Last summer, Pat spent two weeks down on the Outer Banks helping out due to rough vacation schedules and not enough people. I know. Rough gig. Aidan and I met him down there for a long weekend over the 4th of July and had a blast playing in the surf and eating Carolina Barbaque. That started a year long dream of trying to get down there on a permanent basis.
Our criteria was that it had to be promotion for Pat (it's the same company) and we needed to be in the right school district for Aidan (Kitty Hawk Elementary, First Flight Middle School and First Flight High School), and we wanted the relocation package--offered at the Supervisor level. We spent the year dreaming and looking at houses (online) and planning out the what if's. . .It seemed possible/plausible--one of the guys in a Supervisor position was planning to retire!
In April, Virginia Power offered early retirement and set the criteria for such at a specific level. I'm not sure what they were planning, but a lot--and I mean a VERY lot--of people took the early out. So much so that nearly every office is now understaffed, particularly Pat's position in Leesburg. But, this opened up a new Supervisor position in Kitty Hawk. Oh Yeah!! We were excited. . .
Checking in with Pat's parents first (would they move with us??), we worked on his resume and a cover letter and applied for the position of Supervisor in the Kitty Hawk area. How exciting. But, we cautioned ourselves, Pat may not even get an interview. Afterall, there is a qualified person down there that might apply and they just might give it to him--more years with the company and no package!
I should add here, that our plan included me going back to school for a Masters in Education and in History to hopefully become a Social Studies teacher and, thus, be on the same schedule as Aidan when he's in school. Sounded good. . .Added bonus: Pat would be off shift work--still doing overtime, but NO shift work!!
We started looking at housing a little closer in anticipation of an interview. But, we started noticing something: there were a LOT of Foreclosures. Sure, we could get a halfway decent house for a lot less money, but it was about half the size of what we currently own and we might not have any neighbors due to the number of Foreclosures. . .hmmm. . .something to think about.
Meanwhile, we noticed that interest rates were now down to 4.64 with our Credit Union. Sweet!!!! And then we got the call: Pat was being offered an interview. He had to be in Elizabeth City at 9:00 on June 29th. Woo Hoo!!! They like him!!! And two others. . .
So, I took his suit and tie--the ones he hadn't worn since Court in Russia--to the cleaners to have them cleaned and freshened, ironed his good shirt, cleaned his good shoes and made sure he had a belt and nice socks for this adventure. His bosses boss even got into the act by helping Pat with pointers in a couple of mock-interviews and even called down to the hiring Manager with a recommendation. How awesome.
As the day approached, we decided Pat would leave early on Monday to spend some time in Kitty Hawk and Southern Shores looking at some potential houses and taking some pictures. We checked in again with the in-laws--still on board, but if I'm honest about it, probably a little less than lukewarm on the idea--and we got Pat all packed up with his suit, copies of his resume and kisses from me and Aidan for good luck. Off he went. I felt a little like I was sending him out on a mission for our future!
Pat made good enough time that he was in Kitty Hawk by just before 11:00 Monday morning. He spent the day going around to all the houses we sort of liked, eating Carolina Barbeque, dodging traffic, and looking at the ocean. We spoke a few times through out the day and I noticed that his enthusiasm was fading with each call. In fact, at one point he said he wished I had come with him--I didn't for a lot of reasons (two dogs, etc). By that evening, I was doing the cheerleader thing to get him interested again in going there. The problem: too many Foreclosures and not enough neighborhoods that we could afford that are year round with children. Foreclosures can really dampen the spirit of a neighborhood, you know??
Tuesday morning, as Pat was leaving for the interviw, I told him to not be nervous, be himself, and don't worry: we're happy where we are so no matter what, it's all good. He called me after the interview and sounded so relieved it was over!! Then, I started thinking about how unfair an interview like that is! Ordinarily, people like Pat wear Fire Retardant jeans and shirts, work boots, hard hats, Rubber gloves and sleaves and are out somewhere working to get the power back on. Here, they are in a suit and tie and talking to people they have never met before about working to get the power back on.
And, when he got the call that he didn't get the job, that was almost precisely the problem!! He didn't seem comfortable or enthusiastic. . .Really. . .
Well, we have had a few days to think this thing through and now realize this really was a dream. We probably would love to live at the beach, but it's really not ideal for Aidan--he needs kids to play with all year round, not just in the summer. And, and this is a big AND, I didn't like the idea of our major investment--our house--being surrounded by Foreclosures and Short Sells. Not good for the value of ones home!!
So, now we're planning to buy the property we want and build the house we want for our Vacation/Second Home. Perhaps it will be in the Outer Banks area. . .or maybe on a lake. We'll be getting rid of our $1200. a month daycare bill in a year and our $400 a month Tahoe payment in six months, so we just might be able to afford it. . .
And, maybe we'll have to refinance to that 4.64 rate from our current 5.3 rate! : ) And if we could just figure out how to get Pat off shift work. . .
So on a happy note, we are still beach people at heart!! Two weeks until we head on down the road to Emerald Isle, North Carolina!! Can't wait. . .