Monday, January 16, 2012

Living in Fun Places and Other Places

I grew up in Calgary AB.  It was a tiny city known mostly for the Calgary Stampede and its proximity to the Rocky Mountains.  It was a great place to grow up 50 years ago, safe, and like an overgrown small town. I loved it then.  Marriage in the '70's took me to Didsbury AB, my first taste of culture shock, and the lesson learned that the highway for visiting friends only ran in one direction.  3 years there and then came a work related move to the next town north: Olds AB where we spent about 21 years learning more about small town folk and their foibles.  We thought we were going to be there forever, but about 12 years ago we began a series of really fun moves.  We sold our house to go overseas, but first had to move into friends' basement suite for a few weeks.  It was my first experience of living in the country and driving to town...okay, okay, it was less than 10 km to town, but it was a first for me not to be able to walk down the street to a convenience grocery. Then we moved out to Vancouver Island to my father in law's home at Royston for a few weeks.  First Island living experience and I loved it......2 acres, a short drive to town through overhanging trees with huge ferns to look at along the side of the road, water and seal pods.....fascinating stuff.  From there it was onto Tokyo for a year or so......a city that never runs out of new things to see and experience.  It is one thing to travel overseas but to actually live in a new country is a wonderful experience.  From there it was a return to the Island for 4 months in Royston and what a wonderful reintroduction to Canada.  Oh, how I love that area.  From Royston we moved to a farm west of Olds AB, to take care of some sheep and cattle for friends who were away for a couple of months.  That was a totally new experience for me: living on a farm!  While it was shortlived it was a lot of fun and I learned about the never ending daily grind of farmers with livestock.  Back into the town of Olds for the winter where we rented a funny little old house that was next door to a lady who ran a 12 month of the year garage sale.  We never knew who would be parked in our back yard/parking area and some days we couldn't get our own vehicle parked in our own designated spot.  The house was right beside the railway track and when the trains would pass the whole house would shake like there was an earthquake happening....interesting at 4am.  Then on to Vernon BC, land of intense summer heat and adorable quails, to housesit for relatives for  part of the summer, followed by a housesit in Calgary in the most expensive residential area of the city where we often found ourselves unable to get into or leave our house due to a constant influx of film crews that regularly used our street for movie making projects. Sneaking out the back door to the garage or back alley so that we could get to where we needed to go was quite a thrill.  From there into our own apt. for a year while Dell started seminary.  It was a nice apt. but the battle for good health was constant due to smokers in the building, many fireplaces in the surrounding neighbourhood, and even a pellet stove burning at a house across the street.  We were not sorry to move on.  Then off to Caronport to student housing for seminary, but we were fortunate to be moved into the seniors' complex intsead. It was new and beautifully appointed, quiet and filled with wonderful seniors who treated us like family.  From there it was back to Calgary where Dell's sister generously took us in for 3 months until Dell began interim pastoral work in Sundre AB.  The closeness of the foothills and the people we met there made it a wonderful stay.  Then off to Moose Jaw for another work related position leading to ordination. We lived for 3 years in a tiny apt. in a complex with the most lovely and interesting "characters" for neighbours.  And from there to our current location, again a small town and a great big old rancher house that is perfect for this winter's wheelchair activities.  Lots of places, lots of people.......we have never been bored.  Lots of twists and turns in life and each move represents good changes!  Wonder where life will next lead us?

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