8-We Move to Reno

8-We Move to Reno

My husband, Rory, had goals and plans. His first priority was to obtain a Master’s Degree in sociology. The University of Nevada accepted him and offered to pay him a stipend to help him achieve his goal.

We moved to Reno in the summer of 1969, after five months of marriage. I cried as we drove on the freeway leaving behind the miles and miles of forests thick with pines, firs, junipers and sequoias which crowded together in the Sierras.

Entering Nevada, I was temporarily consoled for many miles by the rushing Truckee River. I was distracted by the fishermen and the people rafting, but not comforted. I was going to be a frustrated California girl longing for my home turf.

Downtown Reno
Downtown Reno

There were no teaching jobs available, so I got a job downtown in the slot machine section of Harold’s Club carrying a heavy bag of coins and fraternizing with the tourists during my long, dreary, smoke-filled shifts. Then an insurance job opened up, and my secretarial skills were put to good use.

After four months, an elementary school principal whose first grade teacher had resigned mid-year for health reasons, saw my resume and granted me an interview. Mr. Curry was realistic about the rowdy group of six and seven year olds who were part of a new federally-funded program that the government was launching in selected classrooms in the Bay Area and in Reno.

I had one successful year of teaching under my belt and felt a quiet desperation to be working in the vocation for which I had been trained. I was idealistic and enthusiastic about impacting young lives. To Mr. Curry, I said something like: It sounds like an exciting challenge to me, smiling confidently. He looked at me quizzically, probably wondering if I would make the cut, but offered me a contract.

Years later it was apparent that being offered this job was a beautiful set-up so that I would be drawn back to God’s heart. There would be a few more years of headstrong willfulness, but God had set me on the road to a renewed relationship with Him.