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Column: The perfect path to Perham

You know a thing is meant to be when everything about it falls into place; when the stars align in your favor, laying a path before your feet.

That's how it was for me with moving to Perham.

From the time I first saw the employment listing to the day I moved into my new home here, the process was slick. Like greater forces were at work, dangling carrots in front of me, and all I had to do was reach out for them.

It started about three months ago, when I happened across an online ad for an editing position with the East Otter Tail Focus. To say the ad caught my attention would be an understatement: It jumped off the computer screen at me, grabbed my eyeballs and screamed, "Read me! Read me!"

I read the job description and immediately had a good feeling about it.

This was the one I'd been waiting for.

It should be noted here that I had no idea what the East Otter Tail Focus was (other than a newspaper) nor did I have a clue where it was located. I had never even been to the Lakes Area of Minnesota.

I was living in Grand Rapids, where I had been for the last several years. I had recently sold my house and was feeling ready for a personal and professional change.

That ad was the first carrot. It dangled in front of my face, and I wasn't about to let it get away. I applied for the job.

After visiting the area and meeting the people at the paper, I had an even better feeling about it. I liked the newspaper, and I could tell that the folks at the Focus were a lot of fun. I could see myself fitting right in with this group. And I loved the area -- the people seemed friendly, the landscape beautiful.

I was offered the job. There was that carrot again. I could see the path in front of me getting clearer.

Taking the job meant I had one month to resign from the newspaper in Grand Rapids (where I worked for many years; I knew I'd miss it), move out of my little temporary apartment there, find a place here, get moved in and start my new job - hopefully on the right foot.

It was a whirlwind; exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

I had exactly one weekend in which to come down to Perham and find a place to live.

After scouring the web for rental listings, I was feeling the enormity of this task. I'm prone to being picky about where I live, and the odds of finding just the right home in such a short amount of time seemed stacked against me.

Thankfully, another carrot dangled. I reached for it faster than Bugs Bunny.

The day before Dan and I planned to travel down here to look at rentals, I heard from a woman who was looking to rent out her second home - a nice country place just 10 miles south of town. Nestled on 26 acres, she said it had a large yard with a lot of trees.

Dan and I couldn't believe our good fortune. It sounded too good to be true. But as soon as we rounded the dirt road corner and saw that little yellow house, we fell in love. It was perfect.

Now, it's two months later, and we're settling into our new lives here. It feels great to go to work every day loving what I do and the people I work with. It's surpassed only by the feeling of going home at night to a place I'm proud of and completely comfortable in.

A place of peace, with a healthy air to it.

I think Dan said it best when he said Perham is the kind of place where a person wants to stay "Perhamanently."

I love that.