Sunday, January 17, 2010
As I grew older, I continued to visit Vancouver more frequently. I stayed with my mother between my jobs and school, loving already the constant green of everything there. I married my wonderful husband, Jason White, in 1989, in Edmonton, Alberta, and moved several times before settling in Calgary, Alberta. Once we settled and after my sister moved to the coast, Jason and I spent more summers there. We went once for Christmas, and then started looking forward to Easter and summer and Thanksgiving holidays. Jason had also fallen for Vancouver's charms. We'd get off of the plane (or sometimes the Greyhound) and I'd look at him. Near the ocean, his expressive brown eyes sparkled and his beautiful fair skin glowed with good health and enjoyment. We did travel to other places over the years such as, London, Ontario and Toronto. However, we mostly visited Vancouver, often travelling on the ferry across to Victoria and Ladysmith (where my brother and his family moved). We found that our holidays approached, we yearned for the sea air and moderate climate. If it got hot, we'd just go to the beach and sometimes join my family for barbecues. While Vancouver is criticized often for how much it rains, the expense of living there, and the crime, Jason and I found, during our visits, that the benefits far outweighed anything negative. Don't get me wrong, we did quarrel about it and discussed negatives as well as positives, but somehow we couldn't get rid of the plan to move there.
I've had an ongoing love affair with Vancouver for as long as I can remember. The summer after I turned 7, my family drove from Calgary, Alberta to Vancouver Island. I don't remember very much about that summer except that I loved the ocean and beachcombing. I had a little pixie haircut and cats-eye glasses. We drove in an old Pontiac Parisienne. In those old cars, it was amazing what you could pack into it. In the front were my mother and father. There were 3 of us kids (Steve, Sheila, and I). We stopped in many places that summer (I always loved an adventure). What I wasn't prepared for was how excited I was to see the blue water peaking between buildings. I'm sure I drove my family crazy: "Is that the ocean?", I asked many times, as I couldn't believe that we were finally there.