The morning comes when I’m supposed to move into the trailer. I wake up with dread. I really didn’t want to move into a trailer. It didn’t feel right, and I kind of panicked. I called the man who was going to rent me the trailer, asked him to give me a few days to get some things together, and I was going to keep looking for a better place, hoping for a miracle. Three days later, I found an online ad for a room for less money than the trailer, closer than the other house I was considering, and in an amazing neighborhood. I texted the number on the ad, and after a few messages back and forth, we realized we both worked at the same hotel – he in the restaurant, and I in banquets. I was benefitted by a mutual acquaintance who was kind enough to vouch for me, and he decided to offer me the room. A cozy room in a large house with three guys. It was a perfect stipulation with one minor caveat — no pets.
This is probably the hardest part of the story, but as the Fray said, sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. I let my friend Ashley from the Cheesecake Factory adopt my dog Reese. Ashley was the one who watched Reese while we visited Phoenix, and she had taken care of her a few weekends while I was between jobs. When I looked at it objectively, I knew it was the mature decision. This transitory period of my life made it difficult to take care of a dog well. When Reese had too much energy, she was destructive, and couldn’t stay inside. Outside was no good either, because it was getting too cold. She needed to be with someone who wasn’t working all the time, or out and about. And when I saw how happy Reese looked one day when Ashley came to take her for a weekend, I knew it was the right match.
While all this was happening, still in the first week of December, I was looking for a second job in Hood River that would allow me to leave the Cheesecake Factory. Working in banquets was nice, but it wouldn’t allow me enough hours to survive. I wanted a serving or bartending job that would give me cash in hand, preferably at a place with an opportunity for growth. I found a place up in the ski area of Mt. Hood, at the Cooper Spur resort. The chef was looking for someone to help with the front of house operations, as they were expanding to breakfast service. It was about a half hour south of Hood River, up the mountain, through some icy and snowy passes. I was offered the job, and slept on it. The next day, I decided against it. It could be a promising position, but with winter weather becoming increasingly severe, I decided it would be too long of a drive and too much of a risk, not knowing if the restaurant would even survive, not to mention my inability to drive in icy conditions.
I talked my decision through with Kristen, as I tend to process verbally, and I realized I really wanted to work at this place called Solstice. I had sent my resume and cover letter over a month prior. She seemed a little surprised at my resolve, because I had contacted them so long ago with no response. But something in my heart felt like that would be my dream job. Sure enough, not even two days later, I got a call asking if I could interview! Awesome. I set up an interview for the following afternoon, nail the interview, met the owners, and I’m hired immediately.