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Are We Still in Alberta?
To add yet another layer of complexity in our adjustments to a rural lifestyle, Mother Nature decided that a dump of snow would round out an active month of weather. Geez ... we've seen it all this month. Twenty five millimeters of rain on the 5th, followed by record high temperatures on the 6th and 7th (16°C or 61°F). Mid-month, a rain/wind storm came ripping through that downed trees, closed highways and created flooding in some areas. Recently, we've had several days of snow and cold, reminding everyone who rules the show.
We're told that this weather is unusual and hoping that folks are right. From our perspective, we've had more snow here in "the-most-moderate-climate-in-all-of-Canada", than we did in Edmonton, Alberta last year (we had a brown Christmas). Apparently, the normal flow of warmer coastal air has been replaced by a blast of cold air from the Yukon (which has been experiencing some of the coldest temperatures on the planet, the past couple of weeks).
All we know is that we're now under a pile of snow, which makes it hard to replace the wood we're using and makes it difficult to do all those outdoor projects we have on the agenda. Topping things off, the pump from the house has failed twice (fortunately, both times it was easily fixed) and we've experienced three LONG power outages (> 2 hours) and a bunch of OFF/ON power hiccups. Life in the country, eh? What a change!!
We're told that this kind of weather is more generally reserved for December and January. Our response: "You mean there's MORE coming?"
"We moved from Alberta to get AWAY from the snow!"
Friends and relatives living in the United States and around the World aren't too sympathetic. The general response, "You DO live in Canada. What do you expect?"
Well, we didn't expect polar bears for (U.S.) Thanksgiving!
As proof that this type of snow is unusual, the nearby town of Ladysmith has (for the first time that the 20-year event has been run) canceled the "Light Up" event, associated with the town's renown "Festival of Lights".
Scott's folks, living in California, will be visiting for Christmas. They're worried about all the snow. Our advice, "Bring warm clothes!" (and maybe some extra wood)!
We've been in our new home, on a 5-acre wooded lot, in Yellow Point, on Vancouver Island, for nearly a month. Join us for a virtual, web-tour of the property.
Oot 'n Aboot the Hutton House
For the first time since we've been married, just over 5 years (where has the time gone?), we're home OWNERS, instead of renters. It's also the first time we've lived on acreage and we're excited about that too. We've been here less than a month, but we thought we'd post a brief online tour of the property, for our far-away friends and family.
If real estate is about location, location, location, then we've got a great spot. Yellow Point is an absolutely fantastic, picturesque, pastoral setting. Parks, farms, an English Pub, Lodges, Bed and Breakfasts [1 2 3] ... it's all a short walk or drive.
The 5-acre property is pretty nifty. There's a beaver pond, a seasonal creek, a clearing, woodshed, pump house, chicken coop and play house. There are many tall cedar and Douglas fir trees and oodles of places for Alex to explore.
Check out our new home in the woods!
We're officially moved into our new Vancouver Island home. Rats, deer, dial-up, boxes, wood stoves ... we've been here one week and there's still lots to do ...
Knee-Deep in Boxes, But Functional
It's been nearly a month since we vacated our Edmonton abode. Rachel has been working and living in Nanaimo, renting a room from Liz, who lives close to the hospital. Scott and the Oop have been to California and back, visiting grandparents (who all think that the Oop is 90% cute and only 10% "pain in the ass").
We took possession of our Yellow Point home on October 17th, as planned. It was nice that Cathy (the previous owner) allowed us to put our stuff in the garage, because it meant (in essence) we were ALREADY moved! Of course, the big task was still to haul it all INSIDE and UP the stairs.
We've been here a week. Read on about our current state of chaos ...
At 3 years-old, Alex cannot quite grasp the full meaning of our 1200-km U-Haul move. It's created some funny, touching and endearing moments. Read about them .................
The Oop: On Packing, Boxes & Upcoming U-Haul Move
Two years ago, when we moved to Edmonton, the Oop was not yet a year old. She wasn't walking. In fact, she was just learning to crawl. Moving was easy ... we just put her in a box! Now, Alex is nearly three years old and there isn't a box big enough to hold her.
Packing the house with a toddler has been quite the experience. On the plus side, she wants to help. On the minus side, she want to help.
There have been moments of levity and precious memories, as she grapples with the whole concept of moving, trying to help and with some of the things she says. I try really hard to remember that she'll only be this young, innocent and cute for a short while and that I really should cherish these moments. I don't often succeed, when I'm covered with sweat, two-years worth of dust, tired from hauling too many boxes filled with our endless supply of material possessions (how did we end up with all this CRAP?) and -mostly- just wanting it all to be DONE!!
To learn more about our toddler's perspective on packing and moving, read on ...
The move has begun. (Moving sucks)!
Moving Sucks -or- Living in Chaos
On Friday night, before the long Labor Day weekend, Rachel was in the dusty loft, above the garage, handing down folded boxes to Scott, below.
"Thank God we're pack rats," Scott said, "otherwise we wouldn't have kept all these boxes."
When we moved to Edmonton, two years ago, we knew we'd be moving after Rachel finished her UofA nursing degree. So we kept most of our moving boxes, storing them in the dusty attic.
Rachel starts her new job on September 18th and will be leaving, ahead of Scott, in less than 10 days.
Ideally, any move shouldn't disrupt things for more than two weeks, but because of the unusual situation we've stuck ourselves into, ours will last three times longer. Over a month and a half of disruption. Yuck!
Your new property is nice, it'll be like you're camping every day!
We're starting to pack early, so that it's not all left to Scott, at the last minute. Of course, this means that Scott and Alex will be living among boxes for all of September. Again - Yuck!
We must be out of our Edmonton home at the end of the month, which is why Rachel is flying back on September 30th, after a full day of work. She'll help Scott load up the largest truck that U-Haul rents and then we'll make the 2-day drive to Vancouver Island.
It doesn't end there.
We don't take possession of our new home till October 17th, so we've had to find a place to unload and store all our stuff, till then.
Where? In the garage of the new home.
So, we'll be homeless for half of October. Scott will head down with Alex to California, to visit his folks and Rachel will continue working at her new job at the Nanaimo Hospital.
"Where's Rachel going to stay?" you ask.
"She doesn't know," is the short answer. She's following up on several leads, but not found the "best fit", yet. She'll probably take the ferry back to the mainland on her day's off, staying with her folks in Vancouver, but it's where she'll stay on the Island that's still undecided.
And (as if there's not enough else going on), she writes the CNRE exam on October 11th. (It's the big, National exam that she has to pass in order to actually work and BE a Registered Nurse).
No pressure, eh?
At least you now know what we'll be doing for the next six or seven weeks.
Let's face it - MOVING SUCKS!!
Mind you, this should be our last move for a good long while. AND ... we're moving to an awesome spot! (If you like camping, then you'll appreciate the quote from Alex's grandpa, regarding the treed 5 acres ... "Your new property is nice, it'll be like you're camping every day!")