By the time we hit the Canada/US border in late April, we were like horses heading for the barn. Three driving days from St. George was faster than we had predicted but we were anxious to catch up with the people we had left behind – particularly our two sons Brian and Devon.
Our five years out of the country in Cayman was long enough but our Christmas 2012 visit somehow wasn’t long enough to catch up with friends and family. Our winter in sunny, warm Arizona/Nevada/California had interrupted that re-acquaintance process.
Now that we have a number of housekeeping duties (like taxes) behind us, we have more time on our hands to re-connect and are looking forward to doing that.
We have been somewhat in shock by weather and environmental conditions in Alberta since our return. First we dodged snow squalls along the Queen Elizabeth highway north to Edmonton and then awoke on our first morning back to sheer ice following minus 13 degree Celsius temperatures over night. We have dug our all of the long sleeve jerseys, fleeces, jeans and heavy socks we can find but are just not used to apparel other than t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. Not having endured an Edmonton winter in five years combined with an exceptionally long one this year has made us a a little less grateful for the end of that season than those who stuck it out here.
The second shock has been mosquitoes. Yes we had them in Cayman, along with the risk of dengue fever, but the mosquitoes in Edmonton are a hungry aggressive breed of their own. Thankfully, they are subsiding as the pools of standing water evaporate and growing grass is cut down. Its actually starting to feel like spring here as we venture outside more.
As for where to live, our son Brian suggested we set up our RV at the Edmonton Soaring Club where they have a campground, clubhouse and other facilities. Although it is nearly an hour’s drive to Edmonton, we are keeping busy for now doing maintenance and mowing the grass landing field to help out the club members who have more than their share of duty keeping gliders in the air and hosting club events. Its a convenient fit for now but we are continually discussing and exploring our permanent residence options and watching the real estate market which by most accounts is currently somewhat over bought in Canada and vulnerable to economic shock such as the failure to secure pipeline capacity to get crude oil out of the west or the removal of US stimulus impact on worldwide growth.
As an interesting coincidence, the cabin at Lake Wabamun which we sold prior to our move to the Caribbean in 2008 recently came up for sale. Although we have great memories of that weekend home and the neighborhood, we concluded that its time in our lives had come and gone and that renewed ownership would not serve our lifestyle going forward and have passed on any attempt to re-acquire it.
We’re looking forward to a summer of exploration and re-acquaintance in Alberta and western Canada.