Joshua has been hired as a firefighter/EMT with the Great Bend Fire Department. This is the culmination of 21 years of work/prayer/spankings/encouragement/warnings/teaching/etc. Great Bend obviously saw all that we put into him. He starts July 21 with approximately 3 weeks of training. He has a 6 month probationary period and if all goes as planned he will be fully instated as a part of the force. He is required to live either in Great Bend or no farther than 7 miles outside the city limits. He has a 6 month grace period before the location requirement is enforced. He will probably stay with some friends in Ellsworth (45 minutes from Great Bend) until the relocation is complete. His first interview was Liberal (over 4 hours from Salina), Cherryvale (about 3.5 hours), Dodge City (about 3 hours) and then Great Bend (about 1.5 hours). His first preference was to work in Salina and then maybe up to an hour away but nothing opened up within that range. 90 minutes away is quite doable. He can easily come to Salina on days off and holidays. Notice that Joshua is an EMT not a paramedic. A huge perk is that the department will pay for Joshua's paramedic training if he stays 2 years after completing it. The classes are offered at Barton County Community College which is in Great Bend. That is a double bonus. That's because they are not only paying about $10,000 for the training but he will also get a pay raise when done. Sounds like a great place to work. Emotion: Much Elation.
Wait. I am feeling something else inside. Joshua is moving to Great Bend. He will no longer be a Salina resident nor stay in his room on a regular basis. He won't be a regular attendee/contributor at family devotions. I won't see him praying and reading his Bible in the mornings. He won't be able to update me on what is the latest workout he is doing at the Y. We won't able to kid each other on the frequent faux pas's that are a regular part of each of our lives. Velda's biggest rule is that everyone must be home for supper. Joshua is now exempt. In case you didn't know we home schooled our children so Joshua has spent a majority of his time growing up in educational activities that centered around the family. So until he went to Texas to school we rarely experienced long separations. (2 weeks max at summer camps) Going to Texas for school was a dress rehearsal but he still put his home address as our house in Salina. All these things are coming to an end for the foreseeable future. Besides, none of us can think of a single person in Great Bend that we know for which he could make a connection. Emotion: A noticeable amount of melancholy.
Wait. There is another emotion lurking in the shadows. Shall we ferret it out? Velda runs the house in a very organized way. Everyone has chores. Early on we were all trained that if chores weren't done in a timely fashion; heads would roll. Joshua, as well as his siblings, has been very faithful in performing his duties. He even will do those impromptu jobs that come up without (much) extraneous commenting. Who is going to take up the slack?!?! Emotion: PANIC!
All said and done. Pray for Joshua and his family as we make this transition.
P.S. Joshua will probably never see this entry in the near future. He very rarely reads the family blog and even though he has a Facebook account, he is on Facebook about as often as he is on this blog. His only hope is if someone says to him something like "Your dad put an interesting entry about your leaving on your blog/Facebook" at which point the probability will go up slightly that he might navigate to this entry and read it.