Jun 29, 2014

Moved again

We landed on our feet when we moved to Vancouver Island two years ago. The first place we found to rent was perfect, a lovely house in suburbs like no other, surrounded by the sea, five beaches and a small neighbourhood that resembled an English village. We were in a house that seemed like it was placed in the middle of a park, where deer, rabbits, raccoons and other animals would visit, including a resident owl that would hoot at us in the middle of the night. And flowers, there was an abundance of flowers, tall trees, and hummingbirds. One hummingbird hovered a couple of feet from my face one morning as if to ask for more food in the feeder. It was a thrill. The air was clear like pure oxygen, except for the odd ship motoring past on the far side of the trees. And though it was not a waterfront property, it was still a small paradise. It was quiet, real quiet. But we missed the vibrancy of downtown living. So we moved.

Victoria is a vacation town where cruise ships visit while on route to Alaska, each one letting off a small town's worth of people each summer morning. Other ships ferry people from Vancouver, Seattle and nearby Port Angeles, across the Juan de Fuca Straight; so our small city gets lively.

Except for living in the San Fernando Valley on the outskirts of Los Angeles and for a short while in the outer suburbs of Toronto, I have always been a part of a vibrant downtown culture. I like a safe city where you can walk or take a good public transportation, where busses are plentiful and they take you almost everywhere, where a car is a waste of money, except on those days when you crave a drive to the country. So we found a new home near Victoria's harbour area, in the heart of everything, surrounded by an old neighbourhood adjacent to the downtown core.

Of course, the noise level has risen. Seagulls squawk, cruise ships blast their horns, passenger ferry's sound their arrival and the hustle bustle of everyday city living makes itself known. I hear neighbourhood conversations, guitar picking from a nearby balcony, crow conventions. I smell coffee brewing, barbecues sizzling and the fresh aroma of horse dung from the sightseeing carriages that drive tourists around. I hear a small band entertaining at a local old age home. Construction and hammering is also factor, as others also want to experience the charm of downtown living.

It was a month ago that we moved and downsized to our rental townhouse. That was the most difficult part. We still have boxes everywhere. A few years ago, both my wife and I had large houses with lots of "stuff". We downsized to move in together, but somehow we still managed to hang onto too much, and we traveled from place to place with too much. This time we are determined to cull.

Downtown is filled with a cacophony of life. It was a wonderful move, indeed.