Monday, November 1, 2010

A Stranger in a Strange Land...

It has been too long since I have posted anything, and I am going to repent of this starting now.  I have been adjusting to a new life, in a new place, in a new (to me) part of the country, and it has been interesting and life changing.  I have moved several hundred kilometres north of where I lived in Edmonton, to a place called Silver Valley  (Sounds almost magical, doesn't it.  I sometimes expect little pixies, or fairies to pop out from around corners and such.) 

Life in the country has been a real adjustment for me and my family.  No more traffic, no more noise, no more quick trips to the store, and no more frivolous activities like spur of the moment movie going, or visits to the mall.  We now travel forty-five minutes to get to the nearest town, which is in the next province over, so we have to mentally adjust our clocks since they are in a different time zone.  Life is different here, but it is a good different.  I keep waiting to hear banjos, etc, but luckily none so far.

We took our kids out trick or treating, and it was quite the experience.  It took us three hours to visit seven places, but people out here are generous, and they doled out the loot to the kids in huge quantities.  It would have taken at least ten times the number of houses in the city to bring in the same haul.

This post is turning into more of a 'journal' than I want it to, please bear with me... 

I have found myself wondering when the laid back country life was going to occur.  I have been busier here than I ever have been before.  I'm not complaining, but it would be nice to slow down things a little.  We live on 162 acres of land (a section), and it has taken time to get used to looking out the window and seeing almost nothing as far as the eye can see.  My wife has gotten into the habit of taking the kids for walks through the fields, and forests around our place, and on those opportunities that I have had the chance to go with them, I have been grateful.  There is a peacefulness out here that is unequalled.  We have made a few trips down to the Peace river, and it has always been a beautiful and wonderful experience.  My son is a rock hound, as am I, and on these trips we have loaded up our trunk with the treasures that we have found.  We have brought home fossils, petrified wood, water carved rocks, and even some really cool looking driftwood.  Our home is starting to look like a museum, but it is something that my son and I can share with each other, and that is more important to me than the actual rocks, etc themselves.

My children have grown in some surprising ways.  They are quickly gaining a maturity that they lacked in the city, they are better friends to each other, and there is a bond within our family that is stronger than ever.  I am grateful for it. 

We are adapting to the country in other ways as well.  We have a cat that never comes in the house, I own, and wear, a  pair of 'gumboots', (Wellies, to you British folk), and I have 'enjoyed' mowing the vast yard we have with a rider mower. 

We buy our drinking water in 18.9 litre bottles, and we wash our clothes, dishes, etc with water from a dugout.  our plumbing takes our 'waste' water to a lagoon not far away from the house, although it is far enough away that it doesn't smell.  The truth is that it doesn't smell even when you are close by it, (but I still wouldn't want to fall in...)

Hunting is huge out here, and almost everyone uses antlers in their decorating, although, very few are as bad as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.  We have a rock display in the front that highlights a rack of antlers still connected to an elk skull.  Surrounding this are several antlers.  A friend from England said that it reminded him of  "Pet Cemetery", and I guess it does, but my kids love playing there... what does that say about my kids...

The long and short of this whole post is that we are now in a world that we never thought we would be in, but that we are finding will most definitely change our lives.  In the end, isn't that what life is all about?  As they say, it is the journey and experiences we have while traveling the road of life that matter the most, and I am grateful for every step that I take on my own version of the hero's journey.


  1. Sounds like heaven to me, even the really busy part. I like new adventures and being able to live vicariously through others, so I appreciate your helping me visualize! We too had a rather life changing move when we moved to Alaska, so it is fun to see how similar/different our experiences are. Enjoy it!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Kris. In many ways it is heaven. I often find myself comparing this to the years we lived in England. There are many differences, but there are also a lot of similarities.

    Life is an adventure and it's one that I am grateful to have.

    I'll pop on over to your blog soon to see what you have to say. I'm looking forward to it.