Small Town, Northern Alberta

“So where did you move here from?”

The question comes from someone at church, another teacher at my husband’s school, a person we’re chatting with as we run errands. When we answer, their eyebrows usually go up slightly, as they wonder what on earth would make us leave the big city for a small town. Most of the other new teachers we met at the school division orientation were either from this area or from eastern Canada. Other people we’ve talked to have lived here for all of their lives—or at least the past twenty years.

We’re enjoying small-town living. For the most part, we’ve parked the car because we can walk most places we need to go. The church, library, post office, computer repair shop, mechanic/lube shop, movie rental store and a restaurant are all a block away. The school, bank, and a drug store are two blocks away. If I drive to the grocery store, it’s only because I can’t carry all the groceries the four blocks home again. The furthest we have to walk is to get to the pool—it’s on the other side of town, seven blocks away.

Moving was a little bit hectic. We found our house to rent about a week before we moved. On Monday, we packed up most of our stuff. On Tuesday, friends arrived to help us pack the rest of it and load it into the trailer. We spent the afternoon driving; my in-laws with the trailer, us in our car. Because of a flat tire on the trailer, a few stops for snacks, and having to drive slower, we got to town too late to meet our landlord, and so stayed in a motel. Wednesday we unloaded everything, left it in boxes in the house, and drove back to the city. On Friday we were headed to my in-laws’ farm in the foothills for a family reunion.

After the reunion, we visited and holidayed across the southern part of the province, camping in Waterton and hitting Lethbridge, Calgary, Sundre and Spruce Grove on our way back “home.” We finally got here mid-August and started unpacking and settling in. People have been very friendly and helpful. Having a house is nice after living in an apartment—we have our own backyard, laundry machines, windows on more than one side of the house, a bit more space, etc. Sunshine now has her own bedroom and we have a garage too.

In the last month, Sunshine has learned to sit up on her own, cut her first two teeth (without much fuss), and grew out of a bunch of clothes and into others. I finally bought a calendar on which to record her milestones (now that she’s six months old!). We invested in brand new cloth diapers for her, since the diaper service only services the city. She continues to charm everyone we meet with how friendly and good-natured she is. Many people have commented, “I miss that age!” I’m trying to enjoy it while it’s here.

This week my husband has started meetings and prep at the school, and I’m working on getting into a routine with Sunshine. Yesterday we gave the house a good cleaning. Today we’re backing up all the files on the computer, as it crashed just after we moved. Luckily, the computer guy around the corner managed to get it working again… for a little while.

Now I must see what Sunshine needs. Until next week!

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