We are moving.
Not down the street to the green house we have been eyeing for the last 4 years.
Not to somewhere exotic or alluring like Paris.
We are moving to Oklahoma.
Dave has taken a new position within Schlumberger, and his base will be in a little town called Kellyville, just outside of Tulsa. The new job is exciting, from a safety guy’s point of view, and promises to keep him challenged for months, maybe even longer!
It is a good move.
It is also a hard move.
In all honesty, I am feeling fragile in a way I never have before.
For my entire adult life, I have identified as Alaskan. Even through our previous moves to the midwest for grad school, I still thought of Alaska as my home.
Over the last 21 years, I have learned to embrace all things Alaska.
This former Minnesotan learned to eat and enjoy fish.
I have helped to butcher moose.
I have driven into Anchorage from Wasilla with the head of a moose sitting next to me in the truck.
I have thrown up over the side of a number of boats.
I have camped on the Homer Spit, in Chicken, on the Denali highway, and many places in between.
My first baby went on his first hike when he was just 6 weeks old. Because that is what one does in Alaska.
I drive ridiculous, huge gas guzzling trucks.
I wear boots and wool socks like they are stylish.
My jewelry is made of ivory.
My scarf is made of Musk ox fur.
On the coldest of days, I don seal fur mittens.
Alaska is where I fell in love with Dave
Alaska is where I fell in love with Dave’s family.
Alaska is where the Covenant became our church.
Alaska is where my boys were born.
Alaska is where the World’s Best Dog will take his final breath.
Alaska is where my dearest friend calls home.
I have said before, that when I live in a place, I throw my self in fully, and when I leave, a piece of my heart gets ripped out and stays behind.
This time, it feels like I am taking just a tiny piece of my heart with me while the biggest part stays rooted, firmly, defiantly in Alaska.
And for this very reason I am determined to LOVE Oklahoma.
It would be easy to move to Oklahoma, a state I have driven through once, when I was 10, and only miss Alaska.
I could move to Oklahoma, and throw my self into reading and watching all things Alaska. Wishing I was back in my sweet little house, surrounded by the lush beauty and the grandeur of the mountains every where I looked.
I could do that. It would be easy.
And it would be awful…
For my husband, for my kids, for me, to wallow in our pain, our sadness.
So, we are going to embrace Oklahoma.
The thunderstorms (I can hardly wait!)
Swimming outside in the nearby lakes.
The endless sky.
Sundresses.And I am going to read every book I can find on Oklahoma’s history, and pour over maps to find places to go that I have never seen, and never dreamed I would see, and visit the museums, and take in lectures at the universities, and find a church to call home. And I know, I truly know That Oklahoma will not be just OK. Oklahoma will be GREAT!