On Tuesday, we went to St. Phillip Neri for morning Mass, and it was very nice. The priest was probably in his forties, and instead of a homily, we all sat in reflective silence, which was awesome! The chapel that daily Mass was celebrated in was arranged so that the chairs formed three sides that faced a big empty gap, and the altar formed the other side. It bummed me out, because the chairs could be moved--so why can't they be moved to all face in one direction, towards the altar? I think this is a legitimately reasonable question to have. Having a circle or "peninsula" formation of seats really doesn't make much sense in most churches. Instead of all being focused on the altar, facing the Eucharist, we're facing each other. And that's not distracting at all : P Still, Mass was really great and extremely peaceful, and I loved it! The rest of the day turned into a big blog of apartment hunting.
On Wednesday, we went to 7 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart parish. I loved it! First off, the "daily Mass chapel" was this adorable little separate chapel building--and the seats were in two columns facing the front!!!!! Happy day!! Also, there was a large statue of Mary next to the altar, which I thought was cool, since Mary leads us to Jesus-and between the congregation and the tabernacle was Mary, our Mediatrix. Super cool. Also, there were probably about 20 people there (a mixture of young adults, middle-aged, and old people), the majority of whom were praying silently before and after Mass (this was a 7 a.m. Mass, so they all were super dedicated!). The lector was an older man who walked up in his overalls, and I could see a cleaning rag flopping out of his back pocket. It was very sweet, and another one of those "Welcome to Oklahoma" moments. (One of the first "Welcome to Oklahoma" moments was when I discovered that a rental was listed by Redneck Property. I thought Kansas was redneck, but no, I'm discovering that the OKC area has surpassed Wichita in this area haha). Going to daily Mass is such a blessing, and it is so peaceful! Starting out the day with my husband at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is such a wonderful way to begin apartment-hunting. We are so blessed that Catholic churches with daily Mass are plentiful here!
After Mass on Wednesday, we were zooming down to highway to the house where we're staying. Right before we took our exit, we heard a weird plopping sound, almost as if a box had shifted. I checked my rearview mirror, but our trunk was still down, and our many moving boxes were all still safely within the car. Suddenly, our car starts going whaworwhaworwhawomp, while we rumbled vigorously.
Our tire had blown out.
Since we were on the exit ramp, Jacob was able to drive our car a few yards up to a parking lot--which was situated right next to a fire station.
God had put us in the perfect place to experience a flat tire.
Next thing we know, a firefighter is sauntering over, sipping from his coffee, and asking us what our problem is. Even though we bought our car used, the firefighter was pretty sure that we'd have a spare, so we set about unpacking the trunk of our car. "Wow, you did an ace packing job," Chris, the firefighter, told Jacob. Indeed, Jacob had not allowed me to pack the car, and had expertly arranged all of our belongings so that our trunk was holding far more boxes than it probably was made to hold. When we had emptied the trunk, we discovered that Chris was right: we did have a spare! Then, Chris and another firefighter removed our flat/blown out tire, aired up our spare, and put our spare on. They were extremely kind, and it was such an incredible blessing that they helped us out!
After loading our car back up (with fewer boxes in the trunk, so we wouldn't weigh down our spare tire as much), we drove to a locally owned tire shop a few miles away. Owned and operated by a couple who has been married for 34 years, Cramer's Tire was yet another huge blessing! The wife discovered that our tire could be patched up and repaired, so that we wouldn't have to buy a new tire. She and her husband spoke with us a while, told us about living in the area, and even gave us a free can of pop!
For the rest of the day, we apartment-hunted, and impulsively went into a complex that we hadn't researched--and found what we had been hoping existed: a non-smoking apartment complex! See, we're super sensitive to cigarette smoke, and we don't like it at all. Many of the apartments that we've toured have belonged to smokers at some point, and reek of cigarette smoke. We've been told that many people in this part of OKC smoke, so finding a good place to live has been a challenge. Thus, finding an entire smoke-free complex was really, really exciting! Very enthusiastic, we went back to the house, and told our friends about our find. After chatting with our friends that evening, we decided to look up online reviews about these apartments. Many of the reviews were awful! There were some good reviews, and one review from last week was great, but we weren't sure about the complex because of some of the negative reviews that we read. A bit dejectedly, we determinedly canvassed OKC today. The apartments that appeared to be nicer, liveable, and un-gross were all filled up with no vacancies (in one complex, the last one-bedroom was leased yesterday!). Another complex that was super nice and very inexpensive was a bit smokey.
Tomorrow, we're planning to tour an apartment that looks fairly promising, and we're also planning to check another part of the OKC area. And if all else fails, we'll probably take one of the smoke-free apartments (we'll just be sure to really know our rights as tenants and be assertive, which we're both pretty good at). We're pretty excited that, even though today didn't feel super successful, God is taking care of us, and we have some viable options!
(Including a townhouse in a super sketch area. The townhouse was really nice, but the area was not very safe feeling. We lived in Steubenville, so we can probably survive living in many places, but we'd still like to live in a non-sketchy place if possible. The realtor really likes us, though, and has been calling us every day to ask if we'd like the townhouse). Even though we've had to spend a lot of time in the car travelling across OKC, getting to see the city has been a neat experience. I think it will probably take me a while to get used to it, but I'm starting to get a handle on some of the major roads and highways!
All in all, there have been challenges this week, but so many amazing, incredible joys! St. Joseph is great, and we know that he is working and interceding for us. It will be really good to get settled in our new home, but this is a great opportunity that God is giving me to practice patience! Plus, apartment-hunting won't last forever, and that is a great consolation :) All glory be to God!
|We saw this from afar on our walk|
the other day. For several minutes, we
could not figure out if it was an
animal or an inanimate object (rock or log).
After I thought to take a zoomed-up
picture, we decided that it was an inanimate