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Depends on Everything

It is finally sunny again tonight after snowing most of Friday, Saturday, and today. The temperatures, however, have been above zero, so it hasn’t really accumulated, it has just added to the muddy muck. It’s been an ugly weekend.

Which is a shame because the past couple of weeks have brought bright sunshine and above freezing temperatures. Rooftops drip. Snow retreats leaving mud everywhere. Puddles of snowmelt attract boys in rubber boots who throw newly uncovered rocks and stomp through water deep enough to render rubber boots pointless.

Stephanie and I have spent the last six weeks doing some earnest soul searching and having an ongoing conversation about what our immediate future – and by extension our long term future – will look like. We have come to some braids in the river and have spent some time thinking carefully about which channel to take. Long we stood and looked down each as far as we could.

That we would be moving from Circle, we’ve known for a while. Living here has been hard, particularly for Stephanie. After she and the kids returned home from Texas, we made the final decision that, whatever we did or wherever we went, we’d move our family from Circle. Though we briefly considered living in Fairbanks and having me commute to Circle each week, we quickly dismissed it on the grounds that we didn’t want our family to be apart that much. Which meant I’d be looking for a new job.

We had many decisions to make, but it seemed as if every decision depended on another decision, and so nothing could really be decided until everything was decided. Where did we want to live? Where would we look for a job? Would we be able to buy a house or would we have to continue renting? How long would we be in a place before we moved again? Could we expand our family further and faster than what we had already planned? Depends on… everything.

As we considered places where we’d like to move, we had the same things in mind: where can we become part of the community, part of the neighborhood, part of a faith community (something we haven’t really had in five years), where it is grassy and wants wear, where we can buy a house, lay down some roots, and be for a while.

Though I’ve networked some really great connections and had some really strong leads, no single job jumped out at me as one that could meet all of our immediate and long term needs. So after more conversations, we finally decided to do what we had talked about earlier. We will move to Fairbanks this summer and try to buy a house. When school starts in the fall, I will return to teaching in Circle. I will be commuting to Circle for the work week and returning home on Friday afternoons. This will probably be the hardest part. It will be hard to be away from Stephanie and the kids. It will be hard being in Circle alone. But this will allow Stephanie and the chillun to be in a house in Fairbanks and have all of the resources unavailable to us in the bush. And there is a lot that I still want to do and accomplish here in Circle. There are projects that I’ve only just begun, programs that are just now really going well, and plans that I still have for my kids for next year.  

And as soon as we made that and another very difficult decision, we experienced a certain amount of relief. We had done the emotional heavy lifting of the decision making process. All that is left is to go forward. Now we are looking to buy a house in Fairbanks that we can move into this summer and a larger vehicle that can hold our ever expanding family.

After doing some online shopping, we discovered that used Suburbans can be had for twenty five to thirty percent less in Dallas than in Alaska. We initially thought that I’d fly to Dallas to shop for a Suburban, pick up the last of our possessions, and drive back to Alaska. We even bought a ticket for late May, but now it looks as if that will have to wait for another day. The problem is money. We’re not as liquid as we’d like at this moment. We were planning to do some financing, but our mortgage lender has advised us not to do anything in terms of taking on more debt until after we close on a house. Makes sense, but that just means we’ll have to wait on a vehicle purchase.

We’re trying to scrape together every little bit of change we can to come up with a down payment on a mortgage, and at this point to pay cash for a different vehicle. We’re looking in the couch cushions and checking our jeans pockets. When we finally go to the bank, I’m gonna feel like a kid at the grocery store paying for his pop with a pocketful of pennies.

I shall be telling this with a sigh; we’ve decided to sell the boat. I spent the weekend putting it back in order after a winter buried in snow. The more time I spend on it though, the more I want to keep it. It’s a fun little thing. I had both motors bloppityblopping to life tonight as Jacob leaned out of the window whooping and hollering, “Run the prop, Daddy, run the prop!”

After these many years and adventures, we also looking to sell the Trooper. It may only bring a thousand bucks, but it’s time. That and the Tacoma, too. It’s a great vehicle, but it’s too small for the whole family, and too nice for me to beat to death on the road to Circle next year for just me. Once we get a Suburban for the family, I’ll be looking for a capable four-by that can handle the road to Circle and won’t break me at the gas station. Did I mention we also have an Infiniti in Dallas for sale? We’re a regular used car lot these days.

We are entering that time of year where the days get steadily longer. We are surprised each evening to find it after ten o’clock. We allow the boys to stay up later and later without realizing it. We get more tired.

The school year here in Circle is wrapping up. We have exactly two weeks, ten more days, of school left. The first goose has been felled. The ice on the river is rotting. Tonight it is after nine o’clock in the evening. Everyone is outside and no one is thinking about going to bed. It’s summer in Alaska. Tempus fugit.

Posted on Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 10:28PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments3 Comments

Reader Comments (3)

Ah, finally another update. Its been soo long... Thanks and don't forget to tell in your blogs that you've posted new pictures (or, did I miss that?)

And we'll be praying for your near future decisions. Love, Opa and Granna
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDad (Opa)
At the celebratory occasion of your 50th wedding anniversary, these are the days that you will look back on with the realization "those were the good old days". You and your precious family are in my prayers, Doll. Much love for you, Mom
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLizabeth Marr (Mom)
Awesome news that you guys have reached so many decisions that I am sure were quite difficult.
You are right about Suburbans being good prices out here ... we just decided to sell my BMW and get a suburban as well. It will carry more teenagers doncha know. lol
Hope all goes well with the sales of your multiple vehicles and that you will have many precious moments with Steph and the kids over the summer before beginning your week stints away from home.
May 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDayna

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