Storm Clouds

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Here we are in southern Texas with some of the fairest weather in the entire continental United States, yet there have been storm clouds gathering us in a thick embrace.  No, not weather storm clouds, these storm clouds are personal.  While the weather has been mostly sunny and fair, the storm clouds around me have been varying from high cirrus clouds to thick hail clouds.  My post on the new job situation notwithstanding, we arrived in Texas with the threat of being stuck here.  Wednesday before my start date I receive an email from the company recruiter saying the option to work remotely was not part of the job offer and I needed to agree to work locally.  At this point we were driving through southern Oklahoma on the way down having already declined the Oracle job offer in Bozeman, MT.  What could I say at this point?

I couldn’t understand how I could have gone from such positive conversations with my new boss and his leadership during the interview process to the terse “no remote working” email from the recruiter.  Given our need for a paycheck and the fact I had already declined the Oracle position we felt like we had no choice but to go forward and hope things would be different once on board.  The sick “rock” we were left feeling in the pit of our stomachs would not go away though.  It made things very unpleasant.

Even more significant has been the outright rebellion of our eldest.  It has been a remarkable struggle to maintain a working relationship with her.  She has decided she is done with school, done with her family, done with her parents, done with rules, just done with everything.  Unfortunately she is ill equipped to walk away at this point.  It has taken all our prayers and persuasive conversational skills to get her to continue with her final few months of school.  There is much more behind these few short sentences, but suffice it to say the atmosphere at home has been very difficult.

In addition we find the conditions here at the RV park just barely bearable.  It isn’t like there is one big thing wrong, but rather a combination of small to medium aggravations adding up to a general feeling of unpleasantness here.  Add in the incredible traffic levels and high population density and all we want to do is LEAVE! (San Antonio is the 9th largest city in the United States.)  We do have a few great neighbors that we have enjoyed getting to know, but it still has done little to mitigate our feelings of wanting to leave.

On the bright side we have been blessed to have found a Bible teaching, Jesus proclaiming, gospel preaching church called Believer’s Fellowship.  Not only is the pastor theologically sound (a graduate of Masters Seminary in California), but the congregation is extremely warm and inviting.  Many congregants are current and former military and seem to understand what change and transition are all about.  Many members have gone out of their way to help us feel welcome.  We have created some amazing connections in just a few months.  Hannah has gotten involved with the youth group and has made some good friends.  She makes friends easily and has connected with some other really wonderful young ladies.  I have enjoyed seeing her delight at being able to be part of the young people group.  This is all made possible by a youth group leadership dedicated to making youth group be a time of learning, not a social gathering.  The youth group comes together for some corporate worship then splits off into age and sex segregated small groups to discuss and work through the meaning and application of scripture in their lives.  She has shared with us some truly excellent conversations her group has had.

Hilary has also been able to get involved with the ladies Bible study group at church.  Originally she thought she would not be able to join due to the fact we only have one vehicle with us right now.  However, several of the ladies in the group live in our general area and have gone out of their way to make sure someone picks her up for every meeting.  Encouragingly enough, the ladies were in the midst of studying Titus when she joined.  We were both encouraged to learn the scripture was held up as the truth, not “man’s wisdom”.  They all had some very good heartfelt conversations around how to live up to the standards put forth for the older women in the congregation in the context of the world we live in today.  This has been yet another point of encouragement.

We got to the point where we felt we were just marking time.  We had decided I wasn’t going to bring up the question of remote working until after I’d been on the job a few months and had the opportunity to begin to create a positive reputation for myself.  Any worry I might have had about my ability to contribute was quickly smashed after having been able to begin contributing to the efforts and progress of the team my first few days.  I’ve been going 100% ever since then receiving compliments from my boss, other team members, my boss’ boss as well as other people in various leadership capacities.

Finally we reached three months on the job and decided it was time to broach the topic with my boss.  I needn’t have been worried.  Right now it looks like we will be heading North-West towards Boise around the end of April.  Just seven more weeks to go!  This is exciting for most of us, but not our oldest.  She is just done and doesn’t want to go anywhere with us, let alone back north to Idaho.  It puts a damper on things when not everyone is able to positively deal with life’s changes.  Living in such a small space does nothing to make it easier.

Through all this I’ve been struggling with writer’s block.  I’ve wanted to update the blog, but just haven’t had the motivation.  What do I say?  How to share the struggles of the time without sounding like I’m just complaining?  In the end I decided to remain silent and continue to mark time towards the future when I’d be in a more optimistic frame of mind.  I do need to figure out what to do with the main page of the blog as we are over a year past when I wrote down those thoughts.  I have some ideas …

Meanwhile, spring has truly sprung down here in southern Texas.  The famous blue bonnets are just beginning their show and the cacti are working hard to convince the world they can be beautiful.  Many of the rose bushes are in full bloom while the ditch weeds have begun to express their once per year beauty.  Everywhere one looks it is easy to see spring is truly here.  In fact, many lawns have already been mowed multiple times!

It hasn’t all been sourness.  We have managed to have some fun.  Hannah continues to love getting out and going exploring and hiking with us.  In fact, two weeks ago while Hilary was at a ladies conference at church Hannah and I went out and hiked over 8 miles at a park on the north-west side of San Antonio called Government Canyon State Park.

So, here we are with a little over 7 weeks until we get to relocate, again.  J  One of the fun things we’ve noted to ourselves is we get to experience two springs this year.  We have spring in Texas right now and then when we arrive up in Boise we’ll get to enjoy spring all over again.  Speaking of Boise, we’ve heard Boise has had the snowiest winter in decades.  They are calling it snowmeggedon.  Sounds like a great winter to be hanging out in the south!  I really like this wintering in the south thing!  We might have to do more of it.

Let’s see, what else could I share?  We’ve been able to do some exploring over the past few months including walking around in t-shirts and shorts many days when our friends and family to the north of us have been huddled up trying to escape the cold!  Check out the local weather forecast for Schertz, TX.

Panther Canyon in Landa Park, New Braunfels, TX:

Padre Island National Seashore, Corpus Christi, TX:

Crescent Bend Nature Park, Schertz, TX:

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Schertz, TX:  This was a Christmas present from Hilary’s Brother, Eli, and family.  Breann choose to not go, but the rest of us really enjoyed the animals!

Eisenhower Park, San Antonio, TX:

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