Yup! Here We Are!

“It never rains in California but girl don’t they warn ya – it pours, man it pours!” 

Been a cold, rainy few days here in Loma Linda as Lisa and I try to get adjusted to this new place – quite different from Gettysburg Pa.  If we closed our eyes – we would think we were back home in Kentucky.  It has been just slightly warmer here than what we are used to in December but locals here say this is unusually cold for this part of the country.  Well of course when Lisa and I get here we would be met with record cold in southern California.  It has been in the fifties during the day and low forties at night.  We did a mission trip to London England once during a heat wave that set record temperatures in a country that does not have air conditioning.  It all stands to reason.  We went to a movie last night and I commented to Lisa as we were walking to our car in the drizzling rain it felt like it could actually be sleeting.

This first week here has been a mix of joy and frustration.  Our apartment is a blessing from God as it is in a safe neighborhood and a stone’s throw from the hospital where Lisa will be working – eventually (we think).  The situation with her work is that she is one of many travel staff brought in here while the regular hospital staff is trained on a new computer system (same one our new hospital in Owensboro will be using BTW).  She checked in with the HR department her first day as instructed but was informed that there had been some sort of mix up and they were not ready for the cardiac techs and were not sure when she would actually begin work.  Because she is under contract they must pay her regardless which is a good thing and right now we are enjoying a paid vacation.  But Lisa is not comfortable with that arrangement and is wanting to get settled into her new job asap.  We think something will get started for her next week.

As for me – I interviewed with Disneyland yesterday.  The drive from Loma Linda to Anaheim is around an hour (although it did take us two hours during rush hour the other night).  Driving the California freeways is everything you heard it was – how we miss south Frederica on a Friday night.  I remember once looking down at my speedometer while trying to change into one of the eight lanes and realized I was doing eighty mph in bumper to bumper traffic.  Then all of a sudden as you are driving white knuckled to the steering wheel – praying not to spin out and into one of the canyons below – a motorcycle will come flying between you and the car in the other lane.  If I swerved six inches that motorcycle rider would be in the next life – one, I hope, does not have freeways like this.  I look forward to the ‘streets of gold’ – just hope they’re not eight lanes.   Finally arriving – I went to the “Casting Center” and checked in and was called back into an interview room to meet with a “recruiter” named “John”.  I had applied on-line weeks ago knowing we would be in the area and finally an interview appointment was scheduled.  John told me to not be nervous (you kidding? – I couldn’t stop smiling thinking about being here in Disneyland applying for a job – how could I be nervous?) and that he would be asking me some questions and just getting to know me.  Unfortunately, after I explained our temporary status and reason for being in the area – he informed me that Disneyland was hiring for the spring and for permanent positions only.  Had I been here in October – they may have been able to hire me for Halloween and Christmas.  I thanked him and told him I didn’t want to take up anymore of his time – but he said I could stay and talk to him about Disney if I wanted since his next interview was not for thirty minutes.  So we talked Disney – and he explained how he had begun at one of the Disney hotels and was now a recruiter.  Disneyland does not hire “seasonal” staff to the extent that “Disney World” in Florida does.  He did say that I seemed like a perfect candidate for Disney since I was such a big Disney fan and understood their commitment to their “guests”.  I was very impressed when he said, “Our cast members have to understand the sacrifice guests make in paying the high cost for being here – it is not easy for families.  And we have to treat them accordingly.  They deserve our best.”  I love that!  (I wish schools would view and treat students as “guests” – that could really make a difference).  We had a great conversation and I thanked him for his time and headed back to Loma Linda.  I was a little disappointed but also a little relieved – that drive back and forth may have been too much to take.  And if I have to drive this freeway everyday – there are sure to be some dead motorcylists.

It has been a struggle trying to figure this area out.  As you drive around you will see a sign saying “Welcome to Loma Linda” but then street signs will say “City of Redlands”.  It is all in the San Bernardino Valley but hard to distinguish one community from another.  So far we have found all the people here to be very nice but feel we are a minority not understanding Spanish.  We will not be lacking for Mexican cuisine – Mexican restaurants are more abundant here than McDonalds.  I think I even saw Ronald McDonald wearing a sombrero.

It is weird being away from home at Christmas.  I suggested to Lisa we should at least put up a little tree – something that makes us feel like Christmas.  But then she begins yet another cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie and we feel at home again.  (Who writes this stuff and can I get in on that gig?)

We were so sad to hear about the tragedy in Connecticut.  Hug your kids and tell them you love them.

Blessings!

Steve and Lisa

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