Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I grew up in the same city where I was born. I lived there for my entire life, except for one year that I moved away when I first started dating my husband. We lived in different houses, but basically they were all within the same general area.

In August of 2007, my husband was offered a new position in a city four hours from my hometown. It meant a raise, a promotion in position, and living in a smaller town where the cost of living was significantly less. We couldn't turn it down.

It was very difficult for us to pack up and move away. My daughters had always lived with their Granny, my Mom. That loss was a huge transition for them, and one we still struggle with daily. They were leaving behind friends and family and all they had ever known. For the "unknown."

That first year, we went "home" as often as we could. Monthly drives home for a weekend. We still referred to our old digs as "home." We LIVED here, but it would never feel like our home. Also, we always counted on the fact that we wouldn't be here long. Most moves within my husbands company, like we did, are for a few years time before you are moved again. We assumed two to three years. Tops.

This year, we decided that we would go "home" less. Not that the pull to do so is any less. We just realized that we don't know how long this move is going to be, or how long we will live where we do. With the economy in its current state, my husbands company has stated that they won't be relocating anyone unless the need is specific and warranted. Yes, we could still be moved at any time. But the likelihood, currently, now seems less concrete. We decided that if we keep waiting on that move, and keep hoping to go back, then where we are now is NEVER going to seem like home and that we will all just be anticipating leaving with each passing day. And that's truly no way to really enjoy life or where we currently reside.

It's not that we haven't made a home here either. We continue to work on our house and make improvements and upgrades. We've joined groups and activities. Our children are busy in their schools. My husband is busy in the community. I volunteer when I can. But it's all been done with the thought in the back of our minds that we'd be called back at any time. At any moment. We were just waiting on pins and needles for that call to come in.

While I miss my old hometown, and I DO hope we get to go back there, I think for my girls sake, if anything, that I need to be more positive and proactive about them being happy here. For as long as we are going to be here. This IS now our home. It's different than what we are used to, for sure. It's smaller, less big city. It doesn't have many of the amenities we are used to having. We can't go to any number of ethnic food restaurants. They don't exist. Often, the way of thinking here differs from ours. It's like being strangers in a strange land.

But it can also be an adventure. We are exposed to things we didn't ever think we'd experience. No one here locks their doors. That's vehicle and house. They let their vehicles run for a half an hour in the morning without blinking. The kids play outside, all over the neighbourhood, on their own! There are no parents watchful eyes on them. You still see your neighbours all winter long. Everyone is out, everyday. People snowshoe and ski and skate and toboggan and ice fish and snowmobile......and don't just hibernate. People did that in my hometown, as well. But you just seemed to see your neighbours less. Sometimes not for days to weeks. Every Friday for the month of February, my daughter will be having "Winter Electives". She will be cross-country skiing with her class on some Fridays. Others, she will snowshoe and learn Inuit games. She'll track animal prints and build a quinzee.

I guess it's about accepting what you have, and where you are, and making the most of it. It may not be our ideal in terms of being far from family and friends, but it CAN be whatever we make it. And memories can be made here as well. Maybe one day we'll get moved again. It may be back to my hometown, or it may be somewhere completely different. And we may leave here with the same bittersweet feelings as when we first arrived. Excited to be going somewhere new, but sad to be leaving our Home.

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