Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Problem with Chocolate Covered Bacon

It sits behind glass, next to the chocolate covered Twinkies and the chocolate covered Pringles, adjacent to the standing army of caramel and candy covered apples. Chocolate covered bacon was never something we'd considered buying when we stopped in the little candy store on our annual trip to the beach.

Not that the boys didn't make a case for it. A passionate, well-crafted case that consisted mostly of, "But, it's bacon. With chocolate on it!"

I would roll my eyes and say, "I don't think so," before turning my attention back to the classic, dependable, unmoved-by-fads-and-trends fudge and salt water taffy. We are not chocolate covered bacon people.

Until this summer.

"I think we should get the chocolate covered bacon," Robert said.

"What? We don't need that stuff. Fudge and taffy are good enough for us." I countered.

"I want to make memories," he said.

And there it was. Memories. I knew what that word meant, and I now knew what chocolate covered bacon meant too.

Four months earlier, after careful consideration, Robert decided it was time to look for a different job and took a buy-out package from Intel. It was essentially a four-month paid job search, if you wanted to look at it that way. Robert did look at it that way, and immediately started honing his resume and building a LinkedIn profile and looking for local companies in need of a process engineer. And while there have been interviews and connections and great contacts and positive feedback, what there hasn't been is a job offer.

So the search has expanded to places other than here.

I love here. The kids love here. And I'm pretty sure Robert loves here too. How can I ever say goodbye to the strawberries in June and the blueberries in July? The waterfalls in the gorge and the wildflowers in the mountains? How could I say goodbye to the rain that puts me to sleep at night and wakes me in the morning; that grows the trees tall and the grass green? How can I say goodbye to the friends, our neighbors, the playground steps from our back gate and the community that cares for and watches out for each other?

I don't want to leave. But I might have to.

So when Robert said he wanted to "make memories," I knew exactly what he was saying.

This could be the last time we wake up in the morning and say, "it's a good day for the beach! Let's go." It could be the last time we load up the car with shovels and skim boards, towels and sunscreen. It could be the last time we take that 90-minute drive past the farm stands and the old wooden train trestle bridge, the cool logging themed restaurant with the world's largest center beam log, and the former site of the world's largest Sitka spruce. It could be the last time we have the most delicious clam chowder at Doogers and feel extra special getting Tillamook ice cream at The Candyman.

We need to get the chocolate covered bacon now, because we might not be back here again.

We bought the chocolate covered bacon.

But I didn't eat any of it.