It’s been a week since I picked up my daughters from their dad’s house and started the physical part of the move from Edmonton to Vancouver Island.
I honestly look back and can’t believe I got as much accomplished as I did…with LOTS of help from my friends of course. Within 9 weeks, I put my house up on the market, sold it, found a new place to rent, gave away 90% of our belongings, and said goodbye to Edmonton.
It may seem like a sudden move but it wasn’t. I’ve been dreaming of living in the mountains since I was a child. Even when I was married, we had a 5-year plan to be in BC. I love Edmonton and it’ll likely always be home, but my heart has always been where the snow peaks out of the mountains, the streams trickle, and the tide brings in salty fresh air. It’s time to return to the place where my heart wants to be.
We left really early on Monday morning with a cramped car full of myself, 2 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, a suitcase, a weekender bag, a big Rubbermaid container, a large tote, and 5 huge vacuum packed bags of clothes. I can now officially add Tetris Master to my resume.
The roads from Edmonton to Jasper then Valemount, and finally Kamloops were great. It was smooth sailing the whole way and the girls were so good and content with the drive – the animals too (as soon as we figured out Hello needed a blanket over her crate so no one could see in and she couldn’t see out). We leisurely stopped where we needed to and made it in record time. All was great. I was exhausted by the time we got to the hotel but 9 hours of driving will do that.
I woke us up early, which is not an easy task with my kids – they would stay in bed until 10am if I let them, and we were on our way again.
This leg of the trip was scary. Through the Coquihalla, there was terrible visibility and it was down to a single lane on both sides. Thankfully, I had a white truck in front of me and as long as I could focus on that, I was able to keep my cool. The girls and I did pray a couple of times to ensure our safe passage. This happened again when we went from Merrit to Tsawwassen to catch our ferry. The rain was coming down so hard it was pooling on the highway and made it very hard to see. Once again, we asked for angels to watch over us and make sure we were safe. Another white truck found it’s way ahead of us and we made it just outside of the ferry terminal when, all of a sudden, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Perfect timing for the girls’ first ferry ride and view of the ocean.
Watching their eyes light up as we made our way onto the boat and they watched the water moving behind us was one of the best moments of my life. They were so happy and felt so free. They even stood at the front of the ferry and put their arms out so they could feel like they were flying. Tenesea really loved the water and spend time appreciating the waves that were being made and smelling the salt air. Azalee made friends with everyone around and danced her way across the decks. This made my heart fill with such joy and bliss. I knew they would love it but to see them appreciate it as they were made my whole being fill with pride.
We made it onto the Island and my soul was beaming as we went to the lovely public beach in Parksville and I got to take them into the ocean for the first time. I watched, giggled, and cried happy tears as they ran across the beach in their rubber boots splashing through the pooled water. They started collecting sea shells and looked at me in total disgust when I told them to lick their hands to taste the salt water. Turns out, they totally love the taste. Little weirdos. Athena, my 4-year-old shepherd mix rescue dog was in heaven as well. She even rolled herself around in the wet sand. Happy hearts all around. We had a lovely meal at Realm and went back to the hotel where we all slept and slept and slept. Something about the mountains and salt water always makes me drowsy.
The next day we played some kick ass mini golf at Paradise Fun Park and then made our way to our new home. Joanna was waiting for us with open arms at her home in Cumberland. It’s our temporary stop on this amazing journey. It’s a lovely home just blocks away from the coolest village center, furnished, and can accommodate all of us until July. Being as this is my first year as an entrepreneur, I don’t qualify for a mortgage until my 2016 business taxes are done, this is the perfect way for us to live in Comox Valley while I get my taxes completed, find the right area for us to live in, and buy our forever home. This arrangement also helps Joanna out as we’re paying rent and looking after her super sweet and cuddly cat – Freida. Win/win situation all around.
Since we’ve been here it’s been non-stop. From exploring and adventuring to meeting with friends, touring Tenesea’s school, client work, unpacking as little as we can, Farmer’s Markets, and Azalee’s 5th birthday on March 17th, it’s no surprise we’ve all been sleeping so well.
Moving to the Comox Valley also means that I’m a solo parent. In Edmonton, I had a break every second weekend when the girls would see their dad. Now, we have a new normal where it’s the three of us (and our animals). A few years ago I would have panicked about this and thought there was no way I could manage this on my own. I know now that I can and I’m doing it. I’ll find my tribe and babysitters and the girls won’t be this young forever. I’m cherishing this time with them. Once they start school and daycare, I’ll have days to myself and we can start a new routine. It’ll be good and this summer, I’ll get a really big (likely way too long) break when the girls go back to Edmonton to visit their dad.
Besides, who wouldn’t want to live 5 minutes away from this gorgeous lake?
I miss my friends a lot and I know that the Internet was made for this – to keep people connected when they can’t be physically. I’m manifesting the most amazing house to buy and of course it’ll have a spare bedroom and tons of space for people to come visit. I can not wait to host the people I love in the place I love.
I’m reading back through this and realize how disjointed it is and how terrible my grammar and spelling is tonight. The girls and I spent the day with my friend Jamie in Coombs and I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. You’ll have to forgive me.
Bravely Dancing Forward