Saturday, June 26, 2010

Moving from N.Y. to B.C. - Being 60 (week 8 - by Margaret Ullrich)

One thing about getting older - almost every day is the anniversary of something.  Today Paul and I were reminiscing about when we left New York 38 years ago.

We had just gotten married.  Since we'd lived with our parents before the big day, we didn't have much stuff.  Everything we owned fit in our little home on wheels, an 11 foot trailer called Shasta.  It was supposed to sleep 6.  Paul had replaced the couch with a closet.  We were using the slide-down shelf as storage space, so our dinette set was our only bed.   

We were young, so we had a lot of energy.  We needed it to drive from College Point, New York to White Rock, British Columbia in 3 weeks.  Why the rush?  Ma had said she wouldn't be able to sleep until we had stopped driving.  So, we rushed.

People, on first meeting us, ask why we left the Big Apple.  Winnipeggers, especially in the winter, ask why we left British Columbia.  The answer to both questions is the economy.  

In the early 70s New York had gone bankrupt.  City employees, such as policemen, were receiving I.O.U.s instead of pay cheques.  That did not make the policemen happy.  An unhappy policeman is not a good thing.  

After we had lived in B.C. for a couple of years, that tourist trap Canadian Province went into one of its famous busts.  It happens.  You can't eat the pretty scenery or the mild weather.

Paul was in the union, so we moved to Winnipeg.  In February.  That's another story and anniversary.   

My parents had never really settled into New York,  They always said they were going to move back to Malta.  For almost 60 years they complained about how New York wasn't Malta.  Well, duh.  

Learning from their example, Paul and I made an effort to fit into our new home.  We volunteered.  We met the neighbors.  We did the things everyone does when moving to a new neighborhood, let alone a new country.

If we knew then what we know now, would we still have moved to Canada?


But this time we'd take 3 months instead of 3 weeks and tell Ma to take a sleeping pill.

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