I've read through half of my blog list (since I'm so far behind) and will continue reading and saying hello and catching up as I can, but now I'm wanting to write. So here I am.
We moved. It was hard. But we're a good team, and we pulled together. Brent's job paid for a moving company to pack, ship, and unload all our stuff (save animals, house plants, and household cleaners), so the task of moving was infinitely easier than it could have been. The emotional task of leaving behind home and forging a new one has been huge, of course.
We left on a very hot day. The younger kids had T-ball camp until noon, and so I took two cats and a rabbit in carriers to the park to watch T-ball (you might think I was weird, if you didn't know me), and we hit the road to catch the very next ferry.
It was a long trip. A nice one, but long. The ferry breaks up the day, but getting off on the Island simply means you start a long, 4 hour trek to our new town. We stopped in Nanaimo at Chapters so Ayden could get some books with a gift card he had (small town life means no Chapters: last chance!) and somehow 45 minutes evaporated. We hit the road and two hours later stopped for dinner at the last city before it really gets rural up Island and another 90 minutes disappeared on us; we hit the road again and still had 2.5 hours to go til home. We pulled in around 1 o'clock in the morning with 4 kids, 2 cats, and a rabbit in 2 vehicles and some sleeping bags because we beat our stuff into town. We slept on the floor in the master bedroom in a heap of camping mattresses, blankets, kids, and farts.
In the morning, we woke up to this:
Try not to hate me too much. This is the view from our bedroom bay window. Actually it was sunnier than this the morning we woke up. The movers arrived and unloaded all our stuff and it was abject mayhem around here for a few days while we plowed our way through boxes.
The town is friendly; several neighbours dropped by to say hi (one with donuts! And chocolate cake!), and everyone noticed us. Oh! You're the new people with the minivan with all the kid stickers on the back! We're hard to miss. We're the family that just keeps coming. Step aside to let one or two little ones through, and you'll be standing there awhile.
This town is awesome. It's small, comfortable, safe, friendly, has grocery stores and beaches and an outdoor pool... The pace of life is rural, easy going, and almost entirely outside. You can drive five minutes in any direction and find a beach on the ocean, a river, or a lake with no people and ridiculous beauty. You can drive 20 minutes North or South or take a 25 minute ferry east or south and be in the most remarkable hidden historic spots: Telegraph Cove, Sointula, Alert Bay, Port Hardy. You can fish fresh water or salt. Toss a trap in the water and catch crab for dinner.
We have a library, hospital, schools, etc.
One day about 3 or 4 days in, I was sorely missing home and feeling lonely and kind of scrappy. Tired of being stuck in my house unpacking with four kids underfoot. Homesick for friends and family. To get out of the house, we walked down to the library. While we were there, Brent said, "I swear I just saw Dennis Harrington walk by. Do you think it could be him?"
YES I DO!
Port McNeill has a nice marina, and Pat and Dennis Harrington, family friends of ours, have a nice sailboat they like to spend much of their retirement in going up and down the coast of BC. The chances that they were in town were small, but existent.
Brent went out to see if he could catch up to Dennis, and who walks around the corner of the library building than Pat! It was so nice to see familiar faces and fill them in on our move: they've been unplugged and at sea for so long that they didn't see we'd moved via Facebook so they were as surprised to see us as we were to see them.
They came for dinner. It was awesome.
While they were here Amarys fell and cut her eyelid on the fireplace tile, so Brent took her up to the hospital for stitches. Never a dull moment. The photo above was to send to her while she was waiting, so she could feel a part of things and know we were thinking of her. She was fine. Didn't even cry when the doctor fixed her cut (with skin glue, not stitches).
Yep, she's a keeper.
The only thing she objected to was the hospital bracelet.