Saturday, March 10, 2012


Back on January 22nd we took a long walk on a snowy beach and committed to the idea of getting ourselves out of New York City in 2012. Knowing the process of buying a house can take some time, not to mention the idea of both my wife and I changing jobs, we gave ourselves a year and figured that we could make it happen. I drew the proverbial line in the sand and so it began. The first step would be the house hunt. We quickly realized that there were homes available within our modest budget, and that was mind blowing. The next step would be figuring out the work front. As a trained horticulturist, and with my wife being a licensed veterinary technician, we knew that we had the skills to take the show on the road but we were still unsure as to what we would find. Back in Queens we scoured websites and job boards and began to get a lay of the land. Luckily for us we not only have the skills but also the articulation to sell our services well so the cover letters began to flow. Right away I got some positive responces which was reassuring. My wife would not hear back so quickly, as the vet field is not quite as time sensitive in spring as is the horticultural world out there, and that proved to be pretty frustrating. We accepted that I might find work before she would, and that ultimately we were still in good shape to figure this all out, so we kept plugging along. Well sure enough my wife would arrive home from work in Manhattan one day to an email from a local practice out east in Wainscott that was very interested in her resume and wanted to have her in for an interview. This coincided with a few interviews I was able to set up so we felt really good. Funny enough, it would turn out that Krissy would be offered a reliable and good-sounding job before I would, thus once again reminding us that we really had no idea how all of this was going to come together. At the same time the house hunt was moving more quickly as we found one house that did not look so good on paper but in person was the size and amount of work that seemed perfect for us. Soon thereafter I would get another offer, one that seemed much more suited to my training and abilities as a horticulturist. However, I was unsure if it was the best I could do. The pace was accelerating and so were my nerves. Thanks to Facebook I was able to find and write a whole contingent of my horticultural colleagues from back home and get their opinions. I could not have been happier with the response and invaluable advice each friend provided. Some gave me a reality check and said that I was shooting a little too high money-wise. Others knew the operation and job offer I was pondering and supported my hunch that there was still time to find something better. All would conclude that even though it was understood that I had to consider pay and job security, it was just as important if not more to consider happiness and longevity and going with your gut. ...again, invaluable information from every one. With a bid accepted on the house and a contract in the making I knew I still had some time, but the window was definitely closing. Friends going to bat for me kept suggesting other people to call and reach out to and I took full advantage of every opportunity to network. My calendar was full, talking to big places, little places, places out east, places that want to be out east, those with money, those without. As my father would attest in his peaceful tone, "you can learn something from every interview". That didn't help the building agida but I did get really good at making the pro-and-con lists and weighing all these options. And I would receive options as my friends suggested I would, and certainly I would be thankful that these years of making a name for myself were paying off. I gave notice at work the same time we got a fully signed contract for buying our first house and now the final time frame was not only sent, you could see the few grains of sand left in the hour glass. The house was definitely going to happen and we could not be any more excited about that. All our folks and friends backed us up with their unbelieveable love and support and needless to say that meant the world to us. Back to the job search, there was supposedly a contract in the mail from one place but it never got to me. Another said, "let's get you in on Saturday so we can talk about your future". A third place that was a distant third was all of a sudden a major contender after a strong meeting on the first day of my new-found unemployment. It was literally down to the wire but finally I felt like I had explored and extinguished all possibilities. All this in the course of a month and a half.

Cut to a beautiful Saturday morning in Amagansett, the little village where I grew up thirty-plus years ago. I sat across from David Seeler in his quaint little stand-alone office. The terms were stated and after a short phone call to my wife I re-entered the office and exhaled silently. For the first time everything felt right so I accepted and we shook hands with genuine excitement. After a very trying number of weeks there it was, a final decision, and better yet, the best one I could have made. I am going to be going to work for The Bayberry in Amagansett, NY, doing a little bit of everything, from sales to production to landscape design. In short, I couldn't be happier. It is going to be a ton of work but I think the right match and another important part of a next great chapter in our lives. The meeting turned to candid conversation and a walk around to marvel at some of David's sensational trees and projects. We shook hands one final time and I began to walk back to my car. I was so anxious to tell everyone the fabulous news, but I stopped and took a moment to let it soak in. Finally there it was, the sigh of relief, and it felt so good. The natural smile that had been lost amidst all these emails and calls and exchanges returned and I knew I had to capture the moment. So this is it, closure.

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