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What Made Us Move to Alaska? Pt 2 of 2

After about a month, we called Mr. Planeman again to tell him that we were no longer considering Alaska. We wanted to stay on his radar and maintain the contact, just in case we ever tried to make a move towards Alaska again in the future. But before Stephanie could get off the phone, Mr. Planeman had another idea: He said something to the effect of, “Hey, I know you don’t want to do this, but my dad is currently the superintendent of a small, remote school district that is always looking for good people. If you are really interested in Alaska, you should give him a call.”

Stephanie called Mr. Hiredman one evening a few days later. Given the time difference, Mr. Hiredman was in the office in the middle of his afternoon. After a few minutes of conversation, this call turned into a de facto interview, right there on the phone. After a short while, he told Stephanie he wanted to talk to me as well. Stephanie quickly found me in another part of the building and had me join the conversation in a three way call. I remember that phone call: I was in one of the empty dorm rooms by myself and Stephanie was on the phone in our apartment, so we couldn’t see each other. We mostly listened as  Mr. Hiredman told us about the communities, the schools and the conditions we could expect there. I listened as he told us that there were no roads leading to these communities, that some households did not have electricity and that most did not have running water. He told us about communities with no stores, small bush planes that came every few days, dark winters, extreme temperatures as much as 50 and 60 degrees below zero, outhouses and “honey pots,” and houses heated by woodstoves. What he described was rustic. As he talked I thought to myself, “This is more extreme than even I am willing to attempt; I know there is no way that Stephanie would even consider it.” 

When the phone call ended, I walked back to our apartment to see Stephanie and to talk about what we had just heard. I fully expected her to say something like, “Not only no, but… !” To my complete surprise – surprise that has not worn off from that day to this – her first words to me as I walked in the door were, “Doesn’t that sound great?!” My answer: “No, it doesn’t.”

We continued to talk about it and gently pursue the possibility of moving to Alaska. My position at that time was that if Stephanie continued to be more excited about it than I was, then I felt comfortable moving in that direction. I didn’t want to be the one dragging her to Alaska. I remember being shocked at every juncture of our planning and preparation by how easily everything fell into place. In less than a month, we were hired over the phone, sold most of our things, moved out of our apartment, loaded up our recently acquired Isuzu Trooper, and headed out on the long road to Alaska. We were moving purposefully and prayerfully into a place we had never seen and could not at that time even remotely imagine.

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 05:57PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell in | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

Wow! Just Wow! Only God can move in such wondrous ways!
November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDayna
AND, as I recall you were looking for a reason to drive to Fresno's infamous Pink House. What good, good times.
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwatson

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