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Finding the new you in Grande Prairie


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Enter, Grande Prairie Alberta~~The Big Move

I’ve wanted to write this for so long but…stuff happens.  Here I am now, my 2 1/2 year old is allowing me time on the computer while he watches Curious George….Oh wait, here he is.  Bear with me.

Right, here goes…Moving to Grande Prairie wasn’t a hard decision to make.  I had wanted to move from Toronto for some time and while we really, really wanted to live on the East coast, my brother told us how much he loved the ruggedness and newness of Grande Prairie. Neither of us had any particular attachments anywhere and are not daunted by the thought of a big move, so we gave it a shot.

As we had an eight month old at the time, my husband drove out here with my sister and her boyfriend and another friend and I stayed behind with baby Ang to pack and get stuff organized.  After they secured a place for us to live temporarily, he came back to help finish packing and we then flew out together. (Right here I have to give a shout out to Air Canada for being extremely helpful with the exception of the ticket agent that morning.  The pilot and co-pilot, the flight attendants etc, were all freaking awesome!!  I wish I could remember them by name.  They were helpful. they were resourceful and and they were kind.  I am grateful.) It was a relief and a joy to know we were starting fresh.  Don’t get me wrong, TDot is a wicked awesome city but, I’d had enough.  I had suffered from claustrophobia for the last few years living there.  I had begun a metamorphosis at some point and the city life just didn’t appeal to me any more.  My husband considered himself a city boy but had no particular attachment to Toronto and needed a change as well. So, off we were to Grande Prairie.

The trip went well.  My baby was adorable and traveled well for one so young. The drive to our new house from the airport was something else.  The cabbie got lost but I’m pretty sure it was on purpose so he would collect a higher fare. The landscape left much to be desired and the wind was blowing fiercely.  I thought we were in the middle of a hurricane or something.  I still haven’t gotten used to being out in the wind but, I now realize that no one goes out in the wind.  I’ve never stayed in for inclement weather before but you have to with the winds out here.  I should mention that I walk everywhere.  I am a pedestrian.  There are few pedestrians here, so really I’m the only one staying home because of the wind.  Everyone else goes about their business as usual in their enormous trucks.  I gotta learn to drive and get a truck:)

Most folks that come here get themselves a nice new home or condo.  Whether it is rented or bought, it is more than likely very newly built.  Our first home was no different.  It sucked big time sharing with our moving companions, we are used to our own space but, we only did it for a short time before moving 20 minutes north to Sexsmith. The home we rented in Grande Prairie was run by a property management group.  I can’t remember the name right now but, I will post it when I do.  What I can tell you is that many rentals are owned and or operated by people who the average person wouldn’t want to share a meal with.  They suck.  They suck so bad and leave a bad taste in your mouth.  They cheat you and rob you blind.  They take advantage because this is an oil town and they think everyone is rolling in dough.  I will admit that as it is a transient city, there are many who will rent a place and trash it before moving on, but shoooooot, the enormous rents more than cover that, not to mention, you never get your damage deposit back.  Our first home was no exception to the rule.  The woman who collected our rent was always late to pick it up and would never get her ass in gear to set up email money transfers and tried charging us late fees.  We could never get in touch with anyone else nor would she give us the address to her office.  She always appeared high and was generally awful to deal with.  None of the issues with the house were ever fixed including a falling down deck, broken oven, and smoke detectors.  We were so happy to move out of there!

Living in Sexsmith was nice.  My son was still in a phase where he napped 3 times per day and nursed every hour that he was awake.  Sexsmith was quiet and peaceful and got us through just perfectly.  We met lovely people and made friends with the wonderful women at the health food store as well as at the library. We lived in a little house on the prairie just as I had always imagined I might one day. Sexsmith was great for a year and then we moved back into GP, this time, into our own home.  Gosh, it sure felt good!  We bought a little bungalow with a huge backyard close to downtown and we love it here.  Our Realtor was our perfect match and we think of him fondly.Thanks again Kris!

So, that’s how it all happened.  I will share more details in up coming posts.  Peace.

(The pictures you see are of my little neighbour hood.   That gang of white tail deer often hangs out in front of my house.  Somehow they know how to cross the very busy street and make it to the other side unharmed.  I’m not sure if they will be a nuisance but noone bats an eye here.  I know in Toronto, a deer made it’s way down the Don Valley and ended up downtown and the cops were called.  So damn funny.)

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