Sunday, September 23, 2012

Playing Tourists

One of the perks of moving around is all the new adventures and places to discover. This weekend was chock-a-block full of new sights, and sounds, and smells for that matter. Instead of the anticipated start of swimming lessons, we got a call saying that they had been cancelled which was first met with tears and disappointment. To which I responded....well what should we do instead?

So we pulled out our list of must do's and hit the town. The kids and I headed across town to Assiniboine Park and found a fantastic Seuss-like world of playground equipment and garden creatures.  Sunday we took in the family fall festival at Fort Whyte Alive  which is an natural habitat and outdoor interpretive park with floating boardwalks and plenty  of resident Canada geese, to which Roscoe was totally enthralled with.

I'm getting the feeling that Winnipegers really know how to spend time outdoors!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Muddy Waters

This past weekend we made our first trek outside the city limits and ventured north to check out the big lake! I did a little research and learned that Lake Winnipeg, and the city for that matter, was named after the Cree language word: wīnipēk, meaning "muddy waters".

Although the term doesn't do it justice, because what we found was a fantastic picnic spot on a white pebbly beach that stretched for miles out of sight in both directions overlooking the expansive body of water. The water looked a little chilly, but certainly not muddy.

On the suggestion of our new friends, Chris and Jennie - we spent the afternoon in the picturesque town of 'Gimli', about an hour drive north of the city. Gimli is an icelandic settlement, that still boasts to have the largest Icelandic population off the island itself.

Different from the 'lake culture' we are familiar with back in BC, it will be great to explore the cottage country and walk along a few piers this year. I quickly realized that the sailboats, floating buoys and fishing shanties is all new for my kids. They loved it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Location, location, location

It shouldn't surprise me that since we are on our third 're-location' in recent years, that we have learned something along the way. Moving from one place to one less familiar also means gambling a bit in terms of where and what neighborhood is ideal.

I am quickly learning that there are some really fantastic communities amidst this seemingly vast city. You'd think I'd have been more proactive and have hit the net before we chose where we should live, but really with only one condition in mind, there wasn't much to do but wait for the right rental to come along.

And miraculously it did. Our one condition being that it had to be close to the university, seemed odd to some - with so many more desirable and interesting communities to choose from a little farther out. But as we learned from our graduate school experience in Utah, being close to home means we get to see more of Robin.

With the help of a fellow faculty here at the University, we scored a perfect rental. Close enough to skateboard to the studio and still sleep in and not be late for class.

Most of my 'web research on the Winnipeg has come post-move, and I happened upon this site recently which will be fun to scour for fun neighborhoods to explore - for things other than rentals.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

If there were no such thing as change, there would be no butterflies!

I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter this summer, and that is  - it is okay to take a little time for yourself to adjust to change that lays ahead, even before the change arrives itself!

Our summer in the valley was both fabulous and ambitiously full. Projects that included summer camps, visits from faraway friends and family, building a new storage shed on the property, a family reunion 1500km away, our annual summer studio show and sale, jumping through the hoops and logistics of building a new soda kiln. Whew! Not to mention packing and getting ready for our move to Winnipeg.

Thinking back, we didn't really give ourselves much time to even think about what lay ahead as we scrambled to keep up with what was happening each day.

But we still made time for lazy afternoons at the beach, time in the garden and GNTs on the deck.

And somehow it all came together and we pulled out of Winlaw on the 27th of August and made the cross country trek to Manitoba, hauling our beds, bikes and belongings in our trusty trailer.

And now I'm taking a moment to catch my breath and consider the changes in our lives - from rural to urban living, from preschool to Kindergarten, from Grade 1 to Grade 2, from studio potter to university instructor, from pacific standard time to central daylight, from mountain town to prairie city!

I hope that throughout this next year I'll be able to instil in my children that life is an adventure and that great things come in the way of changes.