Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's the Final Countdown....

1 month, 4 weeks, 30 days, 720 hours, 43,200 minutes.... THEN WE ARE GONE! The energy is building, the anticipation heightening, the anxiety increasing, the work demanding... So much to do, so many details to complete. It is no longer... WHEN we move, it is THIS is the last time we might see you.... Yes, we are only 5 hours away or so by plane and seconds by Skype, MSN or Facebook and about a week of straight driving!

However, everything costs money, distance, time and energy. I KNOW I will be back, however, will you still be here? Will you have moved? Made a huge lifestyle change or .... passed away. I hope not... I hope I come for happy occasions not sad. Arrive to celebrate weddings, birthdays and anniversaries, not funerals. Reality is though, my next visit or return to town could be to assist with the preparations of a loved one who has died. Or to console a friend who has lost their soul mate and love of their life...

I know I plan to be here next summer on Canada Day weekend to attend the wedding of my lovely 'brother' Eric! Wouldn't miss it! Beyond that... I don't know! I do know we are close enough to easily slip across the border to Maine, or head to Nova Scotia, PEI or Ontario! The girls want to make a trip to New York and walk down Madison Avenue... maybe!

In the meantime, I have to sort, pack, sell, donate, recycle and DUMP! So much to do and luckily as of Tuesday I will have NOTHING else to really occupy my time... Except eye appointments, dentist appointments, check ups, legal appointments, end of year school activities.... Well, I guess there are a FEW things to be done! Including searching out heritage seeds for my future garden...

In the meantime I will plan our trip across this great and beautiful country. Look forward to seeing places and provinces I have never seen, historical sites I have only dreamed about. I am so grateful to live in a country where I have the freedom to move from one place to another. A country where I can get medical care no matter where I am. A country that allows us to make our choices as much as possible. No Canada is NOT perfect. Yes there is a LOT I would change if I could and we lived in Utopia... Where else could I do what I am doing and have the prospects I am envisioning? I am grateful!

Today I saw a beautiful Apache blessing on Facebook and I am going to share it as it truly captures how I feel....

May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know's beauty all the days of your life.

Until next time....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is this for real?

Do you ever have that feeling of excitement and enthusiasm when a big change is coming? When you get to go somewhere new or do something special? Then as you get closer you start to wonder if it is real? I think I am starting to feel that way.

It is now mid May 2010. I have been seriously looking at property back East since Christmas. In January I knew that we were going to investigate and look for our new home. In March we made the trip and put in an offer on a house. In April the house closed and became ours...

Now it is mid May 2010. I sold my car, bought a redneck truck, have a cargo trailer, my husband sold his beautiful boat and now my job has replaced me. Am I even replaceable? Can anyone else possibly do what I did? No... they can't do what I did, but they can do what they do... they will be great but different. The Parent Advisory Council has moved on and elected new people... hopefully I have left something in both places that will be useful for the future... however we are all indispensable and will only be remembered for so long. Does it even matter? No not really.

I am now asking myself is this even for real? Am I really uprooting my family and leaving everything we have ever known, leaving all of our friends and family and support systems... I sure hope it is real because we have passed the turning back point!

Questions I get: Do you know how cold it is out there? Answer: Yes - I can read, No - I have not actually experienced it. Yes - I have lived in Kamloops and Calgary... No - I have never lived in New Brunswick.

Question: Did you know they have mosquitoes and black flies? No - have not been there for it. Yes - I can read and I have lived in Kamloops which also has black flies and mosquitoes.... Ever been to Sproat Lake on a summer night and fought off the mosquitoes? Not pretty! When my youngest was 2 and we went to the lake to see grandma and grandpa we took a Bounce dryer sheet, rubbed it all over her, stuck it in her diaper and laid a few around her pillow at night to keep the skeeter's away! So, yes have been near mosquito's! When my oldest was a baby in Kamloops I had to cover her in mosquito netting when we went for walks to keep the black flies and no see'ems off of her.

Question: What about your kids? Answer... Yes - I am keeping them. Yes - they are excited albeit apprehensive, it is an adventure and they can always move back (when they get older.) Although this has been a parental decision the girls have been involved in the process, discussions and planning. My belief is the more they are involved the better they will adjust. (Dreaming? Probably!) Families are about change and moving on together. It is not OK with me for them to stay behind. I am the parent and they are my life. We do this together with a myriad of emotions, angst, expectancy, trepidation...

So here I am, sitting on a Friday morning, we have 45 days before we leave. I have hooked up the electricity, phone and internet in Fosterville. I have ordered my sexy new black appliances and fancy low flow energy efficient washer and dryer from Sears. I have ordered the girls brand new queen size comfort mattresses. I have contacted phone, internet, cable and hydro in BC to cancel my services for the end of June and I am raring to go!

I have held my first garage sale and raised some cash for new furniture. I am planning the second... less high end but more to buy sale! I am packing, stacking, and off the racking to make space.

What a liberating feeling... letting go of... stuff! I can't believe that "things" meant so much to me... items of value can be sold, memento's and history can be preserved and the rest... gone! When did we become so absorbed in the have? When did we allow ourselves to get caught up in the competition of who has what?

I have some friends... Darla, you come to mind! Who don't do that. Who have what they need, live a simpler life of ownership, who have a peaceful place to lay their head at night. Why the chaos and confusion? I know for me that "collecting" began years ago... at first it was antiques and collectibles... that makes sense. Then I entered the year of separation and divorce... Who gets what? How to separate? Well, that was fairly easy since he had no place to go. I had to move a few times so had less and less each time... I thought! Sell, sell, sell! Then when he passed away prior to the divorce there was confusion... What do I keep for the girls that their dad may have given them later? What stays? What goes? Having to determine what the other parent would have, should have or could have done, can be overwhelming!

Upon moving I had to make my own mark in life and decisions. You can't tell me what to get! You can't tell me what looks good! I have a brain! Hmm... glad I got over that! Sadly I collected LOTS and not all of value... It is cathartic now to dissolve the ownership and let go. I don't need to prove anything. I am me! I like me! I have had my Sally Fields moment... except... I like me! I really like me! I guess since it only took me 40+ years to get here, I have another 40+ to enjoy it right?

I anticipate my new life and experiences. It is so different already! The Realtor knows everyone in the town nearby. Sears will go into the house (without me!) set up and hook up all my stuff for next to nothing! It feels like going back to the 70's... not everything is open on Sunday. People still help each other. You go to Sears to get what you need and they will even open up if they are closed and you need something! WOW!

Now I have to go, it appears I need to replace the hidden hitch on the big ass truck and locate a good used canopy! A few more days of work, train the new PAC and the new staff and then I am off.... Now where did I put my glasses?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why New Brunswick???

For the last three years my husband and I have discussed the options on how to buy a home, where to live, what do we want, what are we willing to sacrifice and how can we make it happen? During this time Len, my husband, has watched acquaintances move across the country. When he questions why they are leaving beautiful BC to head to live 6 - 8,000 km away on the other side of this great country ... they tell him... we can afford it.

What does that mean? Why are they leaving BC to head for Quebec, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia? Don't most people move to Vancouver Island, BC the "Hawaii" of Canada to retire? I guess a lot do. The people who have made good financial decisions, who have invested wisely, who have a secure pension plan, who didn't move around a lot, kept their job with benefits, who stayed married to the same person... Most of "those" people have the finances to retire wisely or with some financial security.

However, what does that mean for us drifters? Those who have moved from job to job? Who have lived hand to mouth, working when they feel like it? Those who have spent as much as they earned? Who have traveled and not saved? Those who have lived an artistic or gypsy life? Who have been divorced or lost their homes? Those who have just moseyed along? Well, it was fun while it lasted, we had some freedom those "tied to their jobs" didn't have... but what now? How to retire or at least survive until we die?

Well! It seems there is still hope for those who want a roof over their heads. The people who don't need to have the "consumerism" life style, those who want to make that modest CPP and OAS work for them! Instead of the mantra "Go west young man" it seems we have the new mantra "Go east old man".

So, here we are... we have purchased an amazingly beautiful piece of paradise... 25 acres of treed/cleared land in the beautiful lake country of New Brunswick. A home the size and condition that we could never hope to own in BC and especially on Vancouver Island. A tranquil retreat that creates a lifestyle we want to try.

So we will be 45 minutes from town... ever been to the far end of Sproat Lake? As I recall it was an easy 30-40 minutes to town on windy country roads that were not in the best condition. People now pay over a million dollars for a summer home to experience the natural beauty the lake has to offer. Anyone recall how "far" Lantzville used to be? Now it is one of the prime areas of real estate in the Nanaimo Regional District.

We look forward to the peace, quiet, natural surroundings. The winters will be longer, we will have more snow. The summers will be busier, more people move to the "hood". We can swim and fish and hunt? (Well not sure about hunting yet). We will grow our own food (as much as possible), raise our own meat and eggs and go back to where the world used to be.

(Don't worry we are not so "Granola" that we can't drive to town or head to a movie or a mall! Stay tuned, for more to come... I would love to sit and write all day but need to head to work... on the countdown... to retirement and natural living...

Please share this if you like. If you don't like it then please don't bore yourself with reading. Have a thought to share? Feel free to make a comment.