Sand and Soul

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I know, again with Alberta. Why?

We weren’t ready to extend our wings fully for the east coast. With all of Canada to choose from, we were looking for the easiest home to get into. At the end of January 2019, we were ready to leave San Diego and drive north to cross the border, but it was still too cold for comfort.

Comfort is a huge consideration of RV life. We weren’t living on the cheap. We had to pay for our electricity on top of the monthly rate. We weren’t parked on a large site. We looked out our windows into the next RV, and we could hear most of what went on inside neighbouring units. Comfort came with visits to the beach.

We were far enough south that we had escaped wintery conditions like snow, but San Diego was getting higher than average volumes of rain. There was also frost on the truck windshield in the morning. We started one morning off with a beach vlog (trust me, these vlogs are coming). The sand was freezing cold. My bare feet went numb, but I enjoyed having the sand against the soles of my feet. I even walked in the water to feel the waves washing against me.

When we returned home to the Coffee House after the beach, the reality was that we were too far in distance from buying another home. All we could do was look online.

“Kitschy” was for sale in Warner, Alberta. The front street was lined with red wagon wheels, and inside the house, smaller bronzed wagon wheels were hung as chandeliers. It was the wallpapered kitchen cabinets and the wood paneling, and the built-in cabinets in the dining room that caught my eye. Pastel yellow mixed with harvest gold and brown willow branches. I could not take my eyes off of the mix of wallpaper and paint.

The house was in good shape. There was a carport out front and a small garage in back. There was deep shag carpet in the master bedroom. The bathroom had this incredible pink and grey stamped tile, iconic for the age of the house.

The price was right, especially since we didn’t see a need to gut the place to remove all of its charms. We saw the fun in those vintage features. The only thing I wanted to remove were all of the wagon wheels.

While we were communicating with the real estate agent in Warner, we were also sending emails back and forth with an agent in Nova Scotia. The visits to Mission and Pacific Beach reminded us both that a cold day near the water was always going to win over a chinook in the middle of an Alberta winter. We started listening to what our souls were in search of. That narrowed down Canada to the east and west coasts.

Next up is Gold River, BC. We briefly considered moving back to Vancouver Island, and into a mobile home park.

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  • Mountains? Forest? Rivers or Ocean? For Jamie and I, we feel at home near the sea.

  • How far would you move to have more freedom? To change your lifestyle? I certainly fought against a move across the country. This quote from Francis of Assisi sums up what we’ve done: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; suddenly you are doing the impossible.” It’s a tasty elephant once you can appreciate one bite at a time.

  • At the end of January, we were two weeks from packing up and leaving San Diego to start the last leg of our US travel. Sure, the months did not pass without struggle and heartache, but we proved to ourselves we could do anything together.

Janet KittoComment