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The Move ...

The map showing the bakeries only a 1 mile apart.

Back in around 1998, the company I had worked for since 1985 was taken over by one of our largest competitors. Both companies operated bakeries that were only 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) apart.

In June last year the company announced that, "this year the other bakery would have its capacity upgraded to allow the closure of the bakery that I worked in".

Although I was told by my boss that there would be a job for me at the other plant I decided to take advantage of the payouts available for leaving and have a change in direction.

After accepting that things would change, we started to think what would be the best change for us ?

For many of the people I work with, the prospect of looking for work was upsetting and a cause of great concern. For me, I believe everything in life is either a threat or an opportunity depending on how you look at it.

As we began to discuss things, factors including Conda's children living in the U.S. helped to make a move there seem more desirable.

We have now made the decision that as long as it's financially practical we will do it.

We have now paid the deposit to a U.S. Lawyer to begin the immigration process to obtain the necessary visas and requirements to enable me to move.

One of the company trucks I drove years ago.

The bakery that I started at in 1985.

My job ended Sunday the 2nd of October, when I completed my last shift. I started in 1985 helping an owner driver complete his deliveries on Saturday mornings. Over the years, my job changed many times, as did ownership of the company.

Around 7 years ago, the company I started with, was bought out by what had been one of our major competitors. Like many, I felt it was the beginning of the end.

The focus of the two companies seemed to be as different as it was possible. One was focused on getting the best quality product to the customer when they needed it, and the other company focused only on cutting costs, no matter what. I believe this was reflected in the quality of product that was delivered to the customer.

When the two companies were merged, they both had bakeries about a mile apart. Neither plant had the capacity to bake all that was needed, so stock was baked in both and transferred for dispatch from one loading bay.

The last 5 years I have been involved in transferring product between the two bakeries, and assisting with the supervision of the transfer of stock, between the various bakeries and depots within the state.

Transfer of stock between the two bakeries was mind numbing and boring. Pushing 21 to 27 trolleys of bread onto the truck, driving a mile and pushing it off was hard physical work, but no challenge. The biggest challenge was making a right and a left hand turn, but even if you did them in the wrong order, it meant you went in the back gate instead of the front gate !

The other local bakery I where transferred bread.


The Move - My Application.

We have been to The US Consulate General in Sydney, to submit my immigration application.

My application has been given conditional approval, subject to a clear health report and police check. We also need of a copy of our marriage certificate that has been ordered from Oregon.

My medical showed no problems, so now we are waiting for the police check and marriage certificate to arrive.

When we have these three documents, we will arrange another appointment with the U.S. Consulate General in Sydney, for final approval.

The US Consulate in Sydney, where my immigration application was approved on Friday the 23rd of December.

Even with frustration and problems along the way, we now have our approval and must begin the process of moving to Oregon.

Forrest isn't really for sale. He will be going to stay with Uncle Ken, to help maintain the "Walsh Family" presence in Victoria, Australia.

Oregon or Bust was the motto early pioneers had on the side of their wagons, heading to settle the Oregon Territories in the 1840s.

We won't have that on the side of our wagon, because the steering wheel will be on the wrong side, but the determination will be the same. Now we have our approval, we must begin the process of selling the house and cars and relocating to Oregon.

Before the "For Sale" sign could go up, a lot had to be done to do to prepare our house for sale. It was a daunting task, but with help from Ken, Mario, Dave and Lorraine, it's starting to come together.

Getting down to business.

The front door of our house is directly in line with the house next door. When you open our front door, you would see straight through our carport and into the house next door.

To provide a little more privacy, we decided to erect some screens along the side of the carport.

Making the screens.

The right tools makes the job easier!

The screens were a timber frame with shade cloth on one side and secured in place between the posts of the carport. After the screens were in place, I attached timber trellis on "our" side of the frame.

All through the project I was under the watchful eyes of Forrest, the site foreman, or is that "fore dog".

The completed screens.

Edging along the garden bed, that I also put in, to try to help make the place a little easier to keep swept.

Part of the process of getting the house ready for sale was to "de clutter". I'm convinced that members of the Walsh Family are the worst hoarders there are, and I'm the worst.

Here, loaded into the ute, (truck to the Americans) is the first load to be sent to the storage unit. The irony is, that some of these boxes contain stuff Conda had sent from the US that we haven't used, now we are taking it back!

When moving, there are times you have to be ruthless.

Here, Conda backs "her little red car" out of the driveway, and heads off to hand it over to the car yard after it had been sold.

Conda's car in the car yard waiting for a new owner.

In the time we had the red station wagon we did around 120,000 kilometers (75,000 miles) traveling through 4 states and the Australian Capital Territory and had no trouble with it. If we had not been planning to leave the country, we would have held onto that car for quite some time to come.


To get the house ready for sale, we had help from friends.

Stuart (not pictured) who spray painted the textured ceilings, Dave and Mario, who helped with the walls and trim.


Peter (not pictured) helped with painting in the kitchen.

For anyone wondering why so many assisted with painting, it's because paint and I don't get along! It takes far toooooo long to clean up after me.


With the efforts of many, the house started to look great.


After the painting was completed, Tiger gave the area an approving look over.

My biggest fear was venturing into the "unknowns" of the garage. Here is some of the stuff that is being sorted into: Dump, keep and sell!

It will take a number of trips to the tip (garbage dump) to clear some of the junk that has "appeared" while we have been living here.

Before we started, there was very little room to move. But with Ken, and Forrest's supervision, we are making headway in the garage.

Supervision of cleaning up the shed, was also shared with "Lenny". Lenny was a bear a friend bought for me years ago, when I was delivering bread to supermarkets. Lenny had a cap, dark sun glasses and sat on a milk crate, in the passenger side of my truck as I made my deliveries.

One day while I was making my deliveries, a man walking along was so surprised looking at Lenny that he walked into a power pole and nearly knocked himself out! I didn't laugh, well at least not where he could see or hear me!

Well, after all the work, the "FOR SALE" sign is up, and we have had some people looking at the house.

Our next step in the quest to move to Oregon, can't happen until we have a "Sold" label pasted over the sign.

Well the house is officially sold and we are booked to fly on the 7th of March. We fly from Australia, via Japan to Portland Oregon and into our new life.

I expect that this is how a sold sign would have looked outside our home, but some problems during the sale meant that the sign had been removed before the deal was completed and we didn't get a "Sold Sign" of our own.

We have had to make do with a "digitally altered" sign !

With our move to Oregon, we are really starting to get down to the business end of things. The timetable was to be updated every day or two depending on time and what has, or hasn't happened.. It was a good plan, but it never got updated!

Despite my feelings and estimations, our possessions that we sent to Oregon filled a 20' shipping container. If we had to do something or probably have need another three or more to carry all our stuff.

The Garage Sale

In order to clear our house of all the "extra stuff" we had accumulated over the years we had a garage sale.

The leaflet shown here was inserted and distributed with the newspaper by our local newsagent when the papers were home delivered on Friday, the day before the sale. Having them inserted in the paper was Ken's idea who effectively was our marketing manager and he did one heck of a job.

As well as leaflets in the paper, we also had this sign attached to the front fence through out the sale.

Conda attended to the customers with a little assistance from our dog.

Forrest, our dog here assisting, is cleaning up a dropped cookie.

Another of Ken's marketing initiatives was to place this sign in the back of our ute. (Pickup or truck in the US).

With the signs placed in the back, I parked it down at the local shopping center where it helped attract many customers.

We also used these cut out figures from Star Trek to add a little humor to our sale. Many people stopped and did a double take when they saw them standing there.

Although we are in the middle of a drought, it rained on Saturday which limited the amount of space to display items for sale.

The sale was supposed to be Saturday and Sunday, but we kept putting stuff out until Tuesday afternoon and had a continual flow of people coming through to purchase items.

Some items we believed were "Unsaleable" and dumped in the rubbish skip we hired were quickly salvaged by "passer's by!"

Ken purchased our garden setting, in part to make Forrest feel at home when he moved to his new home at Ken's.

Despite having a good kennel at our place, Forrest spent much of his time sleeping under out garden table, a practice he continued in his new home.

The Move - Last Stage.

Over 2 days our movers packed our belongings into over 200 boxes.

Through a comedy of errors, some things were packed that we wished weren't! Progressively, our house was transformed from our home to a storage facility.


After nearly 2 days of packing, 2 movers were joined by 2 colleges to packed our belongings into a 20' shipping container.


The container looked so big when it was empty, how ever, the contents of the box that had to be stacked loosely before the doors were forced closed.

The truck finally loaded and ready to leave with the bulk of our possessions. Conda sent most of her clothes in the container, and used the space in her suit cases for "Quilting Fabric"!

We expected, and did receive our furniture in Oregon, safe and sound, in no small part due to the hard work of Shayne and Adam, pictured here.

After the movers had taken our belongings all that remained was to load Forrest's kennel and a work bench to be taken to Ken's place, and our former home was empty.


While packing, there was so very little room in our house.


By contrast, when everything had been removed, our "little house" seemed quite spacious!

On Friday the 3rd, all that remained was for us to have the carpets cleaned and the keys handed over and then, it was no longer our home.

The cats had flown out about two weeks ahead of us for a "Cat Spar" in Oregon to wait for us. Our budgies, (parakeets in the U.S.) who were joining Ken and Forrest were the last to be loaded.

One last picture and we were ready to leave our last home in Australia for the final time. Conda and I had shared this, and another house for almost five years, but I had lived in the area since 1959.

This house, about a mile from the house Conda and I moved out of, is the house I grew up in, with my parents and two brothers.

Our former family home was sold in 1999 for about $80,000. A real estate ad recently had it offered for sale between $295,000 - $335,000.

After handing over the house and what seemed like only a brief nap at Ken's place, we left in the early hours of the morning on Saturday the 4th to drive to Sydney. We have relatives living there we wanted to spend time with before leaving for the United States.

Stopping on our road trip to Sydney, were many fellow travelers including "Vernon and Penny", two camels. They are the mascots for the Australian Army's 26 Transport Squadron. The camel visible is Vernon, with Penny obscured on the other side of the trailer.

Another of the more unusual features of the road trip from Melbourne to Sydney is the upper casing of the former Australian Navy Submarine HMAS Otway. It's a little unusual to have a submarine 400 kilometers (250 miles) inland !

We spent our last days in Australia with Ken in Sydney and also with our Aunt and Uncle in their home shown here before we left for the US.

At around 10:15 pm on Wednesday the 8th of March we flew out of Sydney airport.

The ten hour flight landed in Japan at around 6:15 am local time, the next morning.

We had about a nine hour wait in Japan for our next flight. Because we didn't speak Japanese we didn't really feel comfortable to head out of the airport exploring as we may have, if it had been an overnight stop.

After a lunch of local food at a cafe, we took the opportunity to use the wireless internet facilities to check our email.

We arrived early in Portland and had to wait a short time until Customs and Immigration got setup.

After dealing with the immigration formalities we left the airport (PDX) into Portland's first snow in years. Suddenly, wearing shorts didn't seem as good an idea as it did, when we left our Australian summer about thirty hours previously.