Requisit Respite

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Me

One year ago I arrived in Utah.
It has not been an easy year.
It has, frankly, been the longest year of my life.

I arrived in Sandy, Utah, at the home of my friends, Bonnie and Mike Meyerson, on Saturday, August 28th.  Jewely had come down from Idaho for Amy Smith's wedding and to see me.  I probably would have spent more time in Boulder if not for that.  As it was, I got to see Jewely for a day anyway.  And, of course, Sandy and Zannah lived here, too.  It's why I moved here.  My kids are here.

I was so blessed to live with the Meyersons.  Bonnie was my strength.  She lived through my whining and crying and feeling sorry for myself.  She was my sounding board because I really didn't have any self-esteem to speak of and had so many questions.  Is this right?  Is that normal?  I came to her a basket case.  I was having a lovely time out on the road seeing the U.S.A., but inside I was scared to death to move on to the next step, as I knew I was heading for it. She was there to comfort me and let me know that I'm a good person and a daughter of God. 

By September 1st I hit the internet looking for a job. Sometimes I would wake up and not even brush my teeth or get dressed.  I'd just get on the internet and look for jobs and apply.  I would stay like that until midnight most days.

But it paid off.  By the end of October I was starting to get calls for interviews.  In the interim I subbed at Bonnie's school and went on a few jobs for Manpower and Kelly.

By November I was getting call backs and got a temp job at a very good place, Merit Medical, for two weeks.  While at Merit, I helped the HR department through the open enrollment health insurance process.  They had SelectHealth, oddly enough, a place I had just interviewed with for an administrative assistant job in the pharmacy department.  I didn't think I'd get it, though.  But while at Merit, I got a call from SelectHealth with a job offer.  The pay was decent--more than I made in PA.  And the benefits would kick in in 30 days--a plus!  And they had a pension plan for people there longer than five years.  Hmmm...sounded too good to be true.  They wanted an answer in 48 hours.

I prayed about it, got Priesthood Blessings and really didn't feel like I got any answer.  Bonnie said sometimes, if it's obvious, why do you feel you need an answer?  Duh!  I woke up the next morning and, while praying, it dawned on me.  All the pluses were the answer I needed, especially the benefits kicking in by January 1st.  I knew this was the job God meant me to have.  I started November 22nd.

Now I could concentrate on a permanent place to live--and Zannah's wedding. Nick proposed November 30th. 

I was so blessed to have the Meyersons let me stay in their basement bedroom.  It had its own bathroom, too, and a big closet.  I was comfortable there.  I was scared to move.  But I had been scared in every single next step I had to take all year.  I was scared to decide to get a divorce.  I was scared to leave Pennsylvania and my friends and family. I knew I had gotten through the other steps.  I could get through this one, too.  I had the Holy Ghost as a comforter the whole year (still do).  He would not fail me now.

My dear friend, Lisa Clark, is a realtor and had also been there to give me advice on job hunting and just good old fashioned moral support when I needed it.  Lisa tells it like it is, and, for that, I'm grateful.  She and I began house hunting in December, before Christmas.  I had been looking on-line ever since I arrived and was able to see what was out there for me.  I went from thinking I wanted to live in a single home to townhouse to condo to twin and back to single home again.  I thought I should live in South Jordan in the Daybreak Community and Lisa and I looked there but couldn't find anything suitable in my price range.  We decided to wait until after Christmas.

In January, Lisa found a cute newer twin which met all the criteria I had for a home:  I wanted a rambler (ranch) with a finished basement--family room, bedroom and full bath.  I wanted at least three bedrooms.  I also wanted two full bathrooms on the main floor.  I didn't want a big yard to take care of.  This twin had four bedrooms--two up and two down.  It was located in Midvale, four miles from work and two blocks from a church.  It's 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and about that far from the airport.  Midvale is in the middle of Salt Lake County.

It was more than I could afford, but Lisa talked the bank down to my price range and by February 10th, I was a homeowner!  I moved in February 19th, with the help of my new Elders Quorum from the Midvale East 2nd Ward--and Sandy, Zannah, Nick and Mike Barclay.  The boxes are still in the basement, but I decided nothing has to be done yesterday--or tomorrow, for that matter.

Then it was time to think about Zannah's wedding, which took place on my birthday in March at the Salt Lake Temple.  Luckily Zannah did all of the planning and I did nothing.  I just showed up.

In March, three days after Zannah's wedding, I learned that my divorce was final.  It was like I was hit with a ton of bricks when I read the letter. Marriage was important to me and I believe in the institution.  I am the kind of person who should be married.  I loved my home and wanted to give my children the continuity of a nuclear family. But they understand I couldn't stay there.  They lived there.  They knew.  I have the greatest kids.

At the end of April, Sandy moved in with me.  I love having him here.  I don't feel so alone.  We give each other our own space.  He has the whole downstairs, unless we have guests come stay with us--which, during the month of August, was weekly.  I loved it!

Meanwhile, I am still learning at my job.  I feel comfortable there.  The people I work with are very nice.  My boss is really good to me.  SelectHealth was named the best place to work in Utah by its employees four years in a row, and we are in the running for 2011.  What more can I ask for?  And my department is growing.  We are probably going to be hiring about 25 more employees in 2012, so I don't have to worry about being laid off.  In fact, before I signed the paperwork for my house, I had a talk with my boss. He told me we were growing and if anyone was going to be laid off, " certainly wouldn't be you," he said to me.  That made me feel good!'s been one year that I've lived in Utah.  I love it here, really.  I love the climate.  It's dry, so even if it's 90 degrees, it's not oppressive.  Hot, yes, but not oppressive.  At night it's in the 60s and 70s, so I can open my windows and be very comfortable while sleeping.  And the mountains as a backdrop--priceless!  I can't imagine living where there aren't mountains now.  They are so beautiful.  I never grow tired of looking at them.

I do miss my friends and family in Pennsylvania, though.  They are still in constant contact through Facebook and email and good old fashioned phone calls--and Skype, too! 

I consider myself blessed. Thank You, Lord, for watching over me this past year.  I know there were times when I looked behind me and saw only one set of footprints.  They were Yours.

Now on to year two.

Some More Garden Blogging

 My back garden in July
By August 21st--my, how it's filled in

July, when I first planted the Black-eyed Susans

The Wave Petunias have really grown in and filled in the sparse areas...and the little zinnias have too.
OK, so next year--lots of Wave Petunias!
The vegetable garden was looking good in July.  Notice where the sunflowers are in the back.
The sunflowers are all now blooming and tall.
I keep waiting for the blue Morning Glories to bloom.  They are growing all along the fence and even up the sunflowers.  They held them up during a recent rain/windstorm.  I remember them blooming for the first days of school in Septembers in the past, so they will bloom soon, I hope.
The cantelope vines on the right only have baby melons.  I dont know if the growing season is long enough here for them--or maybe it's just the location in my yard.
Front garden in July--looks OK...

This is a month later in August.  Yes...more Wave Petunias next year.

On the side in July--Rudbekia, Russian Sage, Daisy, and a tiny cosmos sprout  in the middle front.

A month later the little tiny cosmos takes over

Herb garden in July....

...and below in August.
Wow, until you compare side by side, you really can't see the difference.
The basil globes are a lot bigger.  I thought they didn't grow at all.
And the lemon thyme will be profuse next year, I hope.
The lavender on the right has spread, too.
And here's hoping the lilac bush will spread out next year and take up a lot of space--with lots of perfumey flowers!

 Here are more views of the side garden.

OK.  It's decided.  Note-to-self: more Wave Petunias next year!

I've had so much fun with flowers and herbs this year.
I've been told we will not have much more summer weather and autumn usually settles in earlier. The nighttime temps are in the 60s.
We shall see. I'll be happy for whatever God gives me. I'm thankful for the dry weather here. It's much more conducive to outdoors for me. I get to walk to church down the street. Even in the 90-degree heat, I can still function.

New Garage Door

I know my neighbors are jealous.  I've had a few come over to admire my new garage door and hear the harrowing story about how the garage proceeded to come off the track one morning while I was on my way to work--and how my neighbor was there to raise the door for me while I backed my van out, etc.
So, as of August 12th, I have a new garage door.  I like the windows.  Now my garage is always bright inside and I don't even need to use the light unless it's nighttime.
 Old garage door
New garage door
As of August 12, 2011