Well, it is amazing what a little faith, positive focus, and the mere "knowing what you want" can emanate about. I have been a little down with allergies and a touch of the flu the past couple weeks, and it has given me a little time out to reflect. I am so pleased at how this move has worked out for the best. I hear horror stories about the economy or lack of back in the mountains and how so many of our friends have either had to leave that area to find work, or are having a very difficult time due to the lack of it. Coupled with all of the competition from the years of accelerated growth before the bottom fell out. So although we do feel alot of emotion for what our friends are left to deal with, we are also grateful that we got out when we did. Talk about timing. And now that we are almost a full year into it, which is so hard to believe in itself, we are watching dreams come together, our lives improving, and utter happiness at our achievements. So I thought I would take advantage of my weeks thoughts.
I did get my pre-license certificate for Real Estate back in fall. However, I made a conscious decision that I was going to hold off on that indefinitely. I was starting to realize that I had too much on my plate as it was. Too many ventures I was trying to focus on. Plus, my real income was coming from growing my maintenance business and the time I was going to invest in snow plowing. I couldn't see letting that go to make virtually nothing while I was marketing myself in Real Estate and God knows that takes a while with little or no money to start. Maybe someday down the line, but not now. I also did invest in a new kiln, of which I absolutely love. Talk about perks of being modern! The old one was a dinosaur compared to this one. So I have been trying to pump out the pottery an get some inventory ready for this seasons many outdoor markets, bizarres, and festivals. That much I would like to continue to pursue. The maintenance business is growing better than I could have ever expected in less than a year. There is no shortage of work, and I am keeping incredibly busy. I just started a renovation for a couple that just bought a second home here. Ironically, they are from Galt of all places, and know Dorrington and a few of our acquaintances well, from them spending much time in that area over the years. We talked about Dorrington when I met them yesterday and it kind of made me a little homesick, but was so neat to be in Alaska talking about Dorrington with people who were so familiar with it. The downstairs flooded from a busted pipe and this week when they arrived was the first time they have been to the place other than the half hour they saw it before they made their offer a couple months ago. It is a mess and will keep me occupied for a few weeks. And, it is only 5 minutes from home. In fact, this is part of my magic lately. In the beginning I had to travel distance to take whatever I could get. My hope and focus then was that someday I would be doing more work here out North, and for good homeowners. My initial want in all of this was to have a handful of select companies that I could profit off of Realtor referrals, property management maintenance, and to obtain more solid clients from word of mouth. Coming full circle, this is happening more and more lately. I am feeling really good about it, and very satisfied that my hopes have become reality.
Maryann started her first day of training at the new job last week, with another day this week as well. She is still working at the Hotel until mid April. We are planning a few days back in Homer at the bakery, then a week or so off for her before she starts the new job officially on May 1st. They are all sad to see her go at the Hotel but after the first day of training at the lodge, she realized how unchallenged she had become with the Hotel, and how she really needed a breath of fresh air. The money at the new place will be so much better, with major advancement and opportunity. Plus, she is only working full time for 5 months out of the year, making as much in that 5 months as a full year at the Hotel. She will able to work form home the rest of the year with having to go out to the lodge only periodically through the fall and winter. Funny thing was, before we left, she said, "it would be so nice to be able to find somebody up there who needed someone to run their lodge." Well, guess what! The Hotel was a huge stepping stone for her, and did get us on the road to financial security as far as a "job" goes. But, it is time to move on to better and brighter pastures. Moo! She is also looking very forward to spending time soon in the greenhouse and making our deck more homey this year. Hardly time for any of that last year. The prospect of more daylight keeps my wife charged! She will more than likely drive me nuts this summer, as she more than any of us, had the biggest problem of knowing when enough was enough to put herself to bed for some shut eye! Fuzzy blinders, man!!
John is stoked. He officially got hired as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat this summer. He will be taking a 6% share of the boats catch and is very excited. I am pretty sure he will also be going back to the processor later in the summer as the boat ends it's season. They do want him back, and although the hours were long, he did love the work and the money of the processor. He also has made a somewhat difficult decision. He will be selling his truck here soon, and trying to find something a little newer and dependable. He loves his truck. But, the thing has been costing him some serious coin since day one to maintain and repair. It is a good truck as far as that goes. But it is also somewhat of a toy, and the previous owners spent more time making it look good than keeping up with maintaining it. John is really wanting something he can sink his money into for making his own upgrades as opposed to spending so much just keeping it on the road so to speak. But it has been good, and an experience for him as a 'first' ride. He is still pumping it out at the Italian joint here in town, and in fact out of several co-workers he is the only one who is still there as the others have seemed to move on. The management is very happy with him and has let him know that on more than one occasion. We are very proud of him.
So as I said, I have sat back lately and realized how very blessed we are and how good this move has been for all of us. I expect things will only get better as time goes. Sure, we do hit the rough spots, but the forward momentum is exhilarating. Still a couple feet of snow around, and the temps have been fluctuating around the mid 30's to low 40's by day and slightly below freezing at night. But the trees are opening, the birds are chirping, the ice on the lake is starting to show signs of melt, and the bears are coming out of hibernation. The moose.....well, ya got to love the moose! So Spring is at hand, and we are all looking forward to a busy but fun summer. I think it is safe to say that we have made it! Right on. Our love to all.