Our family moved north in September to support our boys' pursuit of playing hockey at a higher level. All six of us have found it an adjustment, some more so than others, but there is something to be said for driving anywhere in town in 15 minutes; the pristine and crisp feeling of new snow; having incredibly friendly neighbours; and looking up into the night sky and seeing both the Big and Little Dippers.
My folks are both from small towns. Mom was raised in Hemmingford, Quebec and Dad was raised in Forest, Ontario. Both of them brought to the city that small town friendliness and willingness to help other people. The mindset is alive and well up here. One neighbour made me homemade fudge as a welcome gift. It is the best fudge I have ever tasted. My other neighbour worked on my eldest son's "new" old truck and charged next to nothing. Another ploughs my driveway when it snows. And I received wine at Christmas from down the street.
The extra space up here has also enabled us to expand our dog population, adding a puppy or two since arriving. Dogs make my children better people, and provide unconditional love whenever it is needed.
Life is never easy, but it is beautiful nonetheless. Every day I am grateful for my parents; my children; and my friends. And now for my neighbours. Collectively, they make life worth living.