To say 2014 has not gone according to plan would be the understatement of the year so far.
In February my husband was laid off from his job. This happened at a time when we had just, I mean just, recovered from his previous layoff three years prior. We had recouped financially, put the short sale of our beautiful cabin behind us and started looking for a new home to buy. We had turned down other job offers to stay put in the Okanogan Highlands because we were happy and settled. In short things were going pretty damn well.
And then this. And on top of this, the owners of the property we have been living in for the last few years needed to put it on the market and we were now in no position to buy. First joblessness, then homelessness in the foreseeable future. I developed the remarkable talent of stuffing down my rising panic into some place deep inside my body and just learning to roll with the punches. I believe it's true that you get stronger from what life throws at you, and I think we're living proof of that. Although it didn't come easily. For a while I got really bitter and angry. Angry that for us things just kept going from difficult to even more difficult. Bitter that other people were out enjoying what they wanted to do in life and that just wasn't happening for us. At one point, as I was on day two of making the house look spotless so the real estate agent could take lovely photos to help sell the house out from under us, I reached the point that I no longer cared about trying to help people, do nice things or make the world a better place. And then the very next day someone did something so unbelievably kind and generous for us I snapped out of it. No matter what, I am a person who genuinely wants the best for other people and will work towards making life better. It's not their fault the owners of this property need to sell up, it's not other people's fault things are going well for them while our life is falling down around our ears, and I am not going to compromise my moral makeup of believing the best in people and life and risk turning into a resentful, twisted person. It's not who I am and no matter what I am going to continue to be as kind as I can, honest, respectful and helpful. I will trust that there is a reason for everything and be optimistic for the future.
For a long time we were aimless, job offers came and went, some jobs couldn't be taken as another more financially rewarding one was waiting in the wings, and then that amounted to nothing. We didn't know if it was worth continuing to throw money towards rent when our financial reserves were dwindling and the house could sell at any point. What we did know was we could not continue to live void of forward momentum and had to decide a path to take, whether it was the right one or the worst decision we could make. We just had to do something.
And so we have. We have bought a 20ft trailer and at the end of June we are moving out, putting our stuff into storage and embarking on a road trip with two children and five dogs - as I said, this could be the worst decision ever. We intend to visit Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, California and Oregon before heading back up to Tonasket for the start of the school year. We will then be desperately looking for somewhere to live for the winter and Steve should have a few months employment with a fishery he has been working with temporarily for the past three months.
That's our plan and we're sticking to it. Hopefully. Unless it all goes horribly pear-shaped. Beyond this we have nothing. There are a couple of irons in the fire, which may come to something. We'll see. We are being forced to live in the moment and take each day as it comes. We moved over from Scotland seven years ago with a very healthy bank account, a good job and high hopes. Now, as a result of personal choices, a plummeting economy and being on the wrong end of impersonal business decisions, we have nothing. Just a little savings, a truck and trailer, children and dogs, love and good humour, and a will to believe something good shall come out of this. I've already found a home for my sheep, my chickens are going to a friend. Packing and planning have begun.
Wish us luck, I think we're going to need it.