Sunday, August 31, 2008

Visiting Home

We went back to Maine again this week. Thing One has been given the chance to return and live with friends for senior year. While this means giving him up a year early, in a sense, it's also something I'm really glad to do. Thing One has always been there for his mom and sibs, always helped out, and it's good to be able to let him have this opportunity. And The Girl, I'm sure, was especially thrilled at his return.

So back we drove, with the temperature becoming cooler as we headed farther north and east. It was a bit odd to see the first hints of trees beginning change

when back on the plains it was still sticky and humid and most definitely clinging to late summer.

But even the slightly cooler temps did not stop us from having fun on the lake

or hooking up with lots of friends (each day culminating into three nights of grilling out, each with different sets of people, each getting larger as we went)

and it especially didn't stop us from visiting our beloved Korner Knitters,

where the awesome Darrin waits to help all and sundry.

(I also found the name of the cotton from which I made my Christmas stocking, but for which I'd lost the ball bands. It's Cascade Pima Tencel 030 Natural and 2493 Purple--Rav will now be updated.)

We found out right before we left Maine our house bid back in the Midwest had fallen through. The ex-wife had accepted the offer, but the ex-husband didn't. That was a bit of a bummer, but we tried to stay philosophical about it, even as we said goodbye to Thing One (very odd that; as he said, I don't think it really dawned on him that we would be half a country apart).

Despite all that, we said our final goodbye, then got on the rotary, took the proper road off it, and headed south.

It was then that the cell phone rang.

"---? It's D-- from ---College. Are you still in Maine?"

"Well, sort of. We're just leaving."

"I know this is short notice, but could you come interview? Tomorrow?"

It's a wonder I didn't drive off the road right then and there. This was a college I had applied to before, but one which kept reorganizing and canceling its positions (which you kind of begin to see as a sign, you know?). The last position, which dealt with providing support services to at-risk and learning disabled students, was right up my alley and I'd applied once again. D and I had talked several times, and she had shown interest in interviewing me, but hadn't returned my call before I went to Maine. I assumed this meant there wasn't a chance and hadn't bothered to bring my suit along. I pointed this out to her.

"Oh we don't care. Interview in your summer clothes; that's fine. We'll put you up in a hotel up here and get you some dinner. Do you need someone to watch the kids? It'll be a three-tier, two-hour interview, you know."

Somewhat dazed, I accepted the interview and we turned around and headed farther north into Maine, rather than south.

That night the kids played in the pool and I made phone calls back west, letting everyone know we would be behind schedule on our return and why.

The next day I went through round one and round two of the interview process trying hard to forget that I was in sandals, the comfy pants I wear kayaking on cool mornings, and one of the few nice tops I'd packed (slightly wrinkled). I also tried to piece together my brain enough to give semi-coherent answers; three nights of visiting with friends means not much sleep, you know?

By the time I got to the last interview, I was breathing an internal sigh of relief. One more battery of questions and then I should know in a couple of days how I did. Either way, I already had a job in the Midwest, so I was set.

This is what I got instead of questions.

"Look, we don't feel the need to beat around the bush or make you wait. We know you'll have decisions to make, so we just want to offer you the job."

Being my ever suave self, I replied, "Are you sure you don't want to ask me more questions first?"

They didn't. Instead, they said they would give me a couple of days to decide whether or not I wanted to be with them, rather than the other way around.

The kids and I left in daze. After months and moths of not being able to find anything, I suddenly had two jobs (well, a job and an offer) instead of none. That's a bit shocking, quite honestly.

Heading south, I decided there was only one thing to do. We stopped here.

The lady who owns this shop is on Rav as myarns (that link will only work if you are a Ravelry member, btw)

and we met in the stormy weather fanatics group. She had told me to come on by if ever I got the chance to interview at that college north of her.

So we went by. I fell instantly in love with the place. The store is everything a LYS should be, lots of great selection and many friendly people hanging out in rockers, knitting and talking. I chatted with them while I picked up a skein of beautiful, hand-dyed-in-Maine sock yarn, which will either be used in Leyburn or in Northern Lights. The color changes might be too quick for Northern Lights, though, so I may have to go back to Marnacook one day and get another skein by that same dyer, as she had several others with longer color runs.

The bright colors were a bit outside my norm ("Those are SO not jewel tones or solids mom! What happened to you?" was how Thing Two oh so kindly put it.) but they are beautiful and fun and I needed a bright pick me up to shock my senses out of their benumbed state. (Note: it's French Twist from French Hill Farm and I still love the colors, no matter how different they are from my norm.)

So, I have three or four days to decided. Do we stay in the metro area we were finally trying to make into a home, or do we go back to the adopted state we had called home for almost ten years?

Six months ago, there would have been no competition. Now, it's a harder call.

We're going to be doing a lot of talking about it all as we head back to the city.

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