Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Okay, I promised my niece the next thing I wrote would be funny so it's time to talk about our trip to Tennessee. Not sure if it will be super hilarious, but at least it shouldn't make her cry so that's a good thing!

A few weeks ago Brent and I took a weekend trip to Kingsport, Tennessee. Why on Earth would we do that you are wondering right about now...well...it's simple. It's time to move. When Brent and I first got married he was in the Navy and we moved 4 times in 8 years. Then he went to work for Intel and we moved another 4 times in the next 7 years. When we settled in Oregon the last time I said that was it until C was out of school. He went to 6 different schools from kindergarten to 7th grade. So it was time to make sure we stayed put until he was done with high school. Moving is a pain in the butt for adults, but for kids it's a social nightmare. You are constantly the new kid and trying to adjust and fit in. So we stayed.

But here is the other thing about moving. It's sort of addictive. If you do it a lot you start to see the benefits in it. You never end up accumulating too much junk (as you all know I have issues with too much stuff), you get to redecorate, you get to explore new places, you get to try new foods. It's really kind of exciting. Even when the move is a bad one (Hello, Colorado Springs!) there are good parts about it (Mrs. Worner, I'm talking to you) and parts that you really enjoyed. So when C's Junior year hit we started thinking about the "what next" part for Brent and I. He actually interviewed with a company in Pittsburgh but they wanted him to move right then and there was no way we were uprooting C his Senior year, and also no real way to support two households for a year. So Brent kept looking, nothing really serious but if there was something interesting out there he would apply.

Then the weather hit. We had two horrible wet, cold, dark winters back to back with a poor excuse for a summer in between. It just seemed like two solid years of rain. I reached my limit on internal sunshine and decided I didn't really care where we went but we needed to get out! So the search started a little more in earnest. This is where Kingsport came in. There is a big chemical plant there that was interested in Brent for their finance department. At first I was all for it, lets just go! The visitors site online looks beautiful! We've lived in small towns before and this one has 500,000 in the TriCities area so it's not even close to the smallest we've ever seen. But Brent being the grownup in our family arranged for me to actually visit the town while he had his interview to see for myself. It's good to have a grownup in the family.

I fully believe that the universe gives you hints on what you should do. Now, you can ignore them (the house isn't selling? oh well, move to Colorado anyway, what's the worst that could happen?) or you can decide to pay attention and look a little closer at what you should be doing. The first hurdle we had to cross was convincing the people in Kingsport that it was important that I see the town in the first round of interviews not the last. To actually have a chance to get a feel for the place. The second thing that happened is I got a line on an interesting job possibility for me. The only catch being I would have to be on the West Coast for it to happen. Could be pretty much anywhere on the West Coast, but it had to be the West Coast.

Keeping the job for me in the back of my mind we decided to head out as planned. And almost got stuck in the airport in Atlanta. The earlier flight into the TriCities area had been cancelled so they sold all of those people tickets on our flight and oversold the flight. Since we had purchased our tickets so close to the fly date we didn't have assigned seats. So we waited...the good news is there was a guy waiting for our flight who brought out his guitar and started playing. You can't keep a good head of mad or even overly worried up when this guy is playing the blues softly next to you.

So it ends up we get on the flight all's well! Landing in the TriCities airport we got our first moments of, "hmmm....500,000 people you say?" This is the baggage claim area for the airport that serves three cities and half a million people.

Nope, you aren't missing part of it. That's it. Smaller than the Burlington Airport and that is saying a lot! Now you know how sometimes you over hear a conversation and it just sticks with you for some reason? Maybe later it comes back to you at an appropriate time and you think..."well isn't that interesting" I had one of those moments (this is the foreshadowing part) A woman walked up to her friend who was sitting in the baggage claim area, also the car rental area, and told him that her flight was grounded. They were doing maintenance on the plane and it would be delayed an hour and half. Because of this she was going to miss her connection in Atlanta so she was staying in Bristol (one of the TriCities) another night. She was not a happy camper and I felt badly for her.

So on with our adventure! We got our rental and headed out to find Kingsport and our hotel. It was warm and a little humid but not nearly as bad as we had feared it would be. And since it was only going to reach the upper 50s in Portland that day we figured we were owed those 90s anyway! And since you all know how I hate a long blog and love a multiparter that is where I will end for today. This is the view from our hotel parking lot, we thought it was going to rain, but it didn't...not Saturday anyway!

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