Life As We Know It Oklahoma Style-March 2017
My mom came out to visit us this past week, and she joked that we live in the middle of nowhere. Which is true. But, where else can you drive just a few miles to find a beautiful herd of bison in the world famous Nature Preserve nearby? You can find beauty in just about everything and every place that God has made if you just take the time to look for it. And with these bison, we didn’t have to look far! They were just enjoying a snack on the hillside, within two car lengths of us. They didn’t appear threatened and just munched on as if we were not there, giving us ample time to admire and photograph them! It was quire remarkable.
When we were first told we were moving to the Midwest, Luke and I heard horror stories about the area, the post, everything. But, instead of believing those stories, we chose to reserve judgment, and I am glad we did because we have found ourselves in the middle of a wonderful adventure! Since I’ve lived here, I have had countless people ask me how I like it, some with smiles, others with grimaces. My response? The motto of an Army wife: Every place is what you make it. So, yes, we love it here.
I said the same thing about Fort Benning. I am not being insincere, just stating a fact because there is something to love and learn about every place you may find yourself in this world.
Oklahoma isn’t our forever home; we know that. But, we also are trying to make the most of it while it lasts! That’s why when my Mom decided to come for a visit, I requested a few days off work to play tourist in my own home and see what there is to see of this place! Since it’s Spring Break too, I did not have to worry about teaching, and there is something to be said for immersing yourself in nature and just spending some time unwinding with family that is restorative.
So, adventures we did have! We did the usual Girls’ Day stuff-lunch out and pedicures, a little retail therapy and milkshakes at Chick-fil-A. But, we also went on a couple of excursions around post, to Geronimo’s Grave and to the Nature Preserve, including a short hike. Mom is the photographer, so she snapped bison and longhorns and unique flowers to her heart’s content. Even though it was rather chilly several days (don’t let that sunshine fool you!) we wore layers and still ventured out of doors for big chunks of the day. Here are a few scenes from our eyes recently:
She reminded me there is beauty in taking the road less traveled and in stopping to smell the flowers-literally. It was neat to see things from her eyes and take the time to notice the small beauty in things around me. The little well house and creek in the photographs is known as Ambrosia Springs and is literally only a few blocks from my house, but I had never been there before because I never thought to turn down that road. Most of my journeys are purposeful, and I realized all the things I could be missing by keeping my eyes so focused on the destination. When you live somewhere and see the same scenery day by day, you can begin to take for granted even the remarkable!
In other news, things have been going pretty well for Luke and I overall. We do have a few unspoken prayer requests at the moment. We will share more when the time is right, but for now, if you find yourself thinking of us or our family at all, please say a little prayer in our direction. Those prayers are appreciated more than you may know! We are grateful for God’s providence and direction in this season of our lives and draw comfort knowing He is beside us every step of the way in this amazing journey called life.
We currently live in Mayberry–I’ve said it before, but I quite literally feel like we have found the most perfect little neighborhood and community here on our block. It’s like one of those streets on old TV shows where someone is always walking a dog or playing with kids or grilling out. When you can see three of your good friends within a stone’s throw of your house (even if one does like that tacky orange Tennessee flag blowing in the wind!), you are blessed.
We recently held a Progressive Dinner Party for our friend group, because what better place could there be to hold such an event where literally no one had to drive?! We had never been to one before and weren’t quite sure how it would go; we just knew we wanted to do a Mexican Fiesta theme and assigned each house with a different part of the meal within that theme. We started at the Samplers’ for appetizers, ventured to the Yosuas’ for soup, came to our house for the main course (with help from the Redmonds) and then finished at the Gonzales’ for dessert and Luke’s belated birthday celebration.
I am certainly going to miss this bunch. We are more than just neighbors but good friends. We take food to each other when we are sick, celebrate birthdays together, go through joy and sorrow and day-to-day life as a tight knit group. Something about the military brings you together to become close friends rather quickly.
We’ve gone tromping through the snow together, hosted an awesome Gender Reveal party for Kelly’s fetus and have celebrated the comings and goings of the various seasons together this past year or so. And, something about this neighborhood feels special. I have never lived in a place quite like it. Luke and I felt fully welcomed from Day 1 from some of these neighbors and others who lived here before and have since moved on, and in turn, I am trying to do my part to welcome all of the new neighbors that come and go.
But, as suddenly as we all moved here, we will all begin to leave, one by one as this is just another Pit Stop. There is always a moving truck on our street, at least once a week, the nature of the military. For our group, this goodbye cycle will start next month. It makes me sad to think of everyone moving on to begin new adventures but also excited for a new chapter. In the meantime, I am enjoying our life here, our circle of friends and the neighbors who feel like family.