Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is just the beginning

Hi Everyone,

I am Kelli and I am now in the Great White North of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada after relocating from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I had a friend encourage me to create a blog of my adventure newsletter I have been sending out for the last month to a few of my friends. So far there are only two newsletters...I can't believe I have been here for a month already...and so I am going to take his suggestion and begin this blog. This one may be a bit long, but as he suggested I should include a little background to bring everyone up to speed. So, I will try to keep this short, but at least set the scene before I leave you.

Well, the story opens with me becoming like many other Canadians, I lost my job due to the economy. Ahh, the day sucked, but I held onto the thought that everything happens for a reason and there is a reason for everything. So, I began my self-preservation and keeping a roof over the head of my son and my son's nanny, my Mom. (believe me when I say thank heavens for Mom's, they are the greatest creation in the world!). And the world does work out for the best as you will find as you read on.

I looked for work for 5 months putting out 55 resumes and received about 5 interviews. In the mean time I kept busy working part-time for a wonderful group of people at a pharmacy across the street from where I lived to try and tried to look on the bright side of life. I was stressed, but I just clung to the thought that everything would be ok in the end. I also leaned on a lot of shoulders during that time and talked to people that gave me some fantastic advice. Well, that 5th interview was with the company that I currently work for and I found myself moving to the Great White North. I was OK with everything because I felt that this was my dream job in a dream location. (Honestly, I even said that in my interview! Ask them, I really did!)

I have had opportunities to work in the north during the summers of my consulting career (8 years total) and fell in love with what I saw. Mind you what I saw was a lot of short trees because I had never been north of the treeline/arctic circle. But, I felt that this was my chance to live in the great white north. My son is young enough that he hasn't started school yet or he hasn't gotten highly involved in activities so it would be a life-building experience for him and me. I want my son to have the things that I didn't have (every parent's dream right?). I also wanted to experience a place that not many others get to see or experience in their lifetime for a variety of reasons. Never mind Hollywood, for this girl the north is where dreams come true :)

So, I accepted the job and had two weeks to pack and get ready to move to my new home. I undertook the preparations like a fiend and bought $2,000 of groceries that would have been shipped up on a barge. Yup, I said barge. The place I live in is supplied primarily by barge in the summer and think, pioneer times when it comes to food and fuel. I missed putting purchases on the barge so needed to put it in with my belongings to be moved. The company is paying to move 4,000 lbs (1,800 kg) and I didn't need to bring any furniture because the places you rent are primarily furnished.

Rent is $2,500/mo and it includes power, water, sewage, fuel, and garbage. And now I need to tell my readers that in the north due to permafrost and bedrock, everything is trucked to (or from) your house at least twice a week. Yup, it is time to put on sweaters to stay warm so that the heating fuel lasts, water conservation (when it's yellow let it mellow, you know the rest) and all of that good stuff. You can call to have them bring more when you need it, but my goal right now is to have more than I need with what I got.

Oh yes, and the house is up on stilts so as to leave the permafrost where it is. Thawing the permafrost is not a good idea as the water filled silt would just slide on into the bay and make a giant mess. This does make for an interesting time during windstorms. My first windstorm I was a little uncomfortable that the house shook when the wind blew. I don't know about you, but I get excited when the ground shakes/the house shakes...I think earthquake or tornado just like a good prairie girl. I have since learned that this is normal!! I am not is Kansas anymore Toto :P~~

The house is about a 5 minute walk from the office (a nice saunter in the am and pm) and close enough that when the winter winds blow I can make it fast! The house looks out at the bay and is south facing so we will be able to enjoy the sun when it is here. I guess I should mention that Cambridge Bay has 8 weeks in the winter that have NO SUN. Yes folks, NO SUN for 8 weeks...little apprehensive about that, but that is part of the stuff that sounded exciting about living in the north. On the up side I get 8 weeks of sunshine in the summer so life does balance itself out :P~~

Right now I have a roof over my head, the clothes on my back and food to eat. In further postings you will begin to understand how important those three things are. As a good author I do need to leave you wanting more right? LOL

My goal is to post something every Friday so that everyone can come on this adventure with me. If it is from your armchair as you sit in the heat of the sunshine in your corner of the world, so be it. I will happily bring you along to see the world that I see here. It is amazing and you have no idea what you are in for. I only had an idea and it has surpassed that, in many good ways.

I hope to see you all back next week for the next posting on my adventures in the north. And indulge me for a moment when I thank all of my family and friends for all of the support that they gave me over the last 6 months. They are a group of wonderful people that deserve part of (if not the majority) of the credit for what I am doing. I will bring them up individually in future blogs and I hope you learn how great they are.

Take care and enjoy the sunshine I don't have right now. (primarily cloudy, the water is freezing over, and we had snow on Monday)