For several years, my wife and I have talked about the possibility of moving to the Pacific Northwest. Her mother lives in Auburn, WA, a suburb of Seattle, and has for about 25 years, although she was born and raised in Memphis, as was my beautiful wife, [my now-ex-wife]. We visited the Seattle area several times in our marriage, and I fell in love with it on the first trip. Yes, it rains. A lot. Or more precisely, often. The actual rainfall is not that much more than Memphis. But where Memphis will get 10 inches in 2 hours, then go two weeks without a cloud, Seattle will get 2 inches in 10 weeks without a break in the clouds! Interestingly, the average Seattle temperature is only about 5 degrees cooler than Memphis, but much more moderate. It rarely gets below 30 or above 85.
For about 14 years, I have worked in the trust department of a bank. I never really set out to be a Trust Administrator, it just sort of happened. In 1993, I was a Facilities Manager at NationsBank. Someone in the corporate headquarters, who probably got a bonus, decided that my job could be done from Charlotte, NC, and my job was about to be eliminated. [my now-ex-wife] and I had been married for less than six months, and she was three months pregnant with our first child. On the way to my mom’s house that day, I took a slightly different route than usual and passed a church sign. On that sign was this verse:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.I felt like God was telling me that my job was no surprise to Him, and that He would take care of us. About a month later, an old boss called me out of the blue and offered me a job in the trust department of his bank. I never looked for a job at all, one came to me.
I enjoy doing what I do. But it is a very specialized field, and job opportunities do not come open often. Over the years, I watched the job market in Seattle off and on. Nothing much came along. Last year, [my now-ex-wife] and I went through a difficult period in our marriage, and a change of scenery seemed in order. Combined with some issues at my current job, the time seemed right, so I stepped up the search.
Back in November, I flew out to Tacoma for an interview with a bank there. All seemed to go well, and we got really excited about what seemed an ideal opportunity. But it ultimately fell through: they went with a local candidate. We were disappointed to say the least.
A couple of months later, I found a small bank in Salem, Oregon who was looking for a Trust Administrator. Salem is about 200 miles from [my now-ex-wife]’s mom, and easy weekend trip. After a successful phone interview, they flew me out for a face-to-face interview. The following Wednesday night, on the way home from work, they called and made me an offer. I countered and they said they’d call me back. By the time I got to church, they had called back and accepted my counter. That was mid-May, and they wanted me to start the first of July.
I gave my current job two weeks notice, which would leave me with a month off between jobs. We began packing, making plans to move, reserving rental trucks, etc. We decided to take the opportunity to visit some family [my now-ex-wife] had not seen in several years. We mapped out a route through Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington on the way to Oregon.