Thursday, June 03, 2010

So About Winnipeg

It was the perfect vacation, really. Lots of activity but at a good pace with enough downtime in between. Having the Okanagan Science Centre membership was really nice. It got us into the Children's Museum for free which was just a couple of blocks away from our hotel so we could go hang out for an hour or two as we felt like it and didn't have to worry about making the most out of paying to go once, if you know what I mean. It also got us into the Science Gallery downstairs of the Manitoba Museum. We also went to the Museum and the Zoo which we got to use Rhiannon's homeschooling money to get into. We connected with some of Ronni's old friends and my midwife who attended Andrew's birth. We got a lot done in those few days. And of course, I did my fabric shopping. Not quite the same as when I left it 16 years ago but pretty darn good! Oh how I hate Fabricland and the fact that it is the only fabric store in Vernon... Eryn wanted to go in there today to look at a sale and I just couldn't believe it... fabric I had just seen for $8 a metre on for $25. If Mitchell's can make money for 60 years as a family owned store, why does Fabricland have to sell their fabric like it is made of gold? It takes all the fun out of sewing for me. I like to feel like I am making something better and unique AND it is a bargain, too - like my effort is worth something. I felt a little frustrated standing in Mitchells and looking around... so many things I would like to make, so many projects I could do if I had a fabric store like that in my city. The upholstery fabric.... the fancy fabrics, the unbleached cotton, the netting, the tablecloth material.... ah... sigh.... I was even a bit angry! Why aren't there better fabric stores in Vernon! (So, you bet, Sarah, if you moved there, I would definitely come and visit you! I'd come in February and we could go to the Festival du Voyageur together and I'll show you all my favourite places! And I'll come in the summer and we'll go to Lake Winnipeg!) As it was, the empty suitcase I brought with me was full of fabric on the way home. And there is a stack of inspiration upstairs in my sewing room!

The kids were great. It was so fun to be with Ronni and Megan. We just had a great time. I forgot the camera and Drew's was acting up so there are not a lot. But it was one of those times when I preferred just being there and in the moment instead of documenting the moment. There are many images in my mind of the kids playing and talking to each other, listening to each other, caring about each other and making it fun for one another.

And wow, it was something to be back there after all this time. I revisited my old self. I could remember so clearly how it was when I came there; my sense of adventure. And it was a great 3 years. It is hard to put into words - so many feelings and deep thoughts. Life is such a journey. We think we are going one way but we end up somewhere else. I can't imagine my life without Dean who is my rock and Rhiannon. And they were here in BC. I am a BC girl. I was born in Vancouver and have lived my whole life all over this province. I have lived in every region except the Peace. And I needed to come back. I just didn't really realize it at the time.

And I arrived here in Vernon 16 years ago June 1. After I had been here about 3 years, I almost left. A single mom of 3 kids at that point, I applied for a job in Qualicum Beach and was interviewed. While I was pondering if I would really move there if I was offered the job, I decided it was time to stop moving. I wanted to know what it was like to live in a place for more than 5 years (my previous record - 5 years in Terrace, even in the same house). So I stayed. Now this is my kids' hometown. Kaetlyn and Drew can't remember living anywhere else and Rhiannon hasn't.

I've come to realize that it is a real investment to live somewhere for 16 years. There is a huge and complex web that holds us here. It is something that I never got to experience as a kid. I think it is something to live in a community where there are people who have known you since you were a little kid. It connects you in ways that can't be simulated in any other way. Over the years I have done so many different things - counselled, employment counselling, free seminars, the Inner World School, volunteering for minor sports, window washing, homeschooled, schooled, that it is pretty hard to go anywhere and not see someone that I know somehow. At this point, it would take a lot to get me to leave. Not to mention the weather, the climate and the growing season. At this point, I can't imagine why I would ever leave!

Anyways, I have been slowly recovering from our vacation. Processing what it all meant to me. And feeling grateful for how it all works - beyond our puny consciousness. I needed to go to Winnipeg. And then I needed to come back. And here I still am 16 years later.

5 comments: said...

that sounds like a lot of fun. That's cool that you could re-visit and have that experience.

I totally relate with you about BC. I'm a BC girl, too, and specifically an Island girl. It's where I belong!

Sarah-Lynn said...

I like hearing about your Winnipeg experience. It gives me comfort. How fun to have a lot of projects to create!! I want to create something with you when I visit next!

Andrea said...

a project sounds fun! Make it a simple project, though. I am a simple sewer. I hate fancy things that take a long time to complete. Sewing is my instant gratification craft.

katie said...

Amy, I remember when you and Bethany were Alberta girls...And Andrea, I know what you mean about harder to leave when your kids have been growing up there.

Lisa S. Luckey said...

Wow, you really never do know where life is going to take you and your writing is beautiful. I was just thinking about that the other day and how life has me here for a reason that I had never expected and it's nice to actually know the reason, but I still can't wait to get out of here.