Let’s call this my belated Christmas letter.
There have once again been a plethora of changes in my life. I haven’t intentionally left my friends and family in my dark, but somewhere along the way I decided I like to wait until the dust settles on big changes. Now that the dust is starting to settle, let me give you a glimpse at where I am and where I’ve come from in the past few months.
I’ve been dating Kristen, an amazing young woman I met on eHarmony, for a few months now. She lives in Hood River, Oregon, which is about an hour and twenty minutes from my old place in Beaverton. It’s a small touristy town that is quiet in the winter and insane in the summer. It’s a prime spot for kite boarding, windsurfing, and various other water sports on the Columbia River. The winter sports still have their draw, as many will lodge here and drive up to Mt. Hood or Mt. Adams for skiing or snowboarding. It’s a lovely town, albeit a bit small, but warm and welcoming nonetheless.
After a couple months of driving back and forth once or twice a week, I decided it would be in the best interest of the relationship to try and move closer to her. So that’s exactly what I did. In early November I started looking for a job somewhere in the Columbia Gorge — the region east of Portland — to get at least a little closer to her.
As I was searching the online classifieds for help wanted posts, I found that the Best Western Plus Hotel was hiring for help in their banquets department. The convenient part of this opportunity was that it happened to be the same hotel where Kristen worked, so I already had an “in.” After a bit of Kristen bugging the banquets manager, I eventually got an interview two weeks before Thanksgiving. I was hired on the spot. Phase one complete.
Now I needed to find a place to live. On the days I had to work at the hotel, Kristen and her mom were gracious enough to let me crash on their cot. This was not a long term solution. I was still working at the Cheesecake Factory, trying to balance two jobs an hour and a half between each other, which also wasn’t a long term solution. Around this time I found a surprising opportunity of a room for rent with a guy who lives about ten minutes south of Kristen, a bit up in the country, in a peaceful house. There were a few things not ideal – no washer or dryer, he smoked a ton of weed, and the house was a bit far from town, but the price was decent, so I decided to move in. I was all ready to go for the first of December, until a curveball came.
I was trying to communicate with this guy about details of the move-in around Thanksgiving time, but he seemed dodgy and flaky. He was slow to text back, and didn’t answer my phone calls. Turns out that his uncle was temporarily out of a house and needed a place to stay for a while. He told me that family came first, and he needed to help out his uncle, which I understood, but that threw a wrench in my plans. I was out of a place to stay. I thought I had gotten very lucky with this house, as rooms and houses are in high demand and low supply out in the Gorge, so now I’m screwed. He said to check in with him in a month if I was still looking, but I was out of luck for the time being.
I kept looking through the classifieds, looking for a room to share, and I found a man who was renting out his trailer for $400 a month. Honestly, it was crap. It was dirty, old, run down, and gross. But the price was right, and I needed a place to stay for real, because I was having someone sublease my apartment in Beaverton, moving in the first of December. I agree to move in to the trailer in a week’s time, staying at Kristen’s in the meantime.