With that change in circumstance, being close to family in an affordable, small city suddenly sounded appealing.
“Norman is a big lure to us in many ways,” Debbie said. “It’s a small city, you have everything you need right here.”
The couple said through OU, they have access to the arts and athletics. They are tired of big cities and like that Norman is on the edge of the Oklahoma City metro.
“That’s one of the things I like about Norman,” Debbie said. “It’s a suburb of Oklahoma City, but it’s the last one, so you get country as well as city.”
The couple enjoys golf and say they are big OU fans. They are also happy that the Thunder is nearby in Oklahoma City.
“We’re big NBA fans,” Bob said.
The diversity of the university community is another draw for the couple.
“If you want to live in this part of the country, Norman is a very accepting, welcoming place,” Bob said. “That makes us feel comfortable, to be in a more diverse community.”
Right now, the Loys are living like college kids, they said. They didn’t ship all of their belongings from Hawaii, choosing only to bring the things that were dearest to them. They are working with a real estate agent to find the perfect home. Eventually, they hope to become active in local politics and community service.
“Those opportunities to give back don’t exist in many places in Oklahoma,” Bob said.
Norman has the opportunities the Loys believe will enrich their lives during retirement.
“After living in the islands for 24 years, it’s hard to come back and get our feet on the ground,” he said.
The good news is that Oklahoma’s housing market is much less expensive than Hawaii’s, and the cost of living is much lower in Oklahoma. And while they’ll miss the beauty of Hawaii’s natural landscape and beaches, they said they are enjoying the trees in Norman.
“It’s green, cool and shady here,” Debbie said.
The squirrels have been keeping their two dogs, Paikea and Lilikoi, quite busy.
“We have nothing but good things to say about the aesthetic environment in Norman,” Bob said.