Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Door Opens

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
-- Alexander Graham Bell

I am an Alaskan girl. Always will be. I was born in Anchorage and moved all over the state because my dad was a State Trooper. I must have been blessed with kamikaze angels as a young child. I wanted to go pet the moose standing in front of our picture window early in the morning, while everyone slept. I could never get the door open fast enough and they would be gone. I've searched for Easter eggs in spring snowfall. Worn ExtraTuffs with a dress, worked in a cannery and fell in love with the wildness of a southeastern Alaska commercial fisherman. 

Never imagined leaving Alaska after getting married and having kids. Alaska felt safe and familiar. Anywhere else seemed crazy. Alaskans are a different breed. We are independent and fiercely protective of our right to live free, in the pursuit of happiness.... with our guns.

Early this month, my husband and I were getting ready for an overdue date night out. A sort of late anniversary celebration, just the two of us. My husband noticed he had missed a call from my dad. I hadn't called my parents in a while and figured they were looking to talk to the kids. Then, I noticed they had called me too. As we drove to the restaurant, I got nervous, since both my grandmas aren't in the best health. I thought maybe something had happened. So I called back just before getting to the restaurant. Dinner was delayed for a bit while my dad slowly told me what was going on in Montana, and that the family had a proposition for us.

With everything going on in our country, rising fuel and food costs that look to only be worsening, did we feel safe being far from family if something bad happened? What if Chad lost his job? What if there were food shortages? Well... people we had met were very good people, but they weren't family. We weren't sure. Those aren't the easiest questions to answer. Then, he dropped the bomb. Almost all in one breath:

(paraphrased) Your mother and I have been talking and we want to pay your way to move down to Montana and live on the farm in the house your brother just built. Its a four bedroom, two bath, two car garage home with natural gas and wood stove heat on 40 acres of land. Your uncle wants you to manage the farm and Chad will be paid for his time to rebuild the barn, chicken coop, fence in the property, and salvage the wood from the old homestead and barn. In addition to that, Chad will be employed to paint one grandmother's house and renovate a bathroom. While the other grandma needs a garage and a possible add on. We will also pay six month's rent after which it will only be $600/mo. We want to eventually get cows, chickens, maybe alpacas, prepare a portion of land for alfalfa and have a large garden. All the tools are there, even all the farming equipment. You would be paid to help clean the house for one grandma and maybe chauffeur the other from time to time and your mother will help with the kids. It's a lot to take in right now, so don't rush into this decision. Take some time and think about it.


I am sitting there stunned. I get off the phone, and tell Chad. We are both stunned. What should we do? There is so much to consider. Can we really walk away from Alaska? Montana is so far away. If we left, there would be no returning because, we cannot afford to go, certainly wouldn't be able to come back once they had moved us (the next day my dad calls to say, if we give it a few years, and it's not working out, they would help pay to send us back to Alaska!) What do we do? How do we process this once in a lifetime offer?

TO BE CONTINUED..... (for conclusion click here)


Anonymous said...

I personally welcome adventure--- and growing up an Alaskan gal- I'm sure you have the same sence of adventure running through your veins. :) And it's not that you are moving away from family-- you have your Grandmothers and other family in that area---- AND from the sounds of it, a safety net! I say, "go for it"--- but then again, we move every 4 years--- which isn't for everybody. I just think it sounds like an awesome adventure worth a try for a few years. How do the schools look in that area?


AlaskanBelle said...

I am going to homeschool at least for next year. If I do well and the boys enjoy it (they asked to homeschool!) then we will keep doing it. They'll get to participate in sports and all kinds of activities that will bring them lots of social interaction. :) Yes, big adventure indeed!

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