June 2nd marked one full month in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As one friend said, it doesn't seem like it has already been that long. But surely, for better or worse, the month has flown by. Indeed, for better in so many ways. However let us start with the bad. I have tried my hand at a few different jobs since arriving. The first was for a freight company as a dock worker. Unfortunately they were keeping me an "on call" status indefinitely as one of the new hires, so my schedule was shifting every day or two. Aside from losing sleep I was also losing my sanity (as were Casey and Dante. Dante couldn't figure out why dad was sleeping during the day and not at work or not playing trucks with him.) With the knowledge that a set schedule (even a set graveyard schedule would have been more favorable than the shifting on call) was at least a few months away, I began searching for another job within a few days of starting that one. The next one I tried was a food truck, which I thought was fantastic. Casey and I always loved watching Food Network's Food Truck Race, so it was an inner hipster/foodie dream come true for me. I knew I would need to supplement that income though, so I also started doing a pedicab (bicycle taxi) job on the side. Well, shortly after starting on the food truck, I was let go. I don't blame them at all. They've got to watch out for their business and while I've worked in restaurants and kitchens before, my line cook type work is limited and so I was too slow for the fast paced world of a food truck. Besides, they are awesome guys who are actually helping me to try to land another gig. Until a new gig shows up, I have started doing full days at the pedicab instead of just evenings. Let me tell you, it is hard work. However, this is where the good stuff starts. I love the job, because I get to bike all day and be outside. The extrovert in me loves getting to chat with people and the introvert in me loves the downtime between rides. Really, the only two major downsides are first it is rather a seasonal job, mainly operating April to September, and second there are no benefits as I am technically running my own small business (and I rent the taxi.) However, through giving rides to people and talking to them I have actually received a few job offers. I will be contacting the most promising tomorrow, and see how that goes.
Enough about jobs but continuing with the line of for better. As most of you know, pretty much the only thing I hated as a Southwesterner living in Missouri was the humidity. I loved the people and culture but could not stand the sweltering I feel like I am swimming type humidity. While I thought I would have to deal with that up here, so far, and remember it is June already as I write this, I haven't noticed it at all! I think the only way I can tell it is present is first, my elbows are the smoothest they've been since living in Missouri, and second, Dante's eczema has gone about 99% away. The area is incredibly beautiful with all the water, mountains, and green everywhere. One of the best parts of the dock worker job was commuting to it on a recreational trail which took me through a very lush forest. Then there's the people who are always so friendly, whether they're at work and are supposed to be like the cashier or just walking around. Even as I am asking people if they want a taxi ride they say "No, thank you" rather than just ignoring me. I think Casey really likes that last part because it makes her feel like she's at home in the Midwest where everyone talks and smiles to each other. She also loves all the water. Really, I don't know what to do with it all.
Dante loves the fact that we have three airports within about a 7 mile radius of us, several trains and light rail tracks near us, marinas and harbors nearby, and he gets to see huge cranes every time we visit Seattle itself. (In case you missed it, we are living in Renton, about 10 miles south.) Add to that all the parks to run around in and you get a very happy boy. The area definitely seems to be every little boy's dream.
In all, we believe we made the right choice at the right time for our family. We are still figuring life out here. We are actually still unpacking, but we did finally get a bookshelf which I cannot wait to fill up. It is 5'x5' and beautiful. Thank you, IKEA. If you ever visit, please let us know so we can try to see you.
Karl for the MItchells