We have been living and working here in Korea for six months and have been loving every minute of it. However, there are still times when we think about home and reminisce about all the amazing things we left behind in order to start this new life together. We were both born and raised in the great state of Oklahoma. Many people only know about our state because of the musical, but for us it is a very special place that will always be our Okla-home.
When we tell our students that we are from the middle of America, they all seem to think we all ride horses and wear cowboy hats. Well, I guess that’s not far off, as most of our families do in fact own many horses and cowboy hats, or at least graduated from Oklahoma State University whose mascot is THE cowboy, Pistol Pete. Another misconception our kids maintain is that, not being from New York or California means that we must be from Texas. I assume this is their thought process…
Here is a list of some of the things back home that we miss dearly. First and foremost we miss family. Nearly all of our family members still reside in Oklahoma. From family reunions to quick trips to visit immediate family, wonderful memories were always made and a deep appreciation for those special individuals was always better understood. Ryan particularly misses shooting guns and fishing with his family. I miss my own crazy, wonderful family as well and all the spontaneous moments we have shared.
Shooting clay pigeons at the Kennedy Family Reunion
My dad and brother at a thrift store in Branson, MO and my mom and I being normal.
Another thing we miss is all of our friends. We have had some great summers spent at the lakes of Stillwater and have had some incredible road trips, some of which we barely survived. Some of our best stories and most memorable lazy days were shared with these amazing people. From Team Z to our lake buddies, Stonewall regulars to roommates and coworkers; we miss you all!
Team Z Oklahoma Road Trip
We miss all the idiosyncrasies that our state possesses. Greasy spoon diners where all they serve is beer, gravy soaked chicken, and a crappy cup of coffee are never far from our thoughts around dinner time. We’re looking at you “Mom’s Diner.” These places go above and beyond their spectacular menu to provide the highest aesthetically pleasing decor possible.
Growing up in tornado alley, we have watched more of our state be pommeled than we care to remember, but it was always an exciting time of year. The storms that Oklahoma can brew up are truly a sight to see. Sitting on porches watching wall clouds approach and finally going inside when the state’s most famous weatherman, Gary England, said,”Take Cover,” for the third time.
Even though this state can seem boring and backwards to some, we see it’s people and its beauty above all else. Our favorite pastime was always driving the country roads and watching the sunsets at the lake. Afterwards, cleaning the red dirt off our car after driving all day was always a pleasant reminder of the unique place that we lived and the opportunity that we had to live so freely.