Thursday, January 7, 2010

The next step, Portland!

SO last year, right around now, Linz and I were in serious discussions to take over a small motel in Seaview, WA. The place had a lot of charm and was in a great spot, but it was pretty run down, owned by a fellow that no longer cared about the business. All was looking well, and we had extremely high hopes for the year to come.

Well, turns out that the owner did have a love of something related to the motel, the almighty buck. Once he started asking for more than we'd agreed on, more than we could have afforded comfortably to give, things fell apart. In retrospect, this was a good thing, it would have been a lease to own deal and frankly, we would have been miserable trying to run it while he still had his fingers anywhere near the property in any way.

Since then, as a slightly vindictive side note, the motel has gotten some very unfavorable reviews and is still for sale, now for quite a few years.

After the motel deal fell through, we had a pretty rough year, a few setbacks, though looking back, it wasn't as bad as it seemed at the time, and we also managed to start new goals for our future; writing!

We have both written books, as well as started on multiple others each. Lindsay is in the process of finding an agent and has had a few favorable responses so far. I submitted my book, The Whispering Ferns, a kids ghost story/mystery to the Delacorte Press New Writers Contest. I lost and amusingly, after the contest ended with no winner announced, they ended the contest for the future, after 18 years. My book is apparently that bad, ladies and gentlemen! Ha!

So 2009 seemed rough, but was filled with some nice milestones all the same. I'm pretty sure that my busted arm in December helped make it out to be bleaker than it was; December and January just aren't the best of months for us!

Towards the end of the year, Lindsay and I decided to try and transfer with my job to the Oregon/Washington area. We really love it out there, We're enchanted with the ocean and the lush forests, I love the rich culture of myth and irreverent history of the area too.

So we took a trip out there and checked out a few areas, applying for transfers when we got back. Unfortunately, we have bad timing with this kind of thing, just a few months earlier, Walgreens, my job, instituted yet another ill-conceived money-saving plan with the structure of their stores. In every store, as Assistant Managers left or were fired, rather than promoting, transferring or hiring new managers, the stores were ordered to create a new position in the stores, something called a Shift Leader. This position is essentially a manager with all of the responsibility and expectations, but none of the support, ability and pay.

This also means that for me to get a transfer into any established store, that store would have to lose two managers and not have any immediate local replacement or be willing to choose me instead. It didn't seem hopeful, but we tried anyway, contacting every store in the area, throwing the net far and wide.

Then, on a whim, we threw the net a bit wider and we pulled something fascinating in from the depths of the ocean, an offer. And not just an offer, but an offer from a district manager that is personable, friendly and funny, who seems excited about the idea of working with me, in an area that could mean a lot of opportunity for me if I choose to progress with Walgreens.

It's a pretty short deadline though, he needs me out there asap to aid in building and setting up stores where once there were none, so we've been scrambling to pack and prepare.

Our plane leaves on the 27th of January. Our plan is to fly there, stay in am monthly rental motel for a bit while we look for a place to live with our pets. Once that's secured, we'll fly back to Poky, buy a new Element and drive the kids and a few additional essentials out to our new home.

Where's that you ask? Well, if you read the title of the post, it should be somewhat clear, It's Portland! What isn't completely clear though, is that on January 27th, we're flying to live in Portland, Maine! 

Yeesh, this is going to be one exciting new year! more as it comes, but wish us luck, and stick with us as we document the trials and tribulations of moving 3,000 miles away from any family and friends and attempting to become published authors, debt-free, and eventually, owning our own motel! 

And yes, I am aware that we are unabashed dreamers, but we figure someone's dreams have to come true every now and then, why not ours?


Steve at Random said...

You are young once...but old for a long time...I say go for it. Best of luck. As a person who has lived in many different towns, let me urge you to get involved as soon you reach your new destination -- not just at work but also in civic activities. Join the local Lions, Rotary, Elks, Moose, Jaycees or something or other as a way of meeting young people who you can share your life with.

The Grows said...

Wow, Maine....I thought you were headed to Oregan. I didn't even know there was a Portland Maine. I bet you will love it there. Plus, the East coast is a great place to open a bed and breakfast. It will be a great new adventure. I love moving to new places and seeing how others live. It is so exciting. We will be doing it soon as we are moving to Yakima WA. I guess once again we will live a long ways away from one another. SO who are you going to work for? Anyone I know? Just curious. Good luck and keep us posted...I know you will.

randymeiss said...

Hopefully you're out of the sling by the time you move. Congratulations and heartiest best wishes as you begin your next adventure. Thank you for taking your fellow bloggers along for the ride.

Sherry said...

Wow! That is amazing news! I wish you and Lindsey the bast of all luck! I've never been to Maine. I think it's time to get the Bossbot and crew and have a road trip!! (and by that I mean once settled, and Z can's a long way...and that might be when I can finally build a car to travel through water)

That's the great things about dreams, really. The bigger, the better. The more impossible, the better. It's a dream, so it might as well be big! (One of my dreams is to ride a yak, so I honestly can't say anything at all)
Tell us when that motel comes about! If you want anything from Japan, let me know (assuming I'm still here...which I plan on being).

Sherry said...
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nanmarino said...

Wow! What a ride! Congrats on finding a new place and a new state! Some of my writing buddies are from Maine. Seems like a great place!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Thanks for following my blog! You guys are frickin' awesome.