Larry and I are famous for getting lost. We have not traveled much in the past 28 years. Things used to get a bit tense when we would miss an exit or make a wrong turn and end up driving miles out of our way. We laugh about those times now and we usually allow ourselves a little extra time…just in case. We do not have GPS in our car, nor have we bothered to invest in the hand-held versions. Perhaps those things will come in time. I now use MapQuest if we are going to a new place, and have found it to be accurate most of the time.
We both retired in 2004. I retired in June, six months before Larry, and he retired in December. Our first trip after retirement came five months later.
We were living in CA and flew to Oklahoma in May of 2005 for a family reunion. (My side of the family). I was born in Shawnee and my mom and I moved to CA around 1960. Larry was born and raised in CA.
We were in Oklahoma about 2 weeks and “just for fun” we started looking at Real Estate. We were shocked at how much more affordable property was in Oklahoma as opposed to CA. We had never even considered leaving California, although we were pretty fed up with it. Our house was paid for and we imagined we would spend our remaining years right where we were. We started discussing the pros and cons of such a major move and we began praying and searching our hearts. We both decided a change would be good and we made up our minds to leave it in God’s hands.
The Real Estate market was really booming during that time and it was definitely a seller’s market. Once we realized we could get three times more for our house than what we paid for it we started exploring the possibility of really leaving CA. I spent the next month looking at Oklahoma property on the Internet, (Larry doesn’t use computers and has no desire to). After finding several properties we were interested in, I began interviewing a few Realtors in Oklahoma, first online, and then Larry and I interviewed them by phone. We finally settled on which one we would use. We made arrangements with the Realtor when we would be back in Oklahoma and he began work on his end.
We decided to fly, so we purchased one-way tickets back to Oklahoma, as we didn’t want to be under time constraints while looking for our dream home. We had made a list of what features we would like for our house and how many acres etc. Our Realtor did a great job, he made appointments and mapped out the places we wanted to see. We had selected places that spanned several counties and towns. We spent three days looking and the last place we looked at the end of the third day was the ‘one’. We knew it the minute we were driving up to it. It had everything we wanted except a pond. We could barely suppress our excitement.
Our Realtor drew up the necessary papers and we made an offer that evening. We found out the next morning our offer was accepted. We made our deposit, purchased tickets back to CA, put our house on the market and it sold exactly one month after it was listed. Yes….we did things a bit backwards by purchasing the house in Oklahoma before putting our CA house on the market. Remember though, we had put this entire project in God’s hands. We truly believed if this move was in any of his plans for us it would come about, and if not, we would stay in CA.
One of the main things we wanted on the property was a lot of trees. We both love trees. We live in the country, yet we are only three miles from town. We are on 2-1/2 acres with a hill in the back covered with beautiful rocks and trees. It’s like living in a gorgeous park. We see God’s handiwork all around us and the wildlife is amazing. We have deer that visit, armadillos, possum, (not my favorite) raccoons, squirrels and all kinds of beautiful birds. We also have been told that fox and coyotes are here too. We have not seen any ourselves.
We have absolutely no regrets about our move. God continues to bless us. The church here is an answer to our prayers. We have made many new friends. It’s a great life!!
Jer 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Isa 58:11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.