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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our first year Part One or "how did you wind up out there/here?"

  Last July, my husband and I packed up our 3 younger children, a cat,  and 4 days worth of clothes in an SUV, essential furniture in a U-Haul trailer and drove from South Alabama to Portland Oregon. The lunacy of this still strikes me occasionally. To clarify, we didn't just wake up one morning and say, "Hey! I know what we'll do today...Let's quit our jobs, leave our families and completely uproot every other aspect of our lives so we can move to a different planet where we only know two people!"
   It all began when we decided we wanted to stay in the small Alabama town my husband's family is from. You can't throw a rock without hitting someone he's related to and we wanted our kids to grow up around family. We were having a hard time saving the money to build the house we wanted and since we're both RNs, we decided my husband would get a travel nurse assignment for some fast money. We decided on the Portland area because my dad grew up in Oregon and my aunt lives in the area.  Then we got the bright idea that the kids and I could go out with him and get to know my dad's side of the family over the summer. He registered with a travel nurse agency, got his Oregon nursing license and put in his notice at the hospital where we worked. Weeks turned into a month as he put in for travel assignments that didn't pan out. He stayed on at the hospital in an intermittent capacity. The hourly rate was higher but we had no insurance. The thrill of anticipation turned to stomach knotting dread as we lived in fear of our children getting sick or injured. They had already hired my husband's replacement so going back to his old job was not an option.  We had to make a decision.
  This all started because we wanted to give our kids roots in a small town surrounded by family.  We looked at me going back to work full time, purchasing our own insurance or giving up the dream and JR finding full time employment at a local hospital. The more we discussed it, the more clearly we saw that the fourth option was the one we SHOULD pursue. Between nursing school obligations jobs and family connections we'd moved around between Mobile, Alabama and Meridian, Mississippi quite a bit in the span of 8 years and just wanted to give our kids a permanent home. JR didn't want to uproot them any more. I wanted them to be around family.
 Sooo... JR applied directly to a Portland area hospital and within 3 weeks they had hired him over the phone. Two months after we started discussing a summer project, we were moving to Oregon!
  Of course, it was just temporary because we wanted to give our kids a permanent home, in a good area, around family.