On May 1st around 2 am, after watching several episodes on YouTube of Will it Blend, Eldon and I left for Ohio, where I'd be left out of reach of the comforts of home and family. Arriving around 10:30 pm on the same day, Eldon and I found a temporary home at the Holiday Inn Express. That was Friday.
Saturday morning Eldon and I set off to find me a place to live. We began with high hopes, believing that having completed our long trek the previous day, we'd have success at finding a place to live having an entire day to look. With Stephanie's suggestions and the recommendations of the attendant at H.I. Express, we explored the greater Akron area, combing the streets for rental options.
We learned several things on that day. Complexes and most people really don't like to rent to less than 1-year or at the least 6-month tenants. Secondly, people if they do, they're going to charge a lot extra. Being Eldon's birthday and being kind of worn out, we ended the search having gotten a good feel for the area, turning down some less-than-desirable options (like 1 1/2 choices) but still having a few leads in the bag. At the very least, this provided a basic understanding of rental options so that when I did see the right one, I'd recognize it.
So, finishing the search, we went to Pizza Hut and got a pretty good pizza, after which we went to the H.I.E. That night, we also played some 1-on-1 at a church near the hotel at a goal we were able to lower to dunking height (not LDS). The game was pretty good, and after a long fight, Eldon won 102 to 100 by ones and twos. That was Saturday.
We had learned on Saturday that it was a Stake Conference Broadcast that Sunday at a different than usual time, since we stopped by the church the night before. Temples were emphasized. We showed up and afterwards began trying to make connections to provide a lead on housing. While I talked to the missionaries, Eldon made the critical connection, brother Hardy, which put me into contact with other attending single adults, which again, provided some housing leads, and more than anything, some hope. That night Eldon sent me off to the single-adult pre-CES broadcast activity and then the CES broadcast, spending the day alone while I met the singles here. Sunday ended and with it approached Eldon's sad departure.
Early Monday morning, Eldon and I drove to the Cleveland Airport where he boarded a plane back to Dallas-Fort Worth and I was left nearly alone--he left some CDs with me which, although somewhat repetitive, have provided hours and hours of driving entertainment. I got to the Hotel where I looked at the documents they'd given me to fill out before the first day of work. I was surprised to see that there was a lot to do. I quickly got ready then speedily worked through the documents. In this phase mom and dad fortunately answered the phone and dad helped me to fill out the W-2 tax form. I reported to work at 8:30 that morning and was oriented to Babcock and Wilcox, commonly referred to as B&W, in Barberton (also referred to by Eldon as Barbasol).
That night I had one final night at the HIE, notably more lonely without Eldon. Fortunately, there was FHE with the singles branch. In fact for the first 2 weeks, there was something probably 12 of the first 14 nights/days. Tuesday morning I packed all my belongings back into the car and went to work. Leaving work that day, I could make no wrong turn because I really had no destination. I was a wanderer.
Next issues: The Wanderer and Before Departure