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There’s a saying in our household: “Everything’s workin’ out Warcken.” And it typically does, even when we think it doesn’t, or won’t. Maybe we’re just incredibly fortunate (definitely true), or maybe we just have what Greg calls “PMAs”, or positive mental attitudes. Or maybe it’s both those things plus the fact that we’re delayed gratifiers. We can wait years for something to happen, then be super pumped when it does, like “See?! Everything’s workin’ out Warcken! Just like we thought it would! Five years ago.” All that said…
Greg got his dream airline job!
Well, Greg got his foot-in-the-door or maybe job-for-life job with his dream airline! Who knows? He’s been keeping his eye on job listings like a Harris’s Hawk since his job was frozen in March 2020, and when they started hiring again he applied to airports literally all over the country – from Maui to Washington DC to Florida, to name a few . We all had our location preferences. G and I definitely prefer mountains and national parks and a hub, and M prefers being wherever we are. Isn’t she just the best?! And once again, everything worked out Warcken as he got hired at our #1 airport choice! Any guesses? A clue…
You got it! Sal Tlay Ka Siti!
We’re pretty pumped, as Greg and I have never really spent any time there and know absolutely nothing about the area. But before we moved to Tucson we had only camped in the Tucson Mountain Park for three nights and thought “Boy, we could move here!” And we did! Three years ago! And we still love it here! Greg doesn’t care for the middle-of-the-day heat in summer (but the shade, and those summer nights… YEOW <3), and I could definitely do without the rattlers in the yard, but we have loved hiking and birding and camping all over southern AZ and we’ll definitely be back to visit, if not to spend our winters here indefinitely.
But onto new pastures! And who knows? This might be our forever home! We might just turn into real adults sometime! Well…
Greg’s new job is seasonal (but with year-round flight benefits – what what), which he’s heard means he’ll work 20-40 hrs/wk summers and major holidays. But we’re not sure what that means exactly. Are summers June, July, and August? Are major holidays from Thanksgiving to Spring Break? We don’t know!
A lot of people move to a new city in a new state and start a new job with an unknown schedule and salary and have a new baby, right? [facepalmfacepalmfacepalm] Luckily we were already planning on taking the rest of the year off for -aternity leave so this is a great time to figure out said schedule and what we can expect for funemployment, his/our potential income, and whether we can plan on living in the area for an extended period of time, or if we’ll just come and go depending on his job. Woohoo! Mama gets to make a new budget(s)!
Our only hurdle has been the serious lack of affordable housing in the greater SLC area. You see, we’ve been paying $1000/mo for our little furnished rental in Oro Valley, AZ, including all utilities and wifi, and I make $65/hr. So… we’re doing just fine. But I just saw a room for rent on airbnb in Salt Lake for $1600/mo. A bedroom. In someone else’s house. WTFF (insert your own adjective. I prefer ‘fuckity’). 2-bed furnished basement apartments run between $1600-2000, and according to indeed.com, the high end of nursing jobs pay $40/hr, with an average around $30. So, up to twice the price of housing for half the pay. Cool, cool. Excuse me while I go eat a bottle of pepcid.
That said, anyone know of good housing options around SLC? Know a real estate investor? Someone with a basement apartment or a furnished rental? An RV pad they’re willing to rent out to a growing family? Don’t let these clothes fool you – we’ve got those U.S. dollars.
In addition to housing ideas, we’re looking for advice on must-dos in our new city/state! Not restaurant recommendations, as I’ve already google mapped In-N-Out, Hot Dog on a Stick, and Cafe Rio so… set there. (joke)(kind of). Good hiking trails? Lovely city parks? Someplace our girl can sit in a creek or chase some mallards around? Favorite campgrounds, state parks, national monuments? We’ll definitely be hitting up all the national parks and Utah’s high point – Kings Peak – while we’re there. What are your favorite neighborhoods around SLC? Any seedy places we should avoid? Good nursing jobs?
As much as I’d love to retire
We Warckens have grown quite accustomed to a certain retire early but travel a lot in the meantime lifestyle. And we want to be able to actually use the flight benefits Greg is working for. (Note: People always ask. Yes, we fly standby and yes it’s free on our airline and incredibly cheap on other airlines. We’ve had some dope adventures.) We are, however, hoping to avoid my working 12 hr shifts from now on. We don’t want to put our kids in childcare, and 12 hrs is hard on everyone. Some days I don’t see my babe at all, or only for a few minutes in the morning. Boo. I’m thinking PRN at a day surgery center sounds great, or PRN at a pain clinic, or maybe PRN at a CVS swabbing people for covid. You know, no full time commitment but the ability to make hay while the sun shines. Just the way I like it.
Speaking of making hay, I almost immediately took back what I said about not working overtime and picked up four shifts before we leave to A. get closer to (and hopefully maxing out!) my 401k for 2021 and B. stockpile for the rent we’re about to pay while we get his schedule figured out.
Greg was originally going to leave three weeks before us and stay in a room he found on Airbnb (we are *not* paying $1600/mo) and M was going to a neighbor’s three days a week for three weeks while I worked. But… his start date was pushed back two weeks so he gets to stick around longer and we don’t have to pay for that childcare! Everything’s workin’ out Warcken.
I was a little “worried” about those three weeks as I don’t “care” for being a single parent and hope I never have to “experience” that in real life. Hearts out for everyone who is, I can’t even imagine.
It’s not that I can’t handle our girl, it’s just that I was worried about working full time, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping, *and* handling our girl in my third “I just want to sit” trimester. I already made some gifs for how those three weeks would go, so I’ll leave them in because I love my gifs.
I was also very concerned about G and M being away from each other for basically the first time. Since March 2020 these two have been thick as thieves, and none of us were sure how they would do apart for three weeks. Luckily we don’t have to find out!
But while we’re on the subject, let me just share with all of you, and with Greg, what an amazing job he has done bringing up bebe while I’ve worked through a global pandemic (I just really like to remind people that covid is still affecting everyone on the planet). Greg has put in 13+ hour days for months, stuck in a tiny house with a tiny human through Tucson’s #1 hottest and #2 driest summer on record, our mountain/summer escape burnt up by wildfire, unable (last year) to take said human to a public pool, or to a park, or to Costco, with no family around, no friends to socialize with, no job to escape to, through a presidential campaign/election featuring the biggest horse’s ass in US history. It has not been easy for him.
But rather than fall, catatonic, into the Pit of Despair as I (or any normal human being) would’ve done, he’s kept himself (mostly) sane running and walking and doing push ups and going for bike rides. He cooks and cleans, and does dishes and laundry and most of our shopping, and feeds the birds, and maintains our vehicles while keeping an incredibly busy toddler happy and on a schedule, and an incredibly disgusted-at-the-American-public wife off the Cliffs of Insanity, and all (mostly) without complaint. He’s had a few hard days.
The guy is a gd saint. After 14+ months he remains patient, and kind, and sweet, and thoughtful. I get pictures and video while I’m at work of our girl hiking, and birding, and going to the zoo and the park, and feeding the tortoise, and washing windows, and burying a lizard that died on the porch. On my days off (which are really his days off) he encourages me to take it easy and enjoy our girl because he knows how much we miss each other when I’m gone. He is my trophy husband, and the best father money can buy. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Never settle for less than your own Greg Warcken. He deserves all the best things in the world, and I’m happy to announce that includes his dream job.
Just look at those two. Everything’s workin’ out Warcken.