(Best dog, Ranger in Labrador heaven)
For most of 1988, we lived in park housing at Fort Matanzas National Monument, I had been stationed there before earlier in the '80's also, so our combined time on the island was longer than it seems. It was at this time, with a new baby, and a little different view of things, that I was exploring the possibility of teaching. We had bought our 10 acres over on the wild coast of Florida and really wanted to put down roots and raise Katie and whoever else might join our family as Floridians ... real (dare I say, "Pure?") Floridians.
You don't have to understand that, just know that it was extremely important to us. For me, it took 3 years of living outta' state to realize just how important it was.
We took the Fort Matanzas assignment as a convenient way to get back to Florida, but I knew I was going. I just wasn't sure of the timing. This was a toughie ... I had spent a big chunk of the 80's in the NPS and was a good Ranger.
Things just don't happen of course. You make them happen. So, I slipped over to the county where our 10 acres was located and interviewed for teaching jobs. There were none at the time, or at least ... none were offered to me!
Then in August, I got the call. A teacher was leaving, could I start ASAP?
A two week notice and I was gone. During those two weeks, we found out Emma was on her way and we were in the "no health insurance" gap between jobs. Also, the county I was going to teach in only issued pay checks once a month! As if it were 1875 or something.
So from Island Paradise with steady if small paychecks and the familiar ... we went to this. I lived in a motel for about 2 weeks when the teaching job started. Mrs. FC and Katie came over later after our mobile home (from our sojurn in Savannah) arrived on the property.