The last several blogs I have written about changes, mostly about weather changes. This blog will be a bit different. Most of you that have been following us for awhile know we have had some challenges in the past couple of years. Some of those challenges were expensive and stretched our budget to it's maximum and we have struggled trying to recover. We are certainly not destitute but with our savings account all but gone we had to make some decisions. Since I am not yet 59 1/2 dipping into our IRA's is not a good option with the penalties imposed for early withdrawal. Right now our seasonal jobs (Crazy Horse, Amazon and gate guarding) supports our lifestyle but just barely. Our biggest fear is another costly repair while on the road will put us into spiraling debt that is all but impossible to climb out of while only working lower wage, part time jobs. Trust me, I have lost a ton of sleep the last year worrying about the "what if's". Another thing is we are tired of "pinching pennies". We both love being full timers and the experiences it gives you but frankly I would love to splurge and buy a can of Folgers coffee one time instead of the cheapest generic I can find on the shelf. :-) Another reality is we are going to need to new vehicle soon because the Dakota is wearing out and will likely be needing more and more repairs. We, quite frankly, were not sure what direction our lives should take and were discussing several options when, this Spring, my boss here at Crazy Horse announced his retirement. We both enjoy working here and being involved with the process of carving the memorial. We also love the area, it is so beautiful here in the Black Hills. So with the support of several of the full time employees who approached me encouraging me to apply we made the decision that I would put my hat in the ring for his position, Director of Visitor Services. The selection process was long and involved but as things progressed over the summer my chances looked better and better. My final interview was just after labor day and I was told they would make their selection by the 19th of September. Needless to say the last two weeks have been the most stressful. The day finally arrived and I met with one of the CEO's (there are two) and the COO. The first thing they told me was that the position had been given to another candidate :-(
Then they threw me a curve ball, they offered me a different position, a brand new position created just for me! Needless to say I was humbled, flattered and confused at the same time. The salary that came with the job was within the range that Rudee and I had discussed and the job would be very similar to what I have already been doing with some added responsibilities. I accepted the position and am the newly created Senior Assistant Director of Visitor Services at Crazy Horse Memorial. The CEO then excused herself from the meeting and went to Rudee in the gift shop. She let her know that I had accepted a position and asked if she would "help me manage the gift shop". There was not much time for her and Rudee to talk but she said they would sit down next week and discuss the details.
So what do we do now? Well first of all we are taking 2 weeks to go back to Indiana and visit family and friends. We will also take care of some medical appointments and get our medical records to give to our South Dakota doctor once we select one. We have also made arrangements with a campground that is open year round in Custer but are also keeping our eyes open for a house to rent. We have experience living in our rig in very cold climates so that isn't something new to us but we wont pass up a good deal on a house to rent either. :-)
So there is the big news, Rudee and I are putting our full time travels on hiatus and settling down in the Black Hills. We are looking at staying in or near the Custer area and, as long as our jobs work out for both us and them, we will likely be purchasing a home nearby at some time in the future. As far as the blog is concerned I'm really not sure. Do you readers want to hear from us since we are not work camping but just working? Leave a comment and let me know and I'll keep you posted.