It has been a very busy few months of boxing, organizing, and fresh starts.
We have packed up and relocated to a stunning, friendly, little town of 5,700 people. To put that in perspective, when I lived in the metro Chicago area, I was surrounded by 9.5 million souls. GTA? Around 6 million. Luckily, I enjoy a quiet life, so the change is not too drastic so far.
So, here I am living in Brayon territory training my ear for a very different dialect. It's French, yes. 82% of households here have French as their mother tongue. But it's also a living, breathing, colourful mix of French, English, and a mystery ingredient I've yet to identify. It's not just chiac as many suggest - it is its own non-acadian thing. And that thing is damn hard to follow for an Anglo like me! At least chiac has a strong English mix I can follow, like "watcher un movie" and "parker mon car".
But, I'm trying and I'm learning. It's rare to hear English or even fragments of French I understand when out and about, so it's like there's a constant noise buffer around me when we're shopping. There's a soft wall of conversation my curiosity can't lean against.
One thing is for sure - news travels fast in this town. We were out shovelling a few days ago and met one of our neighbours who already knew where Nancy works and what she does. He already knew what kind of dog we have, that she's very friendly, and not that old. That I work from home. The grapevine grows on the neighbourhood watch signs here. It's somehow refreshing, though. We were a little concerned about being a female couple in a small town, but have yet to face as much as an eyebrow raise from the locals. If anything, that we're vegetarians attracts more attention.
I'm enjoying life here so far. It's a little more challenging for my social fiancée in that she doesn't yet have a group of like-minded people to run with, but it'll come. We are meeting good people, and although we miss our SJ friends very much, social life here will become more familiar and comfortable with time. Plus, our friends in SJ HAVE SAID THEY WILL VISIT. ahem. reminder.
The cold is something we all have to get used to. The temperature has bounced around and on warmer days we snowshoe, but we've had windchill in the negative 30s nearly every day since Christmas and it's hard not being able to exercise the dog. And hard for the pooch to behave with so much bubbling potential energy. It's -18 today, so Abbey and I bundled up for an hour-long trek. We are both much more satisfied because of it. Her frozen, eyeless teddy bear may tell a different story.
One thing that concerns me about the weather here is the threat of summer. People keep telling me it nears the +40s on occasion and I am just not built for that kind of heat. I become a bumbling, confused mess in the heat. We're renting for now, so hopefully by the time that menace rolls around, I'll be living in a place with air conditioning!
Nothing to report on the MS side. I'm doing well unmedicated. I feel as strong as ever and am hoping that trend continues. Vitamin D, CoQ10, curcumin, B12 - 6-7 servings of fruit and veg a day. I know with a wedding on the horizon that this year may bring some undue stress, but we're trying to plan ahead to mitigate it.
Here's to new beginnings!