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Well, it is official. Our house is sold and I’ve told my boss “I quit”! After April 8th, 2016 I’ll be jobless and by the end of April homeless. Oh no, what have I done?! Yikes!
It has been a journey. My wife and I have always wanted to live in the country. So, when I had the opportunity to be the IT Manager for a hog production company in rural south central Minnesota we were excited. Five years ago we moved from the northwest corner of the Twin Cities about 1 ½ hours south and west. We found an awesome 6.5 acre property with a newer house and great outbuildings. We had our oasis in the middle of a sea of corn fields. We also no longer needed to listen to our neighbors yelling at their kids. It was very relaxing.
Then a few years later Hilary got progressively sicker. We spent all of 2014 going from doctor to doctor. No one could tell us what was wrong. She ended up in bed 18 hours a day barely mustering the energy to get done the absolute bare essentials. She was going downhill quickly. There were a few months in 2014 where I thought Hilary would be dead by the end of the year. Finally we paid for a specialized Lyme disease detection test and got positive results back. We had our answer as to what was wrong. Now we needed to find a treatment plan.
May of 2015 found us in New York at a specialist to work out more details on what was wrong with Hilary and to come up with a treatment plan. Lyme disease almost always comes with several other bacterial infections. These infections combined with the Lyme bacteria overwhelm the immune system and cause all sorts of very bad symptoms. We learned what Hilary was experiencing was not unique to her and many, many, many other people have suffered for extended periods of time until finally finding a doctor willing to look outside the box of conventional medicine. After many blood tests we had a treatment plan.
Within months we could see Hilary begin to recover. She got a small dose of energy back, was able to stay out of bed most of the day, and no longer needed to use a breather (bi-pap) at night. Things were looking up. As we got into late fall of 2015 and early 2016 we noticed a plateauing of her recovery and even a slight decline. We started to wonder more vocally if something in our environment was suppressing her immune system. Was it time to move? If so, where to?
All the while Hilary’s health was suffering and things were not “right” around home stuff started happening at work to significantly change my view of my future at my job. While there was no one “event” that caused me to start to think about a change, there were many smaller events that made my life stressful. When my boss told me to quit being so “edgy” I knew something had to change.
The combination of work and personal events came together at a perfect time to cause us to seriously consider a change I had thought I would never consider. It was time to change jobs and relocate to a western state with a drier climate and milder winter. Over the Christmas and New Year break Hilary and I finalized a plan to make the changes happen. Based upon James 4:15, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”, we concluded our prayers to God with the determination to move forward with our plan trusting God would open the appropriate doors and close the appropriate doors to keep us in His perfect will for our lives.
What is the plan you ask? In short:
- Keep downsizing our possessions (can’t believe how much “stuff” we had!)
- Quit my job (notice given – last day to be April 8th, 2016)
- Sell the house (contingent contract signed)
- Move into our RV (Converted 1985 MCI 96A3)
- Drive to Branson in time for Brannon Howse’s Biblical Worldview Weekend conference the last weekend of April
- Drive over to Phoenix and spend a few days visiting with Brian’s parents (They have been in Phoenix for years and we haven’t yet visited them at their new house.)
- Drive north to Boise and spend a few days visiting with my brother and family
- By the end of May be in Canada heading north to Alaska
- Spend the summer in Alaska
- Upon returning from Alaska start looking for a job out west with a focus on Boise
- Secure a job!
- Buy or rent a house
- Move all our stuff from MN to our new place
We are now at the point of finalizing our downsizing and planning for storage of our stuff. To accommodate both the need for storage for 4 – 6 months and the need to move our stuff we have purchased a 24’ enclosed cargo trailer. Everything we own will be stuffed inside this trailer or in the bus with us.
We continue to fight the fear of the unknown (who gives up a perfectly good job without another one already lined up????!) with the anticipation of a fantastic summer exploring Canada and Alaska. We know there will be inevitable bumps along the way, but expect the overall experience to be way worth any issues encountered.
Our hope is to be able to keep up the blog as both a way of letting friends and family follow along with us as well as be a diary of our adventure. In the years to come we hope this will be a great way to remind ourselves of the adventure and refresh our memories of the great (anticipated) things we saw and did.
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