My Life, My Words: Jennifer Barlean — The temptation of home

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Jennifer Barlean stands in front of kitchen products at Intermountain Appliance, 395 School St., where she is an office manager. Barlean has traveled all over the country, but said she has always found her way back home to Colorado to be with her family.

“I grew up mostly in Colorado, in the valley. I lived in the Craig, Hayden and Steamboat areas when I was growing up, and I eventually graduated from Hayden High School in 1992. After I graduated, I had my daughter and moved to California where I thought dreams came true. That wasn’t necessarily the case.

“We lived in southern California and when I was out there I was just a stay at home mom and took care of my child. I found out that California wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. There are a lot of people and it is overcrowded in a lot of areas. People are rude there. Not every area, but where we lived at least. Down by the beach it was very nice and there are a lot of really cool places, but some areas have a lot of homeless people. It can be kind of scary. I guess it really depends on where you are at.

“I came back to Colorado in 1995 because of my family. I missed them a lot. My parents and brother all live here. I live in Craig right now, but in 1997, I moved all over the country. We went from Minnesota to Arizona to Wyoming. Basically, we traveled all over the place. It was fun, but again, I missed home and my family, so it was nice to be with them again when I cam back in 2006.

“When I got back in 2006, I saw an ad for hire here at Intermountain Appliance and just went and applied. I got the job thankfully. Since then, I have been working here ever since. I’ve actually enjoyed working here a lot. It’s a small business and the hours work for me very well. I do sales and basically fill the office manager position. I run the store when the owner isn’t in. I work Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I only work Saturdays every other week.

“The hardest part about working here is trying to please everyone. Sometimes you can’t make things happen as fast as it is expected. It can be hard to get parts in sometimes and some things can be backordered, which delays us receiving it. Other than that, I like to work down here. We have great customers that come back all the time. I like the people that come in here more than anything.

“I have two kids — one is 15 years old and one is 8 years old. I have a boyfriend and he has two kids. The five of them plus my parents and brother basically make up my family. When we have free time we try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. I like to go up to the cabin in Fremont. It’s my mom and brother’s cabin. During the summer we go up there a lot and like to go jet skiing and go to the park out there. Basically, we just like to enjoy outdoor time as a family. Just hanging out and enjoying each others company.

“I like living in Craig and I love the people here. That is part of the reason I stay. But, when my kids are out of school, I’d like to venture out into the world again. I’d like to go somewhere with a warmer climate. I love the snow, but I would prefer a winter where it is 70 degrees – or at least 50 degrees.”

— Interview by Joshua Gordon

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