When Marty and I began our life together, we made a choice not to live exactly the way modern culture seemed to suggest. We prioritized quality over quantity, people over things, simplicity over complexity, peace over chaos. We chose to live in balance. We believed that less could be more, and it has been. Above all, we vowed to view life as an adventure!
The recession has shifted that balance at times. It has meant that we exchange more time for less money, partly in case it gets worse before it gets better. We are being leveraged more, and are leveraging less. Through the grace of God and a few good friends, we are most grateful to have been provided with everything we needed and more.
Marty spent Fall ’08 rebuilding and fixing up a snow plow for the tractor. He had to wait until Spring ’09 to use it, and boy did he! We don’t have quite as big a driveway as the plow would suggest, but the justification lies somewhere between bad back and big boys and big toys.
Bridget had the good fortune of starting a new job with a wonderful company in February. Over the past two years she has trained for a new position or role nearly every three months. It’s proven to be quite absorbing, fantastically enriching in unexpected ways, and surprisingly rewarding at times. She also continued her freelance work, and was recently hired to create a website for a local business, and has requests from several others.
In March, Marty was accepted to Federal Flight Deck Officer training. FFDOs are pilots trained to carry firearms in aircraft, to prevent hijacking and other nefarious activity. He spent seven days learning close quarter hand-to-hand fighting, Vulcan neck pinches, and most importantly, how to shoot ‘better than an FBI agent.’ When he finished, the US government issued him a badge and a gun…your tax dollars at work.
More change came in April. On the 9th, Mesa Airlines furloughed Marty due to a downturn in business. A furlough is like being laid off with a promise to rehire if the business ever picks up. For the record, it hasn’t picked up and if anyone needs someone to fly an airplane for them, Marty would be happy to entertain requests.
Just in time to keep him from going crazy at home, Marty was blessed to find a consulting gig in May. His services have been in demand steadily ever since. In July he began consulting for Jones International University, the first accredited online University in the country.
We had an unusually wet spring and summer. Marty’s Dad visited in July, and essentially dared Marty into digging a drainage ditch around the house. Approximately 140 feet of ditch later, Marty was tired, muddy, and proud that “Lake Skjordahl” would no longer form in the driveway and courtyard during heavy rains.
Over the summer, we took a trip into the hills to find hot springs, and stopped in Hot Sulfur Springs, CO. Marty bought a car for Bridget in celebration of our sixth wedding anniversary. We drove the new car to Indiana for the Foltz family reunion. Soon after, Marty’s cousin and aunt (Skjordahl clan) visited from Florida. Our house was burgled. Friends from Chicago visited, but inclement weather and Marty being down with a bad cold precluded the annual hike up a Fourteener.
In the Fall, we spent a weekend in Glenwood Springs (our favorite hot springs), and even dressed up for Halloween!
A new tradition was started by celebrating Thanksgiving at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. We were fortunate to be able to fly in and spend a couple of days with family, playing board games, drinking hot cocoa, and enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner that none of us had to prepare or clean up.
The snow started falling early this year (well before Halloween) and we’re having a spectacularly cold winter so far. We’re staying home for Christmas and plan to celebrate with Bridget’s family on Christmas Eve. The prime rib & Yorkshire pudding traditionally prepared by Bridget’s Mom is Marty’s favorite meal of the year!
Admittedly, 2009 was a rebuilding year, and was remarkable in its lack of a really big adventure. We’re sure to make up for it in 2010! Stay tuned!