Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Up, then down, then unexpectedly up again

Nope, not talking about my daughter's stomach contents (thank goodness).

As many of you already know, Jason and I haven't always lived in the Seventh Largest City In Kentucky. We lived in various suburbs of Cleveland, and a big city in Japan, and several other places before we landed here. Our lives as adults have been one almost solid stream of moving boxes and change-of-address cards ... we lived in Avon for about 4 years, and you wouldn't believe how excited I got when I had the opportunity to actual reorder checks without having to change the address or anything. So rare for us!

Jason's been working down here in Kentucky for three years. I can't say we've LIVED here that long because I stayed in Cleveland to finish out the last semester, so he's lived here three years, I've lived here two and a half, and poor Liza hasn't even made it past the two-year mark yet. We never really figured we'd stay here forever - the town is nice and we made some good friends, but we knew that Jason's job was likely to take us someplace else eventually. Despite the snow, and the fact that our family doesn't live there, and the snow, and the fact that we keep moving away every few years (and the snow), Cleveland is the closest to home we've had since high school.

So Jason's been keeping his eyes open for job opportunitites up north at his company's headquarters, which is conveniently located in - you guessed it - Cleveland. There have been a couple of interesting openings, but none of them seemed just right ... until last month. Challenging job that would make the most of Jason's skills, in a desirable division of the company, in Cleveland. He sent off his application, and thought it would take forever to hear back about it (he was one of two dozen applicants for the position).

When he got a call from the hiring manager before the application period had even ended, we took it as a good sign. When they wanted him to fly up to Cleveland to interview for the job in person, we took it as a better sign. When he found out that he was one of only three people they interviewed, we figured he had at least a 1 in 3 shot of getting the job, probably better, because he's just that awesome.

That was the week before we left on vacation, and the hiring manager wanted to make a decision by that Friday or early the week of our vacation. Jason and I sat around for a couple of days, jumping every time the phone rang, cursing the delay in the decision. I decided that my part in the process involved not mentioning the job possibility to anyone, which was like walking on eggshells every time I ran into someone I knew in town. I was afraid if I talked about it, I would jinx it.

When Jason found out the day before our vacation that he didn't get the job, we were upset, but also a little relieved. Moving jobs and households is, after all, a stressful process, especially with a toddler in tow and a wife who is sort of trying to start a business. We grumped about the guy who got the job, I joked about invoking voodoo curses necessary to get the guy hit by a bus so Jason could have the job, and we all went on vacation. In a way, the timing was great - no time to sit and mourn the missed opportunity, as we were too busy looking at ducks and buses and gravel in California. And we didn't have to waste our vacation worrying about what needed to be done at home to start the move.

Then yesterday Jason calls me on my cell phone, which he never does and can only mean he's in an ambulance or something similarly bad. He'd gotten a call from the hiring manager - does he still want the job? Because they decided the guy they hired would be a better fit in another, more recently available, position, so the one Jason interviewed for was open again. Sloppy seconds, as Jason so eloquently described it, but cool all the same.

The official offer came through Wednesday, and once he nails down a few details with the hiring manager, it looks like we're headed north. I'm simultaneously thrilled to be moving "home," and petrified to be moving at all. I haven't started to make The List yet, the one that includes all the stuff I need to get ready for the move (patch the hole in the ceiling in Liza's room, take boatloads of stuff to Goodwill, cancel our swim lessons and preschool classes, clean the house so it doesn't look like a toddler lives here, etc.) and all the stuff I need to do to get settled up north (decide which suburb we want to live in, find a preschool program for next year, find the libraries with the good toddler storytimes, change the address on all of my business stuff, etc.). There are tons of decisions to be made during any move, and adding the kid to the mix just means I have one more level of worrying to do. It's going to be complicated, it's going to be depressing, and it's all going to need to get done in the next couple of weeks. And my kid is on a nap strike. I see lots of Baby Einstein in her future ...

But I can't wait to get up there and get settled. There's a zoo (which probably has ducks, and I think there's at least a little electric tram thing), and the city is big enough that there's a public transportation system so Liza will get to see buses more than once a month, and the library system is huge. There are tons of quilt stores (aka potential Lazy Mama customers) and other opportunities for an itinerant journalist. Our best friends live there. I can find my way through the city without a map (it may take me a few tries to get where I'm going, but I usually only end up in the slums during ONE of those tries). It will be good to be home.

But I'm going to miss it down here. I've got a network of other moms of toddlers to hang out with, Liza's got a preschool I'm happy with, and our street is much more of a neighborhood than any subdivision will ever be. The library and two parks are within walking distance of our house, as are several restaurants, a grocery store, the post office, and a couple banks. The guy at the Thai restaurant knows Jason by name, and the librarians all know Liza. I've finally gotten the ivy beaten into submission, and this was the year I was going to put in a vegetable garden so I'd have something to talk to my relatives about at next year's reunion. I know where to go when I need to buy shoes, or get the carpet cleaned, or have some plumbing work done ... and if I don't know, I know someone who DOES.

It's going to be hard to leave, on many levels, but I'm convinced this is the right thing to do. My blog posts may be a little less coherent and more sporadic for the next few months as I juggle the work, the move, finding Internet access, and typing with a toddler in tow at the library. Bear with me, and I'll keep you all in the loop. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a sheet of paper the size of a twin mattress that says "The List" at the top ... time to start planning.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!
- MLF

Sonia said...

Well...I knew it was going to happen one of these days. Congrats to Jason! We're going to miss you all! The street won't be the same without you!! How much time do we have before you leave? Looks like I've got a little goodbye dinner to plan...it's just sooo sad - but I'm happy that you're happy about it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Jason! And get started with the mile long list. And don't forget to involve grandma, you may even want to park Liza with her for a week so that you can move in peace. And stay cheerful, you will do wonders again. K's mom

Kylie-Ann said...

Yay!! that's excellent. I was looking forward to visiting you in Kentucky but we both know that was ages away!! We're in Chicago in June if you want to do a road trip??? Congrats Jase!!!

Kimberly said...

The moms and tots here in Ky will sure miss you guys - baby book club, crochet lessons and all. :)