Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Brief History (Part One)

I am not certain ya’ll are aware, but I’m not famous. 

I certainly don’t have a well-paying job, and you have never seen me on CNN. Most of you knew “Old Craig,” and some of you even know “Stay-at-Home Craig.”  So I thought it would be helpful to give you a brief idea of how I wound up in this mess in the first place. Mostly, I don’t have anything to write about tonight.  Also, if I could be allowed a bit of hubris, let’s assume there will eventually be people who read this who have no idea who I am.  So, from time to time, I’ll provide you with a bit of a history lesson, which will most often coincide with writer’s block.

My name is Craig.  I am 32 years old.  I have a lovely wife Tammi and two little ones. Glenn is three and Jackson is 18 months.  I work part time at a hotel, and my wife is a veterinarian.  We just moved here from Wisconsin.  I say “just,” but what I mean is…never move your family across the country unless you are absolutely sure about moving, and you clearly understand the size of the endeavor you are undertaking.  I got here in January, and it is now September. I think we are just now starting to settle in.  When we started to plan the move, I can’t believe how naive we were at the time.  Once operation “Move across the Country” was a go, I naively posted on Facebook.

                Status: goals for 2012: sell the house, buy a house, transport family down to Texas, get two jobs, and start trying to get pregnant.

What a D-Bag.  As if moving my family for no other reason than I like it here was not enough, I went ahead and threw on the pressure of a third baby. 

Here are the brass tacks of the situation.  In December, my company invited me to leave or, rather, strongly encouraged me to depart.  At the time, I already had one foot out the door. You think that affected my performance, hmm?  So, at the turn of the New Year, I got in my car and drove to Texas, leaving behind my wife and kids. They couldn’t leave until the house sold.  I left an hour after sunrise and made it to Tulsa, Oklahoma about an hour after sunset.  Two days after I got here, I nabbed a job waiting tables.  Seriously, tip your waiters.  I have never been the type of person to doubt my decision- making skills.  Trust me when I say this – nothing says you’ve made a mistake louder than busting your ass SERVING people, while surrounded by lazy co-workers, and earning $2.13 an hour.  At least I was home, I told myself.  Well, at least I was sleeping in my sister and brother in law’s spare room.

In the middle of February, Tammi came down for a visit with the boys.  Thus commenced four days of interviewing and house hunting for my wife.  Tammi is a BADASS, so, of course, three out of the four places offered her a job.  But, with our house in WI still on the market, we were doing little more than browsing.  Our realtor, Carolyn, was amazing.  I had to preview houses for Tammi to see before her trip and continued to preview after.  When Tammi came down in February, I had seen 55 houses.  I had 13 for her to see.  By the time we finally put an offer in, I had seen 85.  I never want to buy a house again. 

Tammi went back to WI with Jackson, but left Glenn in TX with me.  Having him in TX really made things so much easier.  Well, they made them a lot harder, but I was glad to have it. I cannot tell you how lonesome I was for my family.  During the SuperBowl, before they visited, Glenn asked me, “Did you find a house yet?”

I said no. 

He asked me, “Why?”

 I gave a very poor answer.  He told me, “Just keep trying because, then, you can come pick me up.” 

When he came down, he crashed with my sister as well.  We were returning home from errands, and he asked, “Where are we going?”  I told him home. 

He told me in a very matter-of-fact tone, “No, Dad, we are going to Ellena and Ryan’s house.  We don’t have a home.” 

By this time, I gained a manager position at a hotel and began working full time again.  But, by the middle of March, Tammi and I pulled the plug.  With the house in Wi still on the market, I flew to WI to go and get them.  We were getting so much activity on the house, something had to happen soon. Right? 

My friend, John, flew up with me and was a life saver. It would not have been possible to move everyone without him.  We finished packing the house in two days and started driving.  What took me by myself a day and a half, took three adults, two dogs, a cat, and an 18 month old three-and-a-half days.  But at least we were home.  Well, at least we were all together and crashing at my sister and brother-in-laws spare room.  The day we pulled into the driveway, my nephew was born. 

Managing my wife’s stress level was, needless to say, challenging.  After two very long weeks, our house in WI finally sold.   Now, I say this knowing that my nephew and godson had been born two weeks earlier, but, thank you Jesus!!  We put an offer in the very same day, and thirty days later we moved into our new home.

Three months later, I resigned my position at the hotel, and began my new position as Stay-at-Home Craig and part-time, hourly, front-desk clerk.  Better put by my co-workers as Hourly Craig.

If you’re still reading this, than I’m sorry for the long-windedness this week. 

I’m glad that people seem to be enjoying these.  Thank you for the positive comments.  Helps to know people are on the other side of the screen.

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