Monday, September 18, 2006

Dispatches from the (home) front

Checking in after a busy week back home. We'll try keeping things concise with a Top 5 list:

5) Walking for the Cure. We were happy to be in town this weekend for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This allowed me to join my sister-in-law Sarah walking in memory of her Mom. I was suprised to find out that with almost 50,000 participants the Portland event is the biggest one on the west coast; bigger than Seattle, LA, San Francisco, etc. I believe it may be the 5th biggest one in the US. It certainly felt that big: While the 5K walk kicked off at 9 am, we weren't able to shuffle our way past the start line until 9:50! In fact, my Mom, who somehow found herself at the front of the pack for the start, finished the walk before Sarah, Elaine and I had even started. Mental note to self: next year get goodies afterwards and get to the front of the start line!

4) Rejoining the rat race. One of the things that we enjoyed during our travels was the fact that we were cellphone-free. Yes of course there were times when it was a hassle or when having one would have made travel logistics much more convenient, but there were fewer of those moments than you might think. And after having a job where the cell phone kept me on a tight leash, it was so nice to just walk away from all that. It actually took a while before I stopped feeling like I'd forgotten something and stopped reacting when I heard the familiar ringtone but once I hit that point I could feel my stress level drop.

So it was with a fair amount of reluctance that we went off cell-phone shopping last week. We realize that we have to have them: the relocation, the job search, and the lack of an actual permanent residence or land line pretty much makes it imperitive. But it still hurt. Even worse was the fact that the nearest Verizon store was in the Lloyd Center Mall. You know you've returned to the States when you have to make your way through the maze of an upscale shopping mall to do a business transaction. On the plus side, we did get to watch the young ice skaters twirling around and look back with a certain horrified nostalgia at the Tonya Harding era.

3) The job search. Ah...yes....that. Actually, we've been making a lot of progress with researching companies and making contacts. The tricky part has been the fact that we'll be out of town for the next 3 weeks or so. The last thing we wanted to do was to work hard to catch a company's interest, and then if they wanted to meet us, say that we'd be unavailable for weeks. So we're laying the ground work at the moment and then will try and ratchet things up as we prepare to return to town.

2) The relocation. Our house is now officially on the market in Minneapolis. We're just hoping that someone sees it and falls in love with its old-time charm and location as much as we did. Please tell anyone and everyone you know in the Twin Cities area to check it out. Personally I think the listing pics don't do it justice so just go see if for yourself!

1) What's next? We leave tomorrow for Minnesota. We'll do any fixing-up projects needed on the house, take care of all the administrative stuff you need to do when moving, pack up the house, and spend as much time as we can with our friends there. That's the one part that dims our excitement about the move back home to the northwest. We have some amazing friends in the Twin Cities and we're really, really going to miss them. Sometime in early/mid October we'll load up the UHaul and drive ourselves back home. Wherever home is...


Oh...and since pictures of us at the mall or hunched over our computers probably aren't that interesting, I decided to use these re-entry updates to showcase more of our favorite pictures from the trip. (This was Brian trying out the roadside snack delicacy of deep fried spiders in Cambodia)

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