The End and the Beginning …..1st of series

My first meeting with Doug he talked about living in Alaska.  But he talked then (as he talks now) about a lot of things.  I didn’t give it much importance. 

Personally, life was good.  We bought our first home a couple of years earlier, had a beautiful 2 year old son, had just found out our second child was on the way….plus I’d gotten a huge promotion at work.  That meant we could pay our mortgage AND buy groceries.

Doug’s work wasn’t so good.  He was restless.  He was regularly going to the library to check the want ads in Anchorage.  We lived in San Jose, California.  Hmmmm?  (By the way, this was pre-internet day so you had to research the old-fashioned way.) 

Reading of a bakery for sale in Anchorage, we scraped the airfare together.  Two days later he returned euphoric.  Anchorage was everything he thought it would be.  The bakery was a good possibility, but no decisions were made.  End of story……until I returned home one day to find the FOR SALE sign in our front lawn. 

I criedI pleaded.  I bargained.  I told him I could never leave my family and friends.  I could never take our children away from their grandparents.  I didn’t look good in white (was stretching for that one).  I didn’t know how to drive in the snow, etc., etc.

I went to bed and cried some more.  I prayed.  I tried to think it thru logically.  I had to admit I’d never seen Doug with such resolve about anything.  I asked God to make this totally clear to me. 

VERY NEXT day….house sold.

Thus began an interesting time in our relationship….probably my most favorite.  Reason being, Doug and I put our heads together and made an actual plan….on paper even.  If our sons knew us then they would be so proud. 

But first we had to tell our parents.

Doug’s took it well.  They made a major move from Canada to California years earlier so had more understanding.

My dad is quiet, stoic, very supportive.  He thinks logically, before speaking, and even if he thought we were totally nuts he didn’t show it.

My mother’s reaction was very similar to mine.  She cried.  She came up with creative reasons why this would not be a good idea.  She made an appointment for me to talk to the church pastor.  She made an appointment for herself to talk to the church pastor.

But ultimately, this was a done deal.  And in my heart of hearts….even though I was scared, even though I didn’t want to leave the people I loved…. I was excited.  I always wanted to do something “different” and this was certainly that.

There really wasn’t a lot of time to dilly dally anyway…we’d sold our home.  The new owner wasn’t in a big rush, so we had a time reprieve.  I gave my notice at work.  Doug started selling stuff.  We gave things away.  We made list after list of what we truly needed to take with us.  We were, dare I say, becoming practical.   

And whenever Doug and I could get away we’d head to the library and pour over the Anchorage newspapers to get a feel for cost of living, places to rent, etc.  My in-laws gave us a brand new Milepost to plan our trip.  It was dog-eared and memorized before we even left California. 

Our status quo life had ended.  We were stepping into a life which would change us forever.

This is not a short story.  It’s been a long time since I’ve visited these memories and it will take time to unfold.  I think it will be interesting…. there will be pictures!  So until next time………..

Doug and Ian aboard the MV Columbia....Alaska bound

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