It’s amazing to consider – we’ve been here in Seward a month already! How crazy is that?!
As I start this post, it is 4:25am on July 1st! I’ve experiencing some insomnia. I get it about once a month for a couple nights in a row. I actually got a little excited when I saw the time – I thought “Maybe I will see the sun rise over the mountain!” but it is very cloudy so no seeing the sun come up today! Instead I will talk to all of you!
We will be turning in our second time sheet this morning. Gary pays us twice per month – based on first through the 15th and the 16th through the last day of the month. Based on that this should technically be our 3rd check, but we said it was fine to add our first few days, that were actually in May, into our first June week. One benefit of working up here in AK is there is no state income tax; when we were in KY, we had to pay KY state tax, and even though we filed a KY State return, we didn’t get it all back – KY kept a piece.
I’ve been delaying posting this week b/c I just wasn’t sure I was conveying what I wanted to in a clear way – at this point I’ve done the best I can so I hope you understand.
There has been some “getting used to” things around here. Gary is an awesome boss; Bill and I have a huge amount of respect for him. He has a system in place for most everything and that makes it much easier for us. For example, he has a very specific way of folding bath towels, which some people might think is a bit “overboard”, but it actually serves a purpose, that being it makes it very easy to tell if the towel has been used by a guest (believe it or not some people actually try to leave everything exactly how they found it – very sweet but not realistic at all!) All his processes have been well thought out and, even for me, with my 30+ years of keeping house, make perfect sense.
So, the job itself leaves little to “think” about, sort of like Amazon. No need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.
Where the adjustment comes in has been more personal. Bill and I have NEVER worked together before. Now – at Amazon – we went to work together, went to breaks and lunch together, went home together, but didn’t work side-by-side. He went on his merry way – and I went on mine. There was physical separation during the day. Here at Renfros, we are working side-by-side. What is making it more – not sure the right word – weird maybe? is that this is almost a completely new “realm” for Bill. I am totally in my element, basically doing household chores – cleaning these tiny houses. Bill, meanwhile, has never really done this before. Let me explain.
We, up until now, have had a very traditional marriage, in that he was the breadwinner and I took care of the home and kids. That doesn’t mean he never helped out around the house and I never worked outside the home, but there were clear lines – he made the money and I kept the home fires burning bright. Expanding a bit on that – he, for his entire career, was a boss, the manager, with people working under him. Depending on which company he was working for, he had a minimum of 150 and at most 300’ish people under him that he was responsible for. He was in charge of huge budgets – like millions of dollars. Maybe you are starting to see where adjustments have been needed.
To be clear, this whole thing is about me – not Bill. Huh? That’s right, me, not Bill. It’s new and weird and almost unsettling to me to see him in this new way. I’m used to seeing him in charge and having people interrupt conversations and call on weekends to find out how he wants things done. Now, he’s getting instructions on how to make a proper “corner” when making a bed – FROM ME! Bill has always been more (ok – this is not putting me down folks!) “smart” than me – in the sense of mechanical and math and more logical type things (left side brain stuff), whereas I am more “smart” when it comes to the right side brain stuff, and on the day to day keeping a house stuff, since I spent my life doing that. All of this is to say, our roles have changed – maybe I’m feeling it more than he is (actually I know I am!) and it’s weird.
At the end of the day, I’ve decided it just makes me love him more – makes me respect him more – he’s given up a lot for us to do this – but we are getting so much in return! We have always had a great marriage, but now it’s more full, and in some ways, more equal – how awesome is that?! You cannot put a price on what we’ve gained!
Does that make sense?
The other thing is the working side-by-side means is we are literally together all the time! We have never been one of those couples that intentionally took time away from one another, like some do by taking ladies get-a-ways or guys only weekends. Whatever time apart usual life (work, etc) provided was enough for us to be looking forward for coming home. There was a period of time, about 2 years, when Bill worked in Kingston, Jamaica and was gone a lot. The kids and I missed him terribly. A friend at the time told me I would get used to it, as she did, and for her it was now almost a better day when he left than when he got home. That never happened to me, and frankly, I wouldn’t want it to. I’m living the other extreme of that now – we are almost never apart. I don’t mind that necessarily, but what I’m discovering is that I miss my limited amount”girl” time I did used to have – lunch with a friend, going to Zumba with the ladies, visit with my sister, stuff like that. When we are traveling more, like we were for months before getting here, that keeps me busy, so I don’t have time to miss that stuff, but I guess it’s caught up to me now.
Being so far from family has also been weighing on me a bit. Even though I didn’t always see my kids on a weekly or even by-weekly basis, just b/c of opposing life schedules, the fact that seeing them at all isn’t an option right now is difficult for me. The 4 hour time difference doesn’t help at all (they are both on Eastern time).
Ok – enough sour grapes for today!
This leads me to tell you the good news! Linda and Steven – our traveling up here buddies – have finally arrived in Seward! They aren’t staying here at Renfros but instead opted to stay in town with the waterfront views. Can’t say I blame them, plus 4th of July is next week and Seward is the place to be!
We drove down to Seward Monday after work and had Happy Hour and dinner with them, chatting until almost 10! We tried to catch up on everything, but I’m not sure we accomplished that! Too much has happened in the short time we’ve been away from one another! We even forgot to take a pic! Seriously!
No worries though – they drove out to Renfros on Wednesday and it was our turn to cook! We also have them a tour of the property and cabins. Since 2 cabins didn’t have guests that night, we were able to show them the inside of them too! We showed them the lodge and they got to meet Gary. They really loved the cabins and views of the lake, as does everyone that comes here! I have to say, I felt a bit of pride showing off the retreat – like “look – I’m a part of this!”
We have a VERY busy week planned for next week, starting early on Saturday and continuing through Friday! You will have to tune in and see what trouble we can get into!
For now – I will leave you with a few pics – just to keep you coming back for more!