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Thu, Aug. 06

Whirlwind of a week<br>just tip of the iceberg

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind ... and the next week should be just as interesting.

For those who haven’t heard, I’ve accepted a job at a newspaper back in my home state of Nebraska. So this is my second-to-last issue, my last edition will be Oct. 15.

I’ve heard all the “why Nebraska?” jokes I can handle. Personally, I think it’s a pretty good place to bring up a family. The community we’ve chosen is ideal in terms of population, there’s an extremely low crime rate and Midwest schools have high test scores.

In next week’s column, I’ll say my good-byes. For now, I’m just trying to keep my sanity.

Stacey and I decided we wanted to head up to our new home as a family. So, we went ahead and got married, the ceremony was a few weekends ago at Shoshone Point.

As I write this on a Thursday night, Stacey is headed to Nebraska to find us a house to rent. With our dogs, it hasn’t been easy finding a place. But she has a half dozen or so houses to check out.

My house here is a mess because I decided to start packing a few days ago. Boxes litter my living room and kitchen floors as I stumble my way around the house. So far, I’ve been able to pack books and videos, which has taken up about six boxes.

Since Stacey and I are currently living in two different households (yes, I’m not living with my wife), we’re discovering that many items will not need to make the trip. We might just be having a garage sale this weekend.

Taking this new job was one of the most difficult decisions of my career. I have no complaints about my current job, other than odd hours and having to write so many stories. My new position will involve copy editing and coaching other writers, so I will be able to take a break from reporting.

The biggest reason for the move involves our new community. We’re headed to Scottsbluff, which is situated in Nebraska’s panhandle about 90 miles from Cheyenne, Wyo. The largest major city is Denver and that suits us just fine.

There’s actually quite a bit around Scottsbluff. The city serves as the retail center for western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. There’s even a Super Wal-Mart and a mall.

The schools in Scottsbluff appear to be pretty impressive. Our middle-schooler will be attending classes in one of those old three-story school buildings that you often see in the movies. It was actually the former high school.

I’m not sure which elementary school Brandon will attend. It depends which part of town we end up in. The high school is very impressive and even has outdoor and indoor swimming pools.

Stacey hopes to return to her career choice in graphic arts. She wasn’t able to nail down a job in that field here at Grand Canyon. She has enjoyed her work at the school, however, especially under her new boss.

During our weekend in Nebraska for the job interview, I wasn’t sure how Stacey would like the area. She grew up in New Jersey and has lived in Arizona for the past 18 years.

On our way out of town, she turned to me and said, “this feels like home.”

Indeed, I’m looking forward to the change. Grand Canyon Village and Tusayan has its strongpoints and unique characteristics, but we want to live in a community with all the family amenities.

Playing racquetball at the YMCA, growing a garden in the backyard, buying our own house. We’re looking forward to it. For now, we’re enjoying the Canyon and our friends these last few weeks.

(Brad Fuqua is editor of the Grand Canyon News).

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