Shannon Falls, August 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One Month In

Whew! We’ve now been in Canada for over a month. How can that be!? Pia is here from Germany for two weeks and she and Shannon have gotten along well. Hayden is definitely enjoying have two beautiful ladies in the house to entertain. Starting very soon, I’m going to begin a pretty strict routine for Hayden and me. We both need it. 

We have met some pretty great people here. The funny thing is, they’ve all been Christians! In such a dark city, everyone we’ve met thus far and formed relationships with knows Jesus. That has helped this Momma’s heart. Daddy is coaching middle school football and his other assistant coach is a Christian. Nathan and his wife, Cassandra, have 3 children and another due this month. They had us over for a cook-out last Sunday. Hayden and their 2 ½ year old Jeremy got along fantastically. They played with water guns until they dropped.! I see their family being fast and good friends. I took a banana pudding (and secretly, they admitted they wished we had brought sweet tea, too!) that they scarfed down. I'm serious. Recipe has already been shared! 

Yesterday we went to Whistler, sight of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Olympic Village. Hayden pronounced it “Whist-a-ler” every time. Pia, Shannon, and David saw one bear and got a picture, but Hayden and I didn't make it in time. We have some other sightseeing activities planned before I post my thousands of pictures. 

I’ve had to start jotting down things Hayden says or does so I’ll remember to record them in his journal Whenever we go to Wal-Mart, there’s a mountain fairly close. And every time he remarks, “That’s the biggest mountain ever I seen!” It’s just so comical the order of his words!

Last week Hayden hid David's computer cord. After an hour of searching and him being in time out until he could remember where it was, I noticed one of his tool boxes that he never closes was closed. Sure enough, there it was! As soon as we showed Hayden we had found it, he shrugged his shoulders, put a dimpled smile on his face, and said something adorable to the tune of, “See? It was there for a reason.” Off he trotted to your room, happy-go-lucky, while David and I couldn’t decide whether to stay mad or just laugh.

“Stupid” is a bad word in our home. But Hayden's way of saying it without thinking there will be repercussions is to just spout off, “I didn’t say ‘stupid!’” And then we all look at him because no one accused him of saying it but he wants to say it so badly he finds ways to incorporate it.

We also met two of our 3rd floor neighbors directly beneath us: Justice and his mother, Erin. We had a nice time at the pool and I repeatedly apologized for the noise we’ve made. We have a rotating door most days with 3 interns, and Hayden's still not quite used to apartment living. However, if I say we’re going “home” when we’re out somewhere, he'll quip back, “No! We’re going to the apartment!”

Oh, here are a few local things I’ve observed that I want to remember to share when people ask what it’s like living here:

-Common phrases: “No worries.” “Cheers” “Eh?” (of course) “For sure.” “Ya.”

-You have to pay to use shopping carts at most places. It’s usually a quarter or a dollar. You do get it back, but we have a hard time remembering to take change with us!

-There are no refills on pop at many locations. And for those that do offer “bottomless pop,” drinks are usually $3, instead of a typical $1.89 in MS. When we do eat out, which is rare, it’s water for us!

-Walking to most places, including the grocery store and mall! So different! And taking cloth bags with us; many grocery stores charge $.5/bag. That can really add up, especially when you’re paying recycling fees as well.

-No AC in our home. Right now, we’re in our hottest months, which are still a breath of fresh air compared to MS summers, but the apartment gets still at times. Since we’re on the corner, we get quite a bit of sunshine and that heats the apartment up, even with our standing fans, by the time we head to bed.

-Football is an afterthought sport; not the be-all/end-all for many Southern/SEC families.

-Sunshine in the summer until almost 10 PM; winter is going to be very dark, however.

-The landscape is so different. I can stare at the mountains every day. And driving just a few feet or miles changes the view of the same peak.

It’s amazing how so many things are similar to “home” (stores, restaurants, places to go, etc.), but it’s still somehow so different. I’m glad Hayden is exposed to this and seems to be loving it.
**Additional things of note to the Canadian lifestyle:

-There are very, very few to NO left turn lanes. This means traffic comes to a complete stop for someone to turn.

-If you ever need to kill time, drive through just about any neighborhood and court how many houses don't bother to take their Christmas lights down. The number is insane. -Leggings/yoga-workout pants seem to be capable of being worn with any type shirt. And I mean ANY.