Wednesday, May 7, 2008

On the Streets

In the last thrilling episode of Glenda’s adventures in Montana, our muddled heroine was having trouble crossing the street and driving on the ‘right’ side of the road. Hope appeared in the shape of a Raspberry Subaru. Well, the very same vehicle is now owned and adored for its many wonderful features. I should start with the fact that it’s all wheel drive, so very safe for the slippery winter conditions, but I have to admit that the heated seats brought the biggest smile to my face. Toasty buns, mm-mmm! It’s the first automatic I’ve ever owned – they are a lot more common here. The cruise control makes me a bit nervous but I’ll get used to it, I’m sure. The sun roof just seems silly. Maybe I’ll get some Jackie-O sunnies and a scarflett?

“What’s the point of having a nice new (to me) car if I can’t drive it?” you might wonder. Not so fast! I passed my driving test yesterday, after embarrassing amounts of studying the rule book and making notes, as well as a few relatively confident driving sessions. The overpass/underpass/interstate highway stuff is still daunting but I can now get out and do stuff independently, which feels great. I drove three blocks today on my own to see if the YMCA had any summer holiday jobs. I didn’t even mind that they said no because I got there and back smoothly. Kelly’s car is a V8 Dodge ute. That will come in handy for farm jobs, hauling a water tank, hay, pooh etc. Some of the pick ups we've seen should come with ladders to get into them.

Here's the lucky winner of Kelly's automobile approval.

I have now completed all my paperwork for teaching positions in the Billings area and at Pryor (the town on the Crow reservation). I am still waiting on my FBI clearance to be able to do some relief teaching. I have also filled out an application for the ‘Outback Steakhouse,’ the Aussie theme restaurant (kitchen prep, clearing tables or hostess). If I get a bit of relief teaching I can top up hours at the restaurant, if they hire me. I am strangely curious and a bit excited to think of doing something other than teach … you know, with real people.

Kelly has applied for lots of jobs related to business. He has had two interview sessions with a finance company called Prudential, and they might offer him a job selling insurance etc mainly to businesses. He has been up front about not being interested in selling any policies that wouldn’t be in the best interest of the client, and the boss is happy with that. Kelly really likes him. I really like seeing Kelly in a suit and tie; very appealing dress ups, even if he thinks suits are for nerds.

Last Saturday I went to a charity auction raising money for senior services with Terry, Erin and Christina. We put in together and won table settings, decorations and drinks for a Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) Party. That’s Mexican Independence Day, and a lot of Americans enjoy the festivities. As a result we turned the weekly Sunday brunch into breakfast burritos with Mariachi music etc.

Nieces Shealynn and Kristen

Kelly and his Nana

Dad, Mick, Kelly and Erin cooking brunch

Our other bit of progress is that we put in an offer on a house, conditional on building inspection and appraisal. It is a little, older style house but has 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms (half of them in the basement). The kitchen is remodeled and it has a deck and nice sized back yard, all in a good area (one of my tree lined streets). The owners are agreeable to a ‘lease to buy’ contract so we could rent for 6 months and then apply for a loan when we have some employment history. I really hope it works. It is not the dream house, but it would work really well for now, and could be a good renter if we start building at Blue Creek next year. Also, there would be enough room for visitors!

As usual I still love and miss everyone and everything Australia, but I’m grateful for all the good people and opportunities here. Overall I think I'm doing pretty well.

ps: just a bit of a boast – the Australian Teacher Magazine online currently has an article on me about my awards. I did the interview while driving along Great Ocean Road.

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