Thursday, March 29, 2012
Pilot's Wife - Part 6 (the first year)
In the beginning of our marriage, we were together every day. It really was the “honeymoon stage”. Life was normal. I was a double major in elementary and special education, so I had to do 2 quarters (or 6 months) of student teaching, but I was still technically in college at the time. We lived in an apartment off campus and I walked to school if I needed to, as we were only 2 blocks away. We had great friends, knew how to relax when we got home from work every day, and really didn’t have too many responsibilities.
That summer, I decided to apply for any job I could get my hand on. I went to education fairs, looking for interviews and job openings. I even applied for a waitress position at our favorite restaurant. They told me I was “overqualified” for the position. Really? If I didn’t want the job, and felt I was too qualified, why would I have applied? I needed a job! By the end of May, the only job I had received was that of a “typist” at the local newspaper, typing up land sales in the business sections for $80 a week. It was a good thing that we had deferred loan debts, cars paid off, and a cheap apartment, because there was NO way I could make a living on that. We just recently looked at our tax return from that first year of marriage. We barely made $23,000 - which was his "salary" as a flight instructor. Not exactly jet-setting, right?
In July I remember I was sitting in the apartment eating lunch one day, while Josh was at work, when I got a call from a school district 50 miles away (that I do NOT, to this day, even remember applying for). They were offering me a job! Due to Josh’s work situation, I would have to commute every day (because we didn’t want to move away from our apartment and his flight instructor job). But, that was okay, I would have a steady paycheck and we would be able to save for the future.
Since we knew we would be there for a couple years, I decided to start my Master’s program in education and take 1-2 classes a quarter (which would take me 2 years to finish). In winter, Josh decided to start applying for jobs again and flying at the college got busier. In the Spring, he ended up getting the call! He had been hired by a regional airline! But.....it was in Chicago. We live in WA State and that was quite a commute.
In May and June, I started applying to districts within an hour of the major airport that we wanted to live by. We liked the area. It was close to family, the weather was good and the price of housing was in our budget. I got a call from the largest school district in the area, took a personal day, and drove the 3 hours to share my portfolio with them. I was hired on the spot. I told my current principal that next week and she said they wouldn’t let me out of my contract unless they found a replacement for me in my current teaching position. They didn't look very hard. In July, Josh left to go to training in Chicago.
By the time it was August, it was slim pickings to find good special education teachers, as most of them already had their jobs lined up. So, after many tears, we decided I would leave our college town and get an apartment/townhouse by myself in the city where my current job was. Good news, no commute and it had a tiny airport that Josh could easily fly into when he was home for 2 days a week. 2 DAYS A WEEK! How was I going to survive?
The school year began and I was heartbroken at only getting to see him 8 days a month or so. I decided to coach fall girl's softball at my middle school to keep from getting bored. (And, so it begins.......right, Danielle?) I was still taking Master's classes at my college and the "Friends" DVDs were just beginning to come out. So, every time a new one came out (about once a month), I would head to Costco and buy them for $20. What a steal! My new obsession with Ross/Rachel and the gang began and I have Josh's absence to thank for that one.
I cried many nights on the phone with him and he started to get to the point where he knew he would have to find a job closer to me and home. Luckily, I had my cousin, Nicole, close by and my friend Haley and her adorable twins living next door, or I think I would have gone completely crazy. But, at least I still got to see him every week. I think of military families that don't get to see their loved ones for months/years and I have new respect for them. I don't know how they do it! They are amazing.
As Josh filled out applications, he knew that there was only one airline in particular that would get our marriage the proper start: home together a majority of the time, a house, and a steady life. In the Spring of 2005, he got the call.