Author Topic: Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?  (Read 1073 times)

Offline The Professor

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Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?
« on: December 06, 2017, 04:07:07 PM »
Hello, all,

Just chiming back in here for a bit.  Our most recent phase in life is now winding down and we are, once again, revisiting our final retirement(?)ish location.  For those of you who are new, the wife and I had a wonderful retreat/retirement set-up in Colorado which we polished up for about 10 years until a major family crisis reared it's ugly head.

That crisis forced us to relocate to Indiana and was devastating on many levels such as financial, social and even health-wise.

As a survivalist (and I do consider myself a survivalist, rather than a prepper) I am, by nature, an optimist.  We were able to mitigate much of the damage and are coming out of it, basically, still debt-free. . .but with about 1/10th the assets we had at the beginning of this.  I'll explain, skip the next section (delineated by -----) if you'd rather not read about the (albeit abbreviated) drama:


About five years ago, we came to the realization that my mother, the only surviving member of my family besides me, was exhibiting signs of either alzheimer's or dementia.  We campaigned extremely hard to get her to move from Indiana to Colorado with us so that we could be closer and provide some level of support and supervision.  She, of course, saw no need for this and, true to her German stubbornness, dug in her heels.  It got so bad that one night I received a phone call that she was found wandering the local WalMart at 3 in the morning without an idea as to how she got there or who she was.    We made the decision to immediately move back to take care of her.  Yes, I know that I could have gone to court, had her declared incompetent and taken over her estate. . .but I didn't, for admittedly purely emotional reasons.

The subsequent two years resulted in her experiencing an increase in the dementia and a number of strokes, each progressively diminishing her physical and mental abilities.  We did become her primary care givers but discovered that her insurance did not fully cover her care.  Over the course of eighteen months, she was in and out of the hospitals and rehabilitation centers a total of twelve months.  We bore the cost of those treatments and care which quickly destroyed the large cushion we had from the sale of our two Colorado homes.

There are those who will (and have) said that we should have divested her estate of all the properties and let Medicaid cover her being put into a home.  But, I could not do that.  That topic is not up for discussion and I honestly bear no ill-will or bad feelings about having to take care of my mother's needs in her final months.  It is not in my mind to have done anything less for her.  And no, I am not looking for a pat on the back for being ". . .such a good son. . ."  I do not understand, at any level, how a family could do any less than what I did, regardless of the inconvenience or effects upon them personally.  That is what family does.

I made sure that everything we could do for her was done and, in the end, I sat at her bedside, holding her hand for her last moment in life as she peacefully slipped from this world to the next.  I can think of only one better way to go.

However, everything in my life was affected.  I am blessed beyond belief by the love and stoicism of a great woman.  My wife remained by my side and helped me take care of my mother for the entire time, often pulling double-duty by holding a full-time job and taking care of my mom while I slept.  But our finances and my health were devastated.  My days consisted of taking care of my mother for a minimum of sixteen hours.  I seldom left her side, let alone the house for anything more than a run to WalMart. When my mother was in the hospital, I stayed with her about the same amount of time.  I could do no less after she confided that she felt scared when she woke up and didn't see me there.  This lack of any activity meant that I no longer could spend an hour and a half to two hours in the gym every other day.  It meant that my food choices turned to crap. In eighteen months, I converted from a 250-lb strongman competitor and martial arts instructor who would ride a bicycle 15 miles a day to a 385-lb diabetic with dangerous cholesterol levels and hypertension and who can barely stand up for a full minute, let alone walk 100m without being threatened with a myochardial infarction. . .and no, I'm not exaggerating.

The task of taking care of her was so great, that our family business could no longer be conducted, so my business faded away.  During that time, our primary suppliers went out of business due to our being a significant part of their income (we were responsible for 27% of their total  business, my business closing was a significant blow to their ability to stay afloat with only one other client ahead of us in sales who was incapable of picking up the slack).  They only recently closed their doors, finally, so we have to start anew with totally different suppliers, if not a new product line, entirely.

Because my family pays it's debts, we paid hers.  Again, it's just what we do, but with eighteen months' worth of drawing on what we had and the ridiculous costs of medical care ($108 for a single Ibuprofen. . .no shit) it's left us a shadow of our former selves. . .and that's before we even get to the psychological effects of these massive changes and loss of a loved one.

However, as I said, the survivalist in me sees the world and it's turnings in a different light.  If I believe that I can survive TEOTWAWKI with it's threats of EMP's, social unrest, financial system collapses, zombie virus outbreaks and Szechuan Dawn-style Sino-Empire invasions. . .I can survive, and thrive, after all of this.

For those who are curious, I am back in the gym with a goal of losing that 150 extra pounds. . .quite possibly even more since I am getting a bit long-in-the-tooth for Strongman or Strength competitions.  Rather than listen to the VA Doctors tell me I'm pretty much screwed and to just shut up and take my pills, I'm modifying my diet back to my original diet. . .albeit with a significantly lower calorie count.  Clean eating. . .I won't lie, I'll miss the Rally's Big Bufords and the Prime Rib from my favorite Chop House.  But, if I want to live another 10 years, I have to do it.

Since my business is shot, I'm now open to exploring entirely new ideas.  Some of which are rather ambitious. . .others more relaxing.  Thanks to some wonderful war-buddies,  I've even been received the offer to come back and teach at one of my old venues with a tack towards tenure and, possibly, a chair. . .something I never really considered, before.

I think, however, that I must go another route.  I am considering opening the windows, since the door was closed, and going a more relaxed course. . .one that includes more time with my wife.  These past two years have forced me to realize that I'm now closer to the end than I was accepting. . .and I think I want to spend more time with my wife in an enjoyable, for both of us, venture.

This experience opened my eyes to how I've changed since I left this area where I grew up.  I left at seventeen years old to pursue adventure.  I did find it.  I have the benefit of having retired from the military, with all that entails.  I have also seen how I've grown beyond the place of my youth.  While I realize that this may offend those who live in the midwest, specifically my own area, I have found that many of the people with whom I spent my first seventeen years seem to have not grown beyond what I consider rather regressive, negative (IMO) social beliefs.  I now understand why they say ". . .you can never go home. . ." and have come to realize that there's no truth to ". . .you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy. . ."

What I once considered an indelible red on the back of my neck now seems to be little more than a tint of pink.  Travelling the world, going off to war, coming back, going again and again, spending time in Academia, running multi-million-dollar companies and being a small-time media personality has transformed me into something that no longer fits into the world of my past.  I am a different man, molded through the crucibles, hammers and anvils of a life I never truly expected.

Which leaves me in the now:


So, I find myself ready to take another turn in life.  As a second-generation survivalist, I will continue preparing, though now with a bit less enthusiasm for trying new things.  I am, embarrassingly, in one of those situation where, if spikey-haired mutants come running over the hill, I am somewhat behind the power curve with my physical abilities, but I am actively addressing those.

I'm not sure about going back to Colorado.  Almost three years away have severed a significant portion of our social- and business contacts.  Plus, financially, Colorado has appreciably changed.  Property values have increased and taxes have not been cut, despite the windfall of medical- and recreational-marijuana (look at the prices of warehouse space, for example).   Going back would most likely mean we'd have to attempt to bear an uncomfortable debt load for a couple in their '50's.

One of our closest friends sold their business and moved to the Muskogee, Oklahoma area.  They purchased a rural farm and are successfully progressing towards a total, off-the-grid homestead.  Five years in, and they're about 85% self-sufficient with an admittedly significant buffer in the bank.  Their goal is to simply retire and live the homestead life.

I don't think I'm ready for that, just yet, but am intrigued by the locale.

Can anyone tell me anything about this particular area?  I'm looking for those who have personal experience there.  Culturally, economically, and most importantly stability in laws and taxes?

I'd like to find a small, rural farm with a small house and modern workshop (or build, if necessary) with access to UPS/FedEx, decent road maintenance and relatively stable small-business laws and codes.

Sorry so long, but I felt it was necessary to give some background as to why we're asking and the situation in which we find ourselves.

Thank you, in advance, to those who see fit to respond.

The Professor

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 08:16:15 PM »
I've always appreciated your contributions to this forum so I wish I had some advice to offer but I've got nothing.  I know nothing about Oklahoma - other than they get way to many tornadoes and that freaks me out.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 06:41:29 AM »
that explains your hiatus.  Bless you for doing for your mom.  I got nothing on Oklahoma either, but I pray that you will find your new home.  :)

Offline chad

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Re: Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 02:03:46 PM »
Can't help you with Oklahoma...hoping you find peace, professor.

Offline Ranger Dave

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Re: Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 07:22:11 PM »
I thinnk you would like Oklahoma.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Anyone have opinions on the Muskogee, Oklahoma area?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 05:16:03 PM »
I lived in the panhandle when I went to school. Nice area. Occasional dust storms from the farming then.

My brother in law lived in Muskogee for a lot of years. Never had a job finding problem.
Did construction and finally a job at the local glass factory there.
That's about all I know.