It has been a busy month. My last post was written from my rooftop on a warm Seattle Summer day, and my current one is being written 39 stories above Navy Pier on Chicago’s Lakeshore.

Yeah. I live in Chicago now. So does the lady. It all happened in short order, and here’s the short story:

She got a call from a friend in a Chicago Nonprofit group about a month and a half ago. He noticed that she was looking to get into the NP sector, and mentioned that they had a job opening as a Development Assistant in Institutional Relations (checked her email signature for that one). Would she like to interview?

Of course, the answer was yes. She set up a skype interview for Monday morning, and by the next Wednesday, she was out in Chicago for an up-close interview.

While she was out there, my boss dropped the bomb on us that he had sold the business. I understood, as he had a confidentiality clause preventing him from talking of an impending sale until he cleared the big hurdles of the sale (getting past the board of directors, other people coming up with financing, etc.), but we’d all heard rumblings throughout the summer. I was a little on edge about job prospects if she didn’t get the job out in Chicago, but it was alright. The best thing about a community like the market is that people are always looking for help, and I was offered a job with the guys whom I had been getting my daily produce from.

People of Earth- It pays to forge good relationships with people you interact with on a daily basis. They will surprise you and be willing to help you.

I had to make the call to Chicago. She was out there, but I know that she had finished her interview, and I let her know that my boss was selling the business, and that my last day would be Labor Day.

She understood. And so we waited. All week.

She got the call on Friday before Labor Day. We told the landlord, sold our couch, coffee table, desk, chairs, dressers, and everything that wasn’t essential. We rented a truck, and by the Friday after Labor Day, we were on the road.

Day One- Seattle to Anaconda, MT. Home of Fairmont RV Park and campground. There is no “And campground” about any of these places. They are parking lots with giant electric poles set up to cater to giant RVs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; We were just the two jerks sleeping in the tent, huddled together for warmth in a space that was about three inches too short for me to fully stretch out my legs.

Day Two- Woke up early, paid the campsite fee before we left at 6:30 or 7, because it’s the right thing to do. We stopped for breakfast at a Perkins, and then drove past Bozeman, past Billings (or so I was told, because I was a grumple who promptly fell right back asleep when we hit the road), and into Wyoming. Drove past Little Bighorn, through all those hills, and ended up right outside of a fairly silent Sturgis, SD for the evening at another RV park. The woman who owned this one was nice enough. She gave us a pull-through spot with our 10 foot Budget truck, and said that we could set our tent up right next to the shower cabin.

Hot Showers. Very nice.

Even nicer? Sleeping with the sounds of coyotes giggling in the meadow next door.

Seriously. It’s not scary. It’s just incredibly peaceful, and although I don’t go camping nearly enough (Read: at all), I get the feeling that crickets and coyotes are big draws for the nature set.

Day Three- Sturgis to Wall Drug. Stopped and did the obligatory photo shoot. Also, little known fact- The french toast sticks at Wall Drug Cafe are delicious, and the coffee is only a nickel! What do you have to say about that, girlfriend on a jackalope?

We also stopped at Mount Rushmore. For all of those who have said it was really small, it really isn’t. Take a look.

We drove past Devil’s Tower, Some other weird looking rock formations:

and finally settled just outside of Winona, MN, at Great River Bluffs State Park, with a campsite overlooking the Mississippi River.

The next day, we made it down to Madison, where, after entirely too long, she met my parents and sister. We had dinner on the porch, walked around Monroe Street and University Heights, and then went out to Pub Trivia with my sister, which we promptly won. Whenever I think that I am pretty good at the trivia, I remember that I am my sister’s brother.

The next afternoon, we set out for Chicago, and made it to Andy’s house in Lincoln Square by 4:30 or 5. Parked the truck out front, and had a little dinner, then watched Erik and Nina’s house and rabbit for a few days.

***

This past week has been a combination of couch surfing, new pizza joints and Thai restaurants, and this past month has been a tornado of activity. Just two days ago, we finally moved into our place. We emptied boxes, stocked bookshelves and fridges, and cleaned floors, clothes, and closets.

Now, I start a new job tomorrow, (more about that later), and everything will be set. With a view like this, it makes me feel fortunate that everything came together in such harmony.

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