Hello again my friends! The past couple of months have been a roller-coaster ride of emotions. If you didn’t already know, our time in Korea was cut short due to Jay being selected for a job at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
So as the days grew warmer and summer began to blossom, we were in full gear taking care of our affairs to leave South Korea and see family for the first time in 15 months.
As per the usual military move, I was in a panic about the hundreds of things that needed to get done at the last minute. We were so stressed that we didn’t get to do some of the last things on our bucket list. But we did get to say goodbye to dear friends, and that is what mattered in the end.
Buildings and landmarks will stand, but time with friends is precious and rare.
It was a sad day when we had our final apartment inspection and headed to the motel. The ride to the airport and the 12+ hour flight back to America was, well, grueling. But the relief of seeing grandma and grandpa at the airport was well worth the trip!
Everything we owned was in storage or being shipped in a crate. We had 1 suitcase per person, so I pared down what we brought along. I knew that we would be staying with family in Wisconsin and that I would have to find a vehicle before we could even drive down to Oklahoma.
God has blessed us so much in this journey. Before we left for Korea I had to make some hard decisions about our belongings. I decided to sell my SUV/crossover and most of our furniture rather than store it for two years. We planned on saving up our extra pay in order to replace those things when we got back. Since we didn’t quite spend 2 years in Korea, we didn’t have as much saved as we budgeted – but I was able to find a very nice van and buy it with cash.
We even had leftovers for some furniture. I had to be frugal, but I ended up buying the kids’ beds and mattresses on Walmart.com (thank you free shipping!) and buying our bed, living room set, and dining set at a local outlet store here in Oklahoma. We came just under what we had saved!
So the past two months have been chaotic attempts to make plans when the Army doesn’t want to cooperate, visit family and friends in 3 different states, and acclimate ourselves to living in the Midwest once again.
Jay had just 10 days to report to his new duty station, but the kids and I were able to spend a month with family. We got to celebrate Jay’s birthday, take grandpa out for Father’s day, throw a giant surprise for my in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary, plus see my 91 year-old grandpa and visit my grandma’s grave.
We also went swimming, caught up with old friends, visited our home and church back in Kansas, and so much more. This little vacation has been a salve for our souls.
And just last week we arrived in Oklahoma where daddy was waiting for us with post housing and two of the beds I had ordered online. We kicked it into high gear, trying to return to some sort of normal again. We’re still waiting on most of our stuff to arrive from Korea and from long-term storage, but we have the basics and we are exploring the area.
We are excited that we live just a block away from the community center which has a pool, two playgrounds, and a new splash pad for the kids. There is also a campground, golf course, and creek to fish in within walking distance.
Oklahoma wasn’t our choice of duty station, but it is still relatively close to family and the scenery is pretty down here. We live on the edge of the Wichita mountains which has a nature preserve with a bison herd.
There is one more thing we have acquired since we arrived in Oklahoma.
Before we left Korea we had discussed getting a dog at our next home. I didn’t really miss not having an animal to take care of, but hubby and the kids really wanted one. So we made a deal – the kids would research the costs and responsibilities of getting a puppy. They also had to research which breeds would work for our lifestyle.
We decided on a smaller breed since they are easier to transport. We wanted a breed that was pretty easy-going and didn’t require a lot of exercise. And we wanted a family dog – one that was easily trained and friendly with people.
Originally we had a list of breeds that we were looking for, and we almost adopted a little dachshund mix from a rescue organization. But she ended up being afraid of loud sounds and we thought she would be fearful of the kids.
Originally, we didn’t have the breed Havanese on our list because of a misprint in the dog magazine my kids used for research. It listed them as a large dog that needed a lot of exercise. But after contacting a local kennel about any puppies they might have available, the owner introduced us to the breed. After watching some videos on Animal Planet, we were sold.
We added Korra the Havanese to our family last week and we couldn’t be more proud of our new pup. She was timid at first, having been raised outside with her siblings. But she is catching on to the leash and potty training very fast. She is such a calm and happy dog and she loves the kids. She follows them wherever they go.
So I think our life in Oklahoma is going to be good. We still miss Korea, especially the food and the friendly people there. There is a big Korean community here because of the military, so I can get my kimchi and bulgogi fix whenever I need to. I feel thankful that I was able to pitch my temporary tent in the crazy, beautiful city of Seoul while here on this earth.