We’ve been in Oklahoma City for just under two months now. Slowly, it has begun to feel like home. I no longer depend on my GPS for every outing and I can name the Thunder starting five. But don’t ask me what a “Sooner” is – I have no idea. The culture here is a blend of sweet Southern hospitality with a hint of Midwestern industriousness. We’ve traded white sand beaches for the great plains, which are beautiful in their own way. And today, on our way to the dog park, we saw AUTUMN LEAVES. The change comes much later here than the Northeast, and the colors aren’t nearly as bright, but it is so refreshing to live in a place that has four seasons.
Ben and I have enjoyed exploring our new city, trying new restaurants and enjoying outings to one of the numerous parks in the area. The downtown area is much smaller than Pittsburgh, but it has enough to entertain and is easy to navigate. It only takes us 15 minutes to get to town, which is fantastic. We’re hoping to embrace the local sports scene and attend some Thunder games this season.
The best part of this move has been the little addition to our family in the form of a 3-year old Weimaraner named Charlie. He has become my constant companion and a great source of comfort and affection. We are fostering him for a friend who will be deployed for the next year. The lonely days don’t feel as difficult now that he’s around. Charlie brings so much joy to Ben and I. He’s sleeping next to me right now as I write this…what’s not to love about this pup.
Ben is doing well with his training. We are on track for him to wing in April (woohoo!). After he gets those wings of gold, he will have a few more months here in OKC and then the deployments will begin. I know I am an extremely fortunate military wife to have had him by side for as long as I have. It will be hard to see him go, but I could not be more proud of my husband.
Life for me is quiet. I spend my days walking with Charlie, taking care of household things, and applying for jobs. I had an interview this past week, which was encouraging. I’m hoping something will come along soon. Until then, I enjoy the time I do have to cook fancy meals on weekdays, read, bake bread, and watch Ellen. The transition here has been much easier than it was in Pensacola, simply because I knew what I was up against this time around. The feelings of isolation can still be staggering at times, but I’m thankful for the marvels of Skype and cell phones to connect me with those I love who are out of reach.
Ben often says to me, “home is wherever I’m with you”. And it’s so true. The transient lifestyle of the military tends to strip away a the traditional sense of home and belonging since you never stay in one spot for very long. Instead, home becomes defined not by one consistent physical place, but instead by who your time is shared with. I’m so thankful for our home and the love that is in it.
Life is good here in Oklahoma. And I think it’s brewing with opportunity. I’m optimistic about our time here. I never, ever thought I would live (or even set foot) in this state. We look forward to what is to come. Boomer Sooner! Or whatever it is they say here…