Alright, so after all the joyful gift opening, we were forcibly thrust back into reality. We had Monday and Tuesday to pack, Tuesday evening to load the truck, Wednesday and Thursday to drive the Uhaul to Salt Lake, car in tow, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to find and move into an apartment. Then of course there was my lack of a job.
Needless to say, it was a hectic week. Packing was fairly stressful, and a bit emotionally difficult. I was able to get the Uhaul with tow dolly no problem, and Tuesday evening a good number of friends came over to my parents’ house to help load the truck and say goodbye. It was bittersweet. This was the first time we had seen any of them since the wedding and we got to reminisce. However, it was also probably the last time we’d see them until Christmas. We’re both well aware of how amazing our friends are, and it’s difficult to leave them.
Wednesday morning we got up early, and spent a large portion of time frantically packing all the stuff we had forgotten in the first pass. Naturally, it was pouring rain. With the truck loaded up, my father and I put the tow dolly on and got the car up on it while my mother tried to assist by holding an umbrella over us while we fastened the straps and chains.
After a somewhat tearful fairwell, we headed down the road, me nervous as hell driving that thing loaded up with the car on it for the first time and in the pouring rain. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to pick up.
About halfway to Lincoln, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Max speed for the Uhaul with the tow dolly was 55 mph. Thus it took us nearly 12 hours to get to Rawlins, WY where we stayed at a KOA. Our general mood throughout the trip was a sort of forced pleasant. We were both stressed and worried beyond belief about the countless unknowns ahead of us. I kept telling myself: “One thing at a time”.
At some point during the week, Tara started getting headaches and dizziness in the mornings and was not feeling well in the evenings. We made the mistake of looking up pregnancy symptoms on the internet, and discovered that she had a couple other symptoms as well. This did not help.
We arrived in Salt Lake at about 3 in the afternoon on Thursday. We drove the truck to a friend’s house where we would be staying while we looked for a place to live. After a short break, I took the car off the dollly, and we set out to look at apartments. We didn’t have that much time that evening, so we didn’t find anything.
Friday we set out again and tried a few places that morning with little luck. Too expensive, too shitty, couldn’t move in until next week, or all of the above. Kind of on a whim, we went to some nice apartments near Tara’s old apartment knowing that they do deals from time to time. The guy asked us what we were willing to spend, and Tara told him our limit. He just laughed and suggested somewhere else. No deals currently, I guess.
Early that afternoon, we found it. The location was good, the ground were nice, and the apartment itself was nice enough. Best of all, the guy said he could get us moved in on Saturday. Thus we showed the guy how much borrowed money we’d be receiving (Tara’s school loans). We had to do this because of my lack of job. Evidentally they don’t care if the money youre paying rent with doesn’t belong to you as long as they’re getting they’re money. And we got approved.
Friday night the girls that live in the house we were staying at threw a party. Being that each of these girls is Mormon, the attendance was 99% Mormon. At one point during the night, I turned to Tara and said quietly: “This is the most young people I’ve seen in a house with no alcohol whatsoever”. The party was fun though. Later on in the night, I began talking to a guy from none other than Scranton, PA who had recently converted from Catholic to Mormon. I was interested to know some doctrine. He gave me far more information than I asked for, but it was good. Anyway, during our conversation, the last of the other guests had left, leaving me, Tara, the residents, and him. He was thinking that we were guests as well. Presently, he came to the awkward realization that we were staying there tonight and that he was, by far, the last party guest. He quickly left.
Saturday, we unloaded the truck. This took much longer than it had to load it because it was just the two of us. After unloading, we drove the truck to a boyscout garage sale that I had seen earlier that morning as we were in need of a dresser for Tara. It was the end of the day and they were anxious to get rid of stuff. They were quite excited when they saw us pull up in the truck. Miraculously, they had a dresser. We came away with the dresser, a TV stand, a lamp, and a leather desk chair (with only a small tear) for $20. This was the 2nd blessing.
That evening, we went up into one of the canyons to the head of tara’s department’s house for a beginning of the year potluck. I had come to this event last year as well, and about 10 minutes in, I was beginning to think that, once again, it would be husband awkwardly following wife around while she awkwardly mingles and makes small talk with new students and faculty. However, during my trip to the beer cooler, I met another “awkward husband”. Turns out his wife is a first year and they are close to our age. They just moved from CA, and he is also seeking employment (although he teached guitar, not engineering). So we hit it off (it totally reminds me of the movie I Love You, Man), and as homosexual as it sounds, exchanged phone numbers at the end of the night and arranged to go to Tara’s church in the morning. This was the 3rd blessing.
So, as I said, we went to church Sunday morning with The Sawyers. The church is Mount Olympus Presbyterian and I liked a lot, and so did the Sawyers. The members made us feel very welcome, which is always nice. This was the 4th blessing.
After church we went on a difficult grocery run. One of those where it hurts–because you’ve got no income. We then spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking. That evening, I modified my resume with my new Salt Lake address and sent it to a few places that had posted on the department of workforce services website.
Monday morning, Tara went to school, and I, with a long list of errands, got up with her. I went for a run, which felt incredibly good, came back, showered, and was tearing into the errand list when I got a phone call from an 801 (Salt Lake) number. Somewhat excitedly, I answered. It was a guy from Daycounter, inc and engineering consulting firm. He drilled me about my resume over the phone and then asked me if I could come in that morning for an interview. I tried to set up a time, which was difficult since I had no idea how long it would take me to get there. He told me I could come anytime before noon. I ran to the bedroom, threw on my suit, quickly scanned his company’s website, and was out the door. I got to the address, and it’s this tiny little end office on a shitty little building. The company name is printed on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper and taped to the door. I’m thinking “Wow, I should not have worn the suit”.
I went in, and a friendly man dressed in a Hawaiian-esque shirt, shorts, and sandals greets me by saying “Wow, you dressed up for the occasion”. We did the interview. I came to find out that he’s a one-man company that does consulting, but has also invented a soil moisture probe for which he has created a second company. I could tell he was a bit paranoid that my resume was fake. He asked if I could send him my school transcript, and I told him I could. He asked me about my favorite classes, and seemed uninterested with my response. He then gave me a piece of paper and asked me to draw an analog amplifier circuit. I was freaking out. I haven’t touched that sort of circuit for more than a year, and never in real life. From hazy memory, I began an op-amp circuit. Before I could get to the point where I would have embarrassed myself, he said: “OK, you’ve got the easy one, now do one with a BJT”. Gaining some confidence, I started in on the circuit he requested. “You’d have some sort of biasing here…” I started to say, but he’d seen enough. He took away the paper, confident that I was in fact an electrical engineer. He offered me the job. Told me it’d just be part time, and that he couldn’t pay me as much as my old salary. I asked him if he’d have a problem if I only worked for a short time until I could find a “real job”. He said that was perfectly fine. I accepted the job. He asked if I could start that day, and I said sure. I went home, ate lunch, and changed, and at 1:00 Monday afternoon, I clocked in for my first day at work my 4th day in Salt Lake. This was the 5th blessing.
I called Tara up on my way home from the interview. She was excited and had some news of her own: She had gotten her period.
Monday evening was a good evening. We decked out the table (which did not have the legs on it because we didn’t have any chairs) with new dishes and fancy glasses and drank the champagne that my brother Ben had given us. It was unbelievable the joy we felt. I don’t think either of us realized just how stressed we had been until the stressors had been lifted.
I don’t care if it sounds weird or cheesy, but we are both convinced that the series of events and blessings that unfolded during our first 5 days in Utah were the result of countless prayers from countless friends and family and a very loving God stepping in and answering each of those prayers. I will also admit that I may have not cried during the wedding ceremony, but I sure am cryng now as I struggle to write this. I often avoid potentially emotional situiations by cracking a joke, but there is absolutely no avoiding this one. We are so blesssed.
Birth Control is Amazing.