Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh yeah, time for a change…
David and I blasted resumes out to as many printing companies that we could find in every mountain town we could find along the western part of Virginia. We chose the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia because they are closest to our family back home. Weeks and months went by and we heard nothing. But one day, it happened.
It was mid-July, 2008 when I received an email regarding a position I had applied for. They wanted me to come in for an interview!!! But wait, it wasn’t in a mountain town. It was in the foothills of Virginia. Oh well, it was close enough and we had high hopes that it would be our ticket out of the city.
David and I arranged to be off work together for the day of my interview. We both needed to see exactly where this place was. We were considering uprooting our lives and we needed to get a feel for the area this company was in. We hopped on the interstate and headed to the foothills of Virginia.
As soon as we exited the interstate, we were already excited. We saw nothing but rolling pastures and beautiful countryside. We were immediately sold on the area and we hadn’t even gotten into town where the company was yet. We arrived early for my interview to ensure that we were not pressed for time. Once we knew where the building was, we rode around the town for a little bit. So far, so good. We liked what we saw and before we knew it, it was time for my interview.
The interview was given by 3 managers at the hiring company. It started out with 2 managers because one was in a “meeting” (meaning late lunch). I should have been extremely nervous, but I wasn’t. I was sitting at a large conference room table with 2 managers firing questions at me they read from an interview form. I was as calm as I could be. Each question they asked me, I had an educated professional answer. I was batting a thousand at this interview.
By the time the interview was wrapping up, I had met the third interviewing manager. We were all chatting away. I knew I had nailed it! I left feeling very confident I had the job.
Fortunately for David and I, there were wineries in the area where the company was located. We hit a couple of them to celebrate my interview before heading back to Virginia Beach. Wineries were just like icing on the cake for the area. We weren’t in the mountains, but they were close by. A lot closer than we were in Virginia Beach.
Within 3 days I received an offer from the hiring company. They were anxious to get me on board. The best part was that they were willing to pay me relocation expenses in a lump sum check. (BONUS!!!) The job wasn’t quite mine yet. I had a few more weeks of waiting. There was still a thorough background check and drug testing to go through before I could step foot in the door. There wasn’t a doubt that I had the job. I have never tried any type of drug in my life, besides nicotine.
While all the investigating and drug testing was in progress, David and I didn’t waste any time. We had a townhouse to get rid of. Until it was gone, we had a permanent tie to the city. We spent 5 years working our butts off on our townhouse and it was time to sell it and reap the rewards of our labor. It was a finished project and it was ready to show. All we needed was a realtor. There was no question in my mind who we would ask to help us.
For a couple of years, a realtor left postcards on our front door or in our mailbox, advertising properties that he had sold in the area. I saved his postcards because I knew that one day we were going to sell our townhouse. Well, that day had arrived. I found one of those postcards in my desk and contacted this realtor about selling our townhouse. We met with the realtor on a Sunday afternoon. All went well and our townhouse was put on the market on Monday.
A couple of weeks went by. The background check came back fine (duh!) and then I was set up for my drug testing. By August, the results of the drug test came back. At this point, my new job was a guarantee. I was to start at the new company in four weeks. I submitted a written letter of resignation to the company I was working for in Norfolk, Virginia, with the standard two-week notice. David and I would take the third week to find a temporary place to live near where I was going to be working until we could sell our townhouse in Virginia Beach.
The same day I put in my two-week notice with my employer, David also put in two weeks notice at his job. We didn’t know where he would find employment, but there was no way that we were going to prolong the move any more than we had to. We were going to take the gamble and get out of the city. That snazzy relocation package would help out a lot. Without it, I am not sure we would have been able to take the gamble.
The last two weeks of employment at our jobs in the city were a blur. It came and went pretty quickly. During that time, there were quite a few real estate agents coming to our townhouse to show their clients. We were pleased that potential buyers were looking at our house, but all we could think of was finding a place to live near my new job. It was a little unsettling that we had no idea where we would live.
As soon as we could, we set out to search for a place to live. David and I stayed at a cheap motel for a couple of days, while we made phone calls and looked at places to live. We needed a place that we could rent month-to-month or no longer than three months. We also needed a place that would accept pets. No way would we make the move without His Royal Highness.
Searching for a place to live was so frustrating. We were not having any luck. A lot of the places we were interested in wanted a longer lease than we were willing to sign. We got a new newspaper each morning and scanned the classifieds. We were starting to run out of options and we were starting to panic. There was only one week left and our time was running out. We didn’t have a place to live. My new job was going to start the Tuesday after Labor Day and we were just about to give up hope. When David received a return phone call that was about to change our luck.
I remember sitting in a drug store parking lot in my Jeep, with a newspaper stretched out across my lap. I was talking on the phone with yet another dead-end when David received a return phone call from someone he had left a voicemail with earlier. As I was finishing up the call I was on, I was pretty much ignoring what the person on the other end of my line was even saying. I began to listen to the tone of David’s voice change. As he spoke, his voice became uplifted and his spirit changed. He said “That’s right” and “good” a lot. I quickly ended my phone call to listen to what David was saying.
By the end of his phone call, he had arranged to meet with a lady who had a house for rent. She and her husband were willing to show it to us and we had an appointment to go look at it. What a relief it was to have such a promising lead! According to David, she and her husband knew exactly how hard it was to find somewhere to live on short notice in the area. They had gone through the same scenario years before. They were willing to do short-term leases to help out people in similar circumstances.
It was raining by the time we went to look at the property. I remember standing out on the front porch chatting with the lady about the house. It was almost like the rain was washing away our worries. This house was exactly what we needed. It was within our price range, we could do a short-term lease, and it was a perfect size.
The property also had other perks. It was in a gated community at a lake! I really didn’t care about the perks. All I wanted to do was hug that lady right there on the front porch. Just when we were about to give up she popped up with a house for rent. What a relief! We had a place to live near my new job and we could get moved in before my new job started on Tuesday.
We went back home breathing easier but were still under the gun and there wasn’t much time. We decided not to disassemble the whole townhouse while it was still on the market. Not only would it save us time, but it would show better if we left it somewhat staged. So we took only what we needed to function through everyday life. We rented a U-Haul trailer, packed up what we needed and headed for the hills!