Settling in...

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been a very crazy month. Upon our return to
the States we drifted back and forth to parents'
homes, doing serious vehicle maintenance, visiting
friends, and all the while searching for a job and a
place to settle in. I am happy to say that we've
found both, and are nearly finished getting the
necessities out of boxes!

After sending resumes up and down the west coast and
from Alaska to as far as Hawaii, I finally found work
not so far from our families in Troutdale, Oregon (for
those of you from further away, we are on the
outskirts of Portland). The company I began working
for this last week is Troutdale Aircraft Service, and
although I can't really say a lot about the really
important things like how we all get along in the
shop, what I do know I like. Although the majority of
work will probably be on mid-size piston-powered
planes such as Cessna 180 series and larger and Beech
Bonanzas, the company is also a service center for
Cirrus (the largest builder of certified private
composite aircraft) and TBM Socata, a mid-sized
turboprop, and doesn't work on smaller planes and
trainers, which will be a nice break. I spent
yesterday working on a turbine-powered airplane, which
was before now a very rare event. The shop is nice,
new, and well-kept, and the company has been growing
rapidly. It is very comforting that during this time
of year, which is regularly a time when maintenance
shops are searching for work, we have more than we can
fit in the door! Another thing which really impressed
me is that every mechanic is issued a laptop computer
for their toolbox which is linked by wireless network
to all of the other computers in the shop. All of our
paperwork, and a large amount of our service
information is available instantly right there on my

Although Sarah and I are considering buying a home
within the next few years, for the immediate future we
will be living in an apartment. We spent two long
days driving around the area looking for a place to
live, and finally ended up in Gresham, which is a
20-minute drive to work. We found a fairly new
2-bed/2-bath apartment on the ground floor, much
larger and nicer than our previous one, and still in
the mid-range price bracket. The complex is very
large. Although we like the fact that there is a
patio, pool, spa, hot-tub, exercise room, and covered
parking area, I was definitely sold by the fact that
garages were available! I can now putter around with
my tools without leaving home! We have a
respectably-sized stip of lawn between us and the next
building which isn't bad, although I understand that
from the third-floor apartments Mounts Hood, Ranier,
and St. Helens are all visible.

Speaking of mountains, we are now only about an hour's
drive from great skiing at Mount Hood, a fact I hope
to take advantage of before the season is over. When
that's no longer an option, I hope to try my hand at
windsurfing! The Columbia Gorge, right in our
backyard, is known to be the best place in the world
to windsurf, and now that we've sold the little
sailboat we had, that's the closest I might get to
sailing! One thing is for sure, there is plenty of
wind! It seems blow about 90% of the time here at our
apartment, and is even more reliable and extremely
stong at the airport, which is quite near the river.

Sarah, on the other hand, is very busy around the
house. She is really making this formerly empty
apartment a home, and constantly planning for the
baby. She is hoping to put my time in the garage to
good use by encouraging me to build bookshelves,
tables, and of course a crib for the coming Radford.
I'm not sure how much I will get done, as my last
major woodworking project took over a year to complete
(!), but I will enjoy trying!

Now that we have two bedrooms and bathrooms, and even
a bit more space through the rest of the place, we
hope to have a bit more company. If you happen to be
passing through the Portland area, please give us a
call or send an e-mail. We are fairly near the
airport, and would love to see you! Although at the
moment the largest part of our furniture is a set of
bookshelves, we will be happy to sit around on the
floor with you and spread out sleeping bags and
camping mats if you want to brave a visit soon! We
are hoping that in the near future we will be better
equipped, and a visit might be a bit more comfortable
and stylish, but we want to extend a welcome any time
you can visit!

With all that in mind, I have included our new contact
information below. We had quite a time getting our
phone connected, and would have had to wait two weeks
for phone service if I hadn't been persistent and
explained Sarah's condition. In the meantime we got a
cell phone, which we plan to keep with us. If you
want to contact us, please try the home number first,
but if we are unavailable, don't hesitate to ring our
mobile. Although we don't have very many minutes of
talk-time (unless you call on a weekend), we can at
least "touch base" and plan to talk more later.

This certainly turned into much more of a tome than I
had planned, but the sun is shining and I have boxes
to pack into the garage and a Home Depot to locate...

We would love to hear from you!

In His Plans,
-Dustin and Sarah (and Baby) Radford

Dustin and Sarah Radford
1500 Pleasant View Drive, Apt. #125
Gresham, Oregon 97080

Home (503) 665-2732
Mobile (please call only if you can't reach us at home first)
(503) 841-0770

"May you live all the days of your life"
-Johnathan Swift

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