We made it through Mt. Redoubt’s eruptions. It went on for weeks. But finally, her fury subsided. It was a welcome relief but now to the business of getting on with life. It is amazing to watch how resilient Alaskans are. Nothing stops them, not cold temperatures, snow storms, earthquakes or volcanoes.
Easter came and we still had snow on the ground. We were invited to Easter dinner by some friends. As we sat eating our feast, it began to snow outside. Though it might have been cold and snowing, we all felt a sense of renewal. We had come through the worst of it. We had made it through the worst winter since 1942, unemployment, frozen cars and no transportation, earthquakes, and a volcanic eruption. Alaska certainly can show you what you are made of and drive that point home.
Phil was not enjoying his new position in Michigan. He wanted to return home in the worst way. We were still looking for a job in Alaska and in particular, Anchorage. Just when it looks darkest the dawn breaks. He got a lead on a job in Anchorage. It would be with the electric company. Chugach, the main electric company in Alaska, was in need of an engineer. They were expanding and rebuilding their plants. If they didn’t go forward with this project then 80% of Alaska could be without electricity.
It’s not easy to find work in Alaska. Employers tend to want to hire people already living here and if you don’t live here they usually don’t provide a relocation package. If they do provide a relocation package, then they require you to live here for a six month trial before paying for the move. Too many people have a hard time adjusting to Alaska. It is certainly the “final frontier”. No doubt about that. People find the long, dark, cold winters too much to bear. Oddly enough that part didn’t bother me nor anyone in my family. We are winter people so we adjusted to that one with ease. Others, don’t like the laid back attitude that is prevalent here. I never thought that being laid back was a problem but here in Alaska, it is taken to the extreme. I’ve often said that if you are a control freak then don’t move to Alaska. Your patience quotient will definitely be tested here. So all in all, employers like to hire people who are tried and true. Such was the case with Chugach.
Miracles do happen. They are easier to spot here in Alaska. In the first week of May we got word that Phil had been selected to interview for the job here. We were ecstatic. We so wanted to be reunited as a family. The fact that over 3000 people had applied for the job was a bit intimidating. However, Phil’s marketability as an engineer, his family living here and his expertise at interviewing landed him the job. On May 22nd Phil flew back into Anchorage and we were finally a family again. It was a time of celebrating for us. He had missed Mt. Redoubts performance but that was about all. He had only been gone for 3 1/2 months. That wasn’t too bad. Now to get on with the new job.