"OOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains..." and that's about right folks! We are now located in Vinita, Oklahoma. We've been here 'officially' for 3 days and it's been windy the entire time. I guess the lyrics to the old time favorite song have a bit of truth to them - I have discovered. But, I'm not complaining. I have quite liked it here, so far. Nothing to complain about, well, other than the stores are 30 minutes away and the closest mall/shopping area is an hour away and I have a severe absence of neighbors (coming from a family of 10 kids I'm really having to get used to the silence around this place). Unfavorably. Somewhere down the road there will be some compromising going on....
What have I discovered while exploring the mid-west the past week? "Let me tell you my friends, there are some of the nicest folks out here (please read with southern drawl)." And that's darn right! We spent the past week staying with Ty's Methodist cousins in Grove Oklahoma, then off to Jamesport, Missouri to stay with Johnny and Emma Kurtz, our Amish friends... this is where we pause. If you haven't visited an Amish community and taken time to visit with the people and hang around, YOU MUST. It is so fascinating and wonderful! I loved it - from the buggy rides to gardening. My Anthropologist degree came out and I was asking away... perfect visit. Continuing.. we soon found ourselves in Clark, Missouri with Greg and Jan Judy and our LDS friends, Brent and Susan Neal, then off to Linn, Missouri to buy some Bulls from some of Ty's good friends, Ralph and Jerry Voss, and finally a pit stop in Osawatomie, Kansas to see family on the Westhoff side. It was quite a trip and an enormous amount of driving... yes miles of driving... but the fun was well worth it and the people we spent our time with were beyond good quality. It was amazing! I have found the people out here surprisingly, friendly. Even our new ward in Claremore is extremely friendly and welcoming. And I'm more than thankful for the good people all over the world. They've sure made us welcome! Phew! I'm going to be fine.
Maybe I haven't had the time to let things sink in. I'm almost finished unpacking boxes and organizing our new house - still in the process of turning it into a 'home'. I finally have had time to go running and not a car is in sight, only unpaved roads, deer, and of course, Marley, our dog. The Coyotes are very active in the mornings. I'm having to get used to the sound (it creeps me out). Thunderstorms you can see for miles (lack of gorgeous mountains. They really need some out here). And I'm already completely terrified of chiggers - summer can wait.
All in all, I just haven't had time to let it all sink in and maybe that's a good thing. I miss the constant noise of family and friends, but I'm here for another adventure with my wonderful husband! The roller-coaster ride never ends. I can either make it completely horrible and a wasted ticket or enjoy the ride and make it much more memorable. I've jumped on and I'm putting my hands up! It will only continue to get better. Love, Me.
with Johnny & Emma Kurtz
(photos of amish are not allowed due to beliefs)
Johnny & Emma's home and farm
Greg & Jan Judy at Judy Farms in Clark, Missouri.
Kueser Family in Kansas - Ty's cousins
This is quite a story and Ty should be the one to tell it - but good luck on my part getting him on here. Basically, they are known for blowing things up and putting together quite impressive bombs. This photo is after the boys blew up a refrigerator and toilet. The blast was HUGE! Really fun. They loved it.