Come in number nine, your two years are up….

The majority of our possessions are loaded for their journey to Canada by sea

Not that we’re going back, you understand, but there was once an idea that we would only be living in Canada for a trial period of two years. After all, we managed fine with only two years (give or take) in every other place we lived as a family. It seemed like long enough while we were there – time for the kids to settle in and make friends, time for us to find new friends too, learn where the good places were and visit them enough, not long enough to tire of the entertainments on offer, and just the right time to leave before you gain too many responsibilities (school council, parish council, Sunday School leader, Prime Minister…)

But that was Air Force thinking. In the RAF they move you every two years (if you’re an officer) so that you can get wider experience. Or, if you have a cynical view of things, so that you don’t have enough time to do any serious damage in whatever post you’ve been given. Two years is long enough for the competant to improve a bad situation, but not long enough for an idiot to wreck something that’s working.

The interesting thing was discovering that civilian life is much slower. When we did our two years in Bournemouth, living out in the wilds with real civilians, we found that two years WASN’T enough time. In the real world, without the common experience of living behind the wire, folks make friends more cautiously. They don’t hand out the jobs in the community that make you connections until they’ve got to know you, whereas in the Forces, with folks on the move all the time, you can find yourself on three committees before you’ve unpacked.

So that was useful experience that changed our ideas about this sojourn in Canada. Five years, then, five years and we’ll see where we are. But you know what? In five years, Tiniest Weasel will be coming up for the end of Elementary school, and Middle Weasel will be in High School, and Eldest Weasel will be…I don’t know, working as a vet, singing on streetcorners or designing rocket ships. It doesn’t look like there’ll ever be a convenient point to disengage from our life here in Canada and go back to the UK. And I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t want to.

Much as I love my friends and family back in the UK (and I do miss them, pretty much on a daily basis) I really, really love living here. It’s hard to believe it’s two years, hard to believe it’s a year snce I wrote this because the time has flown. We’ve moved twice, found schools and jobs, made a bundle of new friends and taken on some responsibilities, learned new skills and done a lot more camping than I’m comfortable with.

Life is going to keep changing and challenging, but as far as I’m concerned, it can challenge me here for a good long time to come – I’m done with moving for now, and I’m certainly done with moving to different countries. Don’t bet on me being in this house in  twenty years (to be honest, I think it’s lucky to have stood for seventy!) but I wouldn’t put money on me being back in the UK either.

What’s your biggest adventure? What are you doing now, that you would never have imagined when you were younger?

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5 responses to “Come in number nine, your two years are up….

  1. What I wouldn’t give for some Air Force thinking…just a little, mind you.

    Here’s the deal: I’ve lived within the same 5-mile radius since 1980. Seriously. I’m so frustrated, because when my then-husband and I contemplated moving before kids, we came to the mutual conclusion that Reno was our home for raising our children. Well, 10 years later, he left and I’m stuck here. Ugh.

    I even had a chance to intern at CNN in Atlanta when I was in college…but I passed that up to pursue my career, which led me to meet my husband … and we all know how that ended!

    So I would give my right thumb to move. Well, perhaps not, but pretty close. I long for adventure now, but now, I’m TRAPPED!

    So while I’m so glad you’ve found stability, I just want the opposite: just a little adventure would be nice!

    Oh well. Perhaps when I’m 47 and an empty nester… 😦

  2. I never imagined I would be blogging, tweeting, and on facebook. One year ago I was dragged on to Fb by my cousin, kicking and screaming the whole way. Surely I would be targeted by predators and unsavories of all kinds… or I’d make some gaffe and be laughed off the world wide web.
    None of that’s happened!
    I *gulp!* volunteered to coordinate a workshop at my local RWA’s chapter’s writers’ conference in Atlanta, and that FORCED me to get networking savvy — FAST! Not only that, but all the authors I worked with were kind enough to give me the time and understanding I needed to get up to speed. A week ago was the launch of my blog, another one of those things I never expected to do. And it is an adventure unto itself.
    We had a phase in our life where we moved frequently… it’s exciting, but it can also be unsettled. I hope you and your family enjoy being in one place for a while; it’s nice to be known and make your mark in a place. Roots.
    Just like on the internet.
    I like it here! Will come back to visit! Is that a moose in the red car??? !

  3. I hope Eldest Weasel becomes a vet, building a rocket ship that she flies in with her animals transporting them to the streetcorners of the moon where she does a one woman singing act every Friday night. I’d like two tickets please.

  4. I lived overseas once before. I was young, poor, and lonely, and after returning home I always hoped that I could do it again one day – but with someone. I never, in all my wildest dreams, could have imagined that it would be Vietnam. I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked, and asked myself “Who moves to Vietnam?” But, it’s been, and continues to be, a great adventure. I’m looking at the end of his contract in October and occasionally find myself thinking that is too soon.

    I’m glad you have decided to stay put for a while. I wonder where my next home will be…

  5. Ahhh, another thing we have in common. Hubby is working in California, has been for the last 7 years. I am in Idaho, with the youngest weasel. We managed to still have a marriage even though I only see him 100 or so days out of the year. All of this changes in May. Youngest will be off to college, and we will be, alone, together…. dum dum dum (sings off key) Hearing the theme to Jaws, when the shark approaches?! Yeah, it is definately going to be an adventure. Learning to be married, and not two married people living two different lives. I have gotten a lot more independent over the years so, when he says “my way” he may get a pie in the face….. LOL! No, I believe that everything will be fine and if not, I may come for a visit! 😀

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