Okay, what now?

So, it’s spring 2006, we’ve made the decision to move and I’ve given my notice to my business partners.  We decided the move to Fairwinds was on, but what exactly does that mean?  Where are we going to live? 

All we’d bought was a bare lot.  Before we launched into designing and building our dream home, we wanted time to live there … get to know the area and our new lifestyle.  We needed somewhere to live for maybe two to three years.

So, do we rent?  Buy a transition house?  Build a starter home on a small property, something we could do from Calgary, and then flip it once our “real” home was ready? 

The clock was ticking and we knew we needed to figure this out quickly.  So, we arranged a trip out to the Island to meet with realtors and builders and check out the options.

As it happened, sometime after Joan and Doug had (re)introduced us to Fairwinds a few years earlier, they had decided to make the move there themselves.  Yes, it truly was an enticing a place!  Gratefully, we stayed with them for the long weekend we were there.

Once again, Spirit steps in …

During our trip out there, we had many meetings, discussions and brainstorming sessions with builders and realtors, but just nothing was falling into place, nothing felt right. 

Although I didn’t understand this at the time, I have since learned …

SPIRIT LESSON

When you keep coming up against roadblocks, this is a sure sign that the right option has not yet presented itself … and patience is called for.

Fortunately, we seemed to know enough not to force anything and, unsure what to do next, we prepared to fly back home.  But Spirit was working on our behalf behind the scenes …

Over breakfast before heading to the airport later that day, Doug joined us in the kitchen.  He was holding an information flyer he’d just picked up on a walk and handed it to us.

It advertised a home for sale … at the end of the street.  It was “For Sale by Owner” and had just been listed a few days earlier.  He suggested we might want to check it out.

Interesting … we had some time available before we needed to head to the airport, so why not?  We walked down the street to take a tour. 

Two hours later, we found ourselves sitting across from the owners, in their living room … negotiating a deal. 

The owners were building a house and needed flexibility on the possession date.  We weren’t moving in for a year so we had lots of flexibility to give.  We needed flexibility on price, and in exchange, they were prepared to offer it. 

Wow, who could have foreseen that??  Out of the blue … a deal that worked perfectly for both parties!

At that point, I hadn’t yet learned that things coming together quite beautifully for all involved is how it’s meant to happen … 

SPIRIT LESSON

When you follow Spirit’s lead, pursue opportunities, but have patience and go with the flow, things fall into place … a win-win for all involved.

Just a few small renos …

During the house tour, we realized there were some renos that we wanted to undertake.  Even if we’d only live there two or three years, we didn’t want to “make do.”  We’d done enough of that … time to enjoy life fully from here on in!

But one thing about Ron … he was never one to do things half-way.  Nor, it appears, am I.  A “few small renos” turned into a major overhaul.  Little did I know then how important those renovations would turn out to be.

So come February 2007, we took possession of the house and, from Calgary, kicked the renos into gear so it would all be done before we made the move in June. 

Let’s get on with it!

Our timelines were tight and my expectations were high.  I wanted to finish up my work, retire, get out of Dodge, and “start” living! 

Not one to dilly-dally, I gave us a whole five days after my last day at work before we packed up our life and moved … June 20th was moving day.

Trouble ahead?

As we approached our move date, questions started to emerge about whether Ron’s health may be taking a bit of a turn. 

Something was definitely off when we made an advance trip out to Fairwinds in late May.  We needed to transport one of the vehicles and some fragile belongings we didn’t want to trust to the movers.  Ron wasn’t quite as robust and strong as usual. 

Nonetheless, as I drove out the car, he drove the truck, towing a small trailer … 1,100 km (670 mi.) over the mountains and across the ocean by ferry.  So, surely, things were probably fine ….

Hope emerges

In early June, Ron decided to make one more visit to the oncologist before we left Calgary for good.  His symptoms were starting to make a little bit of noise … some discomfort in his abdomen but nothing significant. 

After his appointment, Ron told me the doctor gave him the name of an oncologist in Vancouver who had a treatment that might help.  We were to see him once we’d arrived out there.  We were encouraged and excited!

On our way … at last!

The logistical challenges of those few months were overwhelming … renovating from afar … winding down a twenty-five-year career … packing up a full house of belongings … including those of a man whose philosophy about material things was, “If one is good, then three (or four) is better” … and overseeing the move alongside a husband who was starting to tire more easily than usual. 

But the evening of June 20th, after a frantic day of last-minute packing and cleaning as the movers loaded the truck, we pulled out of the garage and were on our way.

The life together we’d long dreamed of was finally at hand and the future stretched invitingly before us.

What I didn’t see was the fork in the road looming just ahead ….

Categories: My Back Story

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