When I found out we were moving to Oklahoma, I tried to put on a happy face and focus on the adventure aspect of moving from vibrant and shiny Raleigh, North Carolina to a city that didn’t even have a Target. In fact, I wrote the following on November 27, 2010…
One thing that has amused Clay and I about this whole ordeal is having people familiar with the area and experience with Ft. Sill tell us, “It isn’t as bad as you think it will be.” Not one person has exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! I love Lawton and would do anything to go back there. It is my favorite place in the entire world.”Clay and I can only laugh. I am positive we will find gems and discover the beauty and experience mystique that Oklahoma has to offer.
I freely admit that this part of Oklahoma isn’t our favorite place in the United States but we still found gems and I like to think that we learned to appreciate the beauty and mystique of the area. And you know what? I’ll probably be telling people, “It isn’t as you as bad you think it will be.”
Clay captured this scene last night on our drive to a friend’s house for dinner. I never minded this landscape. And believe it or not, we will miss aspects of Oklahoma, such as…
The people. One thing that boils my blood faster than potatoes on Grandma’s stove is when people dismiss the residents of ‘fly over’ states as if they’re not up to the caliber of those living along the coasts. As with any place in the world, Lawton has it’s fair share of unsavory characters. But there is also a collection of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I promise. And we’ve made some friends that will be friends forever (a’la Saved By The Bell).
Our church. If you ever find yourself transferred to Lawton or stationed at Ft. Sill, I highly recommend First Presbyterian Church of Lawton. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to become our surrogate family during our time here. I will miss the congregation. Terribly.
Meers Store and Restaurant. Locals and longtime residents often joke about the Meers Country Club. It ain’t fancy. The joint is cash-only, grimy, filled with surly waitresses, and known for burgers made from long-horned steer raised on the family farm.
Wichita Wildlife Refuge. You can enter government-protected land (for free!) and be one with the roaming buffalo, long-horned steer, and other native animals to the region. A quick drive up Mt. Scott will provide you with the best view in town.
The little guy and a big tree.
Clean air. Except for when wildfires are near.
Our house. When we bought our house this past January, we had no idea that we would be moving 1500 miles away just a mere 8 months later. Oh well – that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
And most importantly, I am thankful that our time in Lawton, Oklahoma meant that we were together as a family. It was our first location where a deployment didn’t take Clay away for an extended period of time.
It was a rough go at first but I leave with fond memories and a full heart.
Next stop – Washington DC!