On this day in 2014, one year ago, we had just landed in Minnesota for a family reunion and a golden anniversary party. While I played in the splash pad with my niece & nephew, introverted, early-rising Big Frog took a nap poolside. (He had driven us from Harrisburg PA to Trenton NJ1 that morning for a beyond-super-cheap flight... even so, never fly out of Trenton.)
1 "What Trenton makes, the world takes." The first time we were in Trenton, we were trying to visit a college friend in Philly. We knew there was a problem when we found ourselves entering Jersey. Also, and I consider this a systemic problem, you have to pay to leave Jersey. What's up with that?
Turns out, Big Frog wasn't napping.
He took a call and it was an unexpected phone interview. And unlike all the other phone interviews he'd taken of late, he could freely say, "Sure this is a good time," with an unspoken undercurrent of, "I may have to ask you to repeat things, and you may hear some random pool noises coming from my end." Far better than the oft-repeated, "Hang on a sec, I need to leave my cube and go out to the car to take this; I haven't told anyone here that I'm leaving."
Who he had told was one of our friends from church, someone from his early-morning men's prayer group. At different points in Big Frog's life he's been in several early-morning prayer groups that have given him great relationships with God and with his Christian brothers. Because of that, it's one of the things he looked for in our new church. But this friend, although not an engineer, worked at an engineering firm where there was an opening for someone with Big Frog's background and interests. Although they worked for different companies, their buildings were next door to each other and they sometimes got together for lunch.
So when the phone call neared conclusion and the interviewer asked Big Frog for an in-person interview, Big Frog said once he was back in town he could walk next door just about any time.
"Where do you think I'm calling from?"
Turns out, the international company headquartered in Central PA has a sensors division in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
It's now July 17, 2015. A year has passed. We moved from PA to NC2 in October and put Selah, our Harrisburg house on the market3, pulled it, had some work done on it4, and relisted it at Eastertime.
2 Precision in abbreviations: NC in this case is not New Cumberland, 20min from our old house, but North Carolina, which is substantially farther.
3 Our first realtor was terrible. We never should have signed with her, but we didn't know we had real choices given that we were working with a relo company put in place by Big Frog's work. How terrible was she? She never even told our relo company that the house was on the market. She sent the house to the internet without a single photo to advertise it. Resultingly, in three months there were perhaps 7 showings. Admittedly, fall is a tough time to list a house, but she was dreadful.
4 Our second realtor was amazing. She had people-resources to get things done even though we were at a distance. She did a great job marketing. Worlds better an experience.
It took some time to find just exactly the right person for Selah, which always was a quirky property. But in the fullness of time, and in yet another case of "God has a sense of humor" we got two simultaneous cash offers for almost exactly the same amount. We were able to parse through the pros & cons of each offer, which boiled down to pros & cons of each person making an offer. And today, a year to the exact day, practically to the very hour from when God put North Carolina squarely in our path, Selah closed in about 20 minutes (the joys of a cash offer!), firmly closing the door on our time living in PA.