As many of you know, we took a (huge to us) risk a couple of years ago. After vacationing here in Newfoundland and Labrador for a few summers, followed by two extended stays (two months each year), we fell in love with "The Rock" (The Rock is a nickname of sorts for Newfoundland as the whole island province is really...well....one big rock).
That's when the risk came into play. We are not risk takers at the best of times....but after discussing it to death for three years, we decided to take the plunge. After all, we weren't getting any younger and who knew what the future would hold. We didn't want to look back on our life and regret not trying. So Larry took an unpaid leave of absence from his job in Toronto, we sold our house, packed up everyone and everything and moved to 'The Rock'.
Larry had no job to come to (but did manage to get one in 11 days of arriving here. It wasn't in his field...but an income nonetheless).
We had no family or any real connections here.
We just really, really liked it. It's practically impossible to translate into words why we liked it so much.....it's something that must be experienced to really understand what we are talking about. Those who are "come from aways" (the Newfoundland term for people who are not from Newfoundland but 'come from away') will understand.
Here's an attempt at a list (in no particular order) of some of the reasons why we like it here
** The beauty of the province...the ocean with it's majestic icebergs, graceful whales and all other things it has to offer)
** The magnitude of the rocks.
** The clean, clear, fresh air.
** The warmth of the people.
** The weather and yes...you've read that right...we mostly like the weather here in our part of NL. I used to get rather frightened of all the Tornado watches and warnings as well as severe weather warnings that were issued (with increasing frequency) for the area of Ontario where we used to live.
** The pace of life.
** The wide open spaces.
** The uncomplicated lifestyle.
** No teacher bashing
** And....I have to mention Danny (story here). He is our premier and honestly....I've never known a politician like him....I'm *still* amazed that he does not collect a salary...he donates it all to charity! He stands up for his province and for his people. Some may not agree with his tactics...but I have to give him credit...he stands up for Newfoundland and Labrador.
The list goes on......
Now, we didn't just land here in Newfoundland and Labrador and take off running. We've had some growing pains for sure. Lots of things are done differently here....and I know some Newfoundlanders get a kick out of our "mainlander" ways. Oh well...we need to know things so we ask questions...that's the only way we'll learn, right? After the laughter dies down, we always get an answer though and then we know. (Like my missing iceberg....I couldn't understand how it could just go missing....it seemed to fall off of the radar screen. How can an iceberg just go missing....so I asked our Newfoundlander friend. He laughed and laughed...."I just laugh at ya" he said....before telling me "the wind probably changed direction and he went on...way out into the ocean, out of radar." Oh ya....it's a BIG ocean with no boundaries....I keep forgetting that...The next shore east is Ireland! Yes...it's a big ocean. I'm used of little lakes --- 23-feet-deep-at-it's-deepest-spot lakes, with boundaries. Even Lake Ontario (one of the Great Lakes) has boundaries....and nothing as big as an iceberg could just float away and disappear.)
We find the things that took a long time to do in Ontario, are done quickly here and without excruciating effort (like when we bought our house...closing date was less than two weeks from when our offer was accepted). The flip side is true as well though....the things that were done quickly in Ontario, take longer here. It has taken some adjusting to get used of these changes.
We get a lot of questions and shocked looks from Newfoundlanders on why we would choose to move here...especially when neither of us are from here or have relatives here. It's nothing to hear, "Let me get this straight....you chose to move from Ontario to Newfoundland????"
After awhile, we decided we'd just quit telling people we were from Ontario. That worked well......until we started to talk. "Where are you from?" we'd get asked. "Pouch Cove" we'd say. Then they'd say, "No...where are you really from? That's no Pouch Cove accent you've got there."
Larry's leave of absence from his job in Toronto is now up. The time is now..the decision had to be made....he either had to go back to his job or resign his position.
This decision did not come easy to us....many things to consider. But....after much thought, discussions, research etc....we've decided to stay here! Larry is taking early retirement from Toronto and will continue on with tutoring and substitute teaching (a full-time job would be best).
Soooo.....we're looking forward to this next chapter of our life.
Who knows what that will entail.