of my biggest cheerleaders,” she said. “Of course, my mom and dad, also in the cheering section, have always supported me and guided me with pretty sound advice.”

She considers herself to have an amazing job.

“There is so much reward in helping people see better. When a person, especially a child, comes in with blurry vision, and through the power of glasses they see better, there is nothing like seeing their whole face light up and the smile that arrives without thought. It is just so rewarding,” she said.

Her decision to study optometry took a little time. It wasn’t even on her radar until she met the man she would later marry.

“I had plans to study elementary education when I met Marc, and he convinced me to look into optometry so we could later open a practice together. Though he later decided not to apply to optometry school, I continued the course, and the rest is history,” she said.

The couple have four children. Amanda came into the marriage with Marc, and they have three together: Zoë, 8; Zachary, 6; and Zealand, 4. They also have a granddaughter, Lowery, 2.

Hobbies include just about anything that involves “my sweet babies.” Friday nights are family movie or game night. Painted ceramics from visits to the local paint-your-own-pottery business adorn their home.

“And, I think I enjoy making the popular loom bracelets more than my daughter. I love the creativity,” Padilla said. “I would love to take classes in photography, cake decorating, and knitting – those are all on my wish list.”

At least once a year, she tries to make it home to visit family.

“I miss my family and I really miss the closeness of the community. I miss going to college. I understand now why so many people become career-students. There is something about going to class and learning, and the friendships that are forged in this dynamic,” she said.

She’s noticed the introduction of many chains for eateries and shopping.

“You can see it is growing, but there are still classic businesses like Iguana Cafée, Ned’s and Sam & Ella’s that are just staples for Tahlequah and just make me feel like I’m home,” she said.

Padilla is a self-described e-book hoarder.  

“When a book is free, I cannot resist. It might be a book I may never read or out of my typical interests, but I cannot resist a book that has suddenly been discounted to free. I have so many books in my e-library, I will be in trouble if space is suddenly limited,” she said.

At bedtime, Padilla and her daughter and take turns reading chapters aloud from the Ramona series, because “it’s a great way to connect and revisit my childhood.”

Kid-friendly movies she recommends are “Frozen” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”

“We enjoyed both very much,” she said, “and when I have time, I enjoy foreign films, two of my all time favorites being ‘Life is Beautiful’ and ‘Children of Heaven’; they are both incredible family love stories.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1-ts CN opt 1.jpg Cherokees commemorate Act of Union

    Cherokee Nation dignitaries met on the historic courthouse square Tuesday to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union following the end of the Trail of Tears Removal.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-vol-July.jpg Firefighting fills a big role for Kimble

    Community service is both work and volunteering for Cherokee County 911 Coordinator/Director Marty A. Kimble.
    Kimble is also fire chief for Gideon Volunteer Fire and Rescue, president of the Grand View School Board, and northeast regional vice president of OklaNENA (National Emergency Number Association).

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-artist-July-2.jpg Fulk discovered art talent after retirement

    It’s not unusual for retired folks to turn their hand to the arts. Count George Fulk among that number.
    The former optometry professor at Northeastern State University and bird-watching enthusiast has found he also has a talent for watercolor painting.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Stocks