Leaving Welland

I probably should have written this particular column a while ago.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite know how to start it or exactly what to say.

As our friends and family already know, my husband and I recently made the difficult decision to leave Welland.  We’ve not only left the building, we’ve left the region, and the province. We have pulled up stakes and moved to Edmonton, Alberta. 

Even though we don’t expect it to be a permanent move, it was still a tough call. The reality is that we love Niagara and we especially love Welland.

Not everyone understood - not only because it was Edmonton, but also because it was a job opportunity for me rather than for my husband that was the catalyst for the move.  However, even though my husband’s picture framing and art gallery was doing okay, being self-employed takes its toll, requiring a lot of hard work and a lot of hours. Consequently, he too was ready for a change.

For me, the best part is that anyone who really knows me and how passionate I am about community development and community leadership, immediately understood the decision, and provided unconditional support and encouragement.

As a result, I’ve been doubly blessed with both the support of my wonderful husband and the best wishes of friends and colleagues. I am so very grateful.

Anyway, it has been a great adventure so far.  One of my brothers once said that projects are good for a relationship. I think he’s right. Our journey across the country has been good for the pair of us. We’ve had a lot of time together and a lot of time for quality conversations. We’ve had to work together to make decisions and get things accomplished. And, since we’ve arrived and settled in, there certainly has been no shortage of projects.

Our greatest challenge was travelling with our cat Jester. Sixteen years old, we weren’t quite sure how he would travel, but the initial signs were positive. When we first pulled out from Welland, he sat on my lap peering curiously out the window seeming to have all the makings of an adventure cat.

Well I guess all the excitement got to him because within ten minutes he had puked all over my feet. Managed to get that cleaned up and he promptly peed.  And, yup, he pooped as well.  Not an auspicious beginning that’s for sure.

Things got better after that and he managed to adjust quite nicely for the rest of the journey and has also settled well into our new digs.

The weather during the trip was gorgeous, the scenery was spectacular. As my son once said, every Canadian should drive across the country at least once in their life.

We ditched a lot of stuff before we moved but still ended up with way too much and have kept Goodwill well-stocked since. We really are committed to keeping things simple and have learned that life is much easier when you have less stuff. The one exception is that I still have more shoes than I really need. 

My new job is also absolutely perfect. Whereas in Ontario, the concept of community development isn’t always well understood, it is a given here in Alberta.

Instead of working to convince others that community development and empowering citizens is the way to go, my work here is about supporting community leaders with the training and resources they need to make their communities stronger, healthier and more creative. It is absolutely the best match of my skills and interests I could ever hope to have. I am happy and relaxed. Life is good.

Last year acknowledged as the Cultural Capital of Canada, Edmonton itself is a wonderful city and full of new experiences for us. A thriving, entrepreneurial city, there is always something to do…concerts and festivals abound. We have found new restaurants, new trails, new stores, and new friends. 

The down side is that there is so much about Welland that we’ll miss but perhaps that’s a column for another day.  Meanwhile, we keep you all in our hearts and know that while adventures are good for the soul, Welland remains a great place to live, work and play.




Posted on 08-14-07

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