|Dave's new workplace: Cold Lake Chrysler.
We're moving. Again. Oh, I can't believe we're moving again. I say I hate it and yet I keep doing it. I don't think I've spent 10 of my 52 years in the same place. My dad was a railway engineer so we moved a few times because of that, and then my career in the newspaper business meant I moved again and again. Then my marriage fell apart. Then I met Dave. Every time a "then" happened I had to move again. I remember planting trees up at Dave's house in Sundridge and saying to him, "every time I plant a tree somewhere, in the hopes of being around to watch it grow up, I move again." Sure enough, we moved when my company moved our production office to Bracebridge.
Fortunately I was never tempted to plant a tree on our property here – we're surrounded by trees already! Besides, we love this place. In many ways it's the place we have been looking for our entire lives. When we moved in I said to Dave, "I'm never planting a tree here. Never." But then we planted a couple of snowball bushes and a few lilacs. I didn't think of them as trees, but maybe the Great Goddess of Moving and Tree Karma counted them because here we go again.
I guess I was born under a Gypsy star.
This all started last summer when my brother-in-law, Don, told us about a Chrysler mechanic who moved out west and was making so much money he didn't know what to spend it on. It's all due to the oil sands in Alberta and the incredible demand for skilled trades. It also has to do with Chrysler, which has launched a serious training program for its automotive technicians, insisting on a certain level of training at all dealerships and refusing to pay for warranty work done by unskilled mechanics. Dave, as you can imagine, is a bit of a keener. He had all his courses done before Chrysler made it mandatory. Not all mechanics felt the same way about the new regulations (Don did, to his credit – he's a real keener, too), so there are a lot of untrained or semi-trained mechanics out there and not a lot like Dave and Don. Knowing that, you'll have no trouble realizing that Dave is in high demand.
When the company he worked for in Huntsville was bought out just recently, Dave decided it was time to look around. Within a few minutes scouting around on the internet, he found a job posting for Cold Lake Chrysler, three hours north of Edmonton, Alberta.
The opportunity is amazing. The pay is amazing. It has benefits and bonuses out the wazoo. After debating its merits and cons back and forth until our heads hurt, we finally decided that Dave should take the job. For me the best thing is I won't have to work anymore. I can retire and concentrate on writing. Or eating bon-bons. Or picking my nose.
He will drive out there next week, leaving me behind until we sell our beloved house on the Muskoka River. I could be here for three months or six months or a year. You never know how long it takes to sell a house... it took us eight months to sell our last home.
I am not looking forward to being alone here. I will miss Dave terribly because he is my rock and my knight in shining armour and all that blah-blah-mushy stuff. I will also miss him because now it's up to me to do all those stinky jobs he does so well – jobs like cleaning the cat litter, taking the garbage out, shovelling the driveway, cutting the grass, bringing in wood and keeping the house in good condition for impromptu showings.
Did I mention I hate cleaning kitty litter? I did it today, as a trial run. I am happy to report I didn't faint or barf.
Seriously, I'm a bit of a mess right now. The thoughts of missing Dave, the thoughts of missing my family when I move. Not to mention the 41 million things we have to do in preparation for it all.
The worst thing, of course, is leaving my family behind. The kids are staying with their father, for all the reasons I've blogged about a thousand times before. Angus doesn't really care, I don't think – he has taken a part-time job with his dad at the hardware store and he has a girlfriend he is head over heels with. As for Sam, well, I know he will miss me but he says he can hardly wait to go out west and spend the summer with us in "the mansion" we are sure to buy for him. Still, I worry that I am the worst mother in the world. How can I possibly even think of moving across the country, away from my babies???
I worry about leaving my mom behind, who isn't getting any younger, and know this will mean more pressure on my sister, who has always been the one to help my parents out whenever she was needed. Don't think I don't realize what you do, Liz, or appreciate you. I will miss you, too, and I will definitely miss our trips to Kiosk.
When I say I've been stressed lately, I'm not kidding. My heart feels like its beating out of my chest and I know my blood pressure is off the charts. I am trying to stay focused and only worry about one thing at a time, but the adrenaline rushing around my veins gives me the attention span of a flea – an extraordinarily bitchy flea. My apologies to anyone whose head I've bit off lately. The good news is, I won't be around to much longer for local head-biting. Long-distance chewing will have to suffice.
As for you guys in blogland, nothing will change. Except maybe I'll have to come up with a new name. Any ideas?
Anyone got Valium?