Making All Things New

Classes started up again last week. I think. But I’m all done school [for]now.

Three years ago I was back to school for a new degree. I was meeting new friends for the very first time and getting settled in a new city in a province I hadn’t lived in for nearly 20 years. And now I’ve been seeing pictures from friends gathered around in fellowship together and it feels strange not being there.

Instead, I’m across the country sitting in the office I’ve been sitting in since June. At work.

Three years ago, I was not thrilled to leave Victoria to return to Ontario. Yes, I was anticipating seminary and all that might bring, and I was looking forward to living closer to family members I’d never lived closer to than a 4-6 hour drive. But I didn’t really want to leave the life I’d made on the Island.

And now I’m back in Victoria. It is a completely different life than I left and than I thought I would come home to. I find myself missing London! (I’ll change my tune when winter hits.) I miss the family there. I miss the friends at school. I miss some of the places.

It really hit home a week an a half ago when one of my former coworkers in London suddenly and unexpectedly died. Friends gathered at the home of another coworker to tell stories and I felt pretty isolated on the other coast. Yet amidst that, I had some amazing conversations with former coworkers that I hadn’t spoken with since we moved.

And in the middle of it all, all things are being made new. We have a new home in a new city with new jobs doing new things that we hadn’t imagined three years ago. We’re making new memories together and exploring new places. And that is pretty great.

#yyjsnowapocalypse

For those of you not in the Twittersphere, the title of this entry is a Twitter hashtag. What is a hashtag, you may ask? It is a way to create groupings on Twitter. For example, people “tweeting” in Victoria often use #yyj to signify that the content of that tweet relates to the city of Victoria. YYJ is our airport code.

Monday, the Victoria hashtag of choice, however, was “yyjsnowapocalypse”. Plain and simple, this means that when it snows, we freak out while the rest of the country enjoys a good laugh at our expense. What constitutes a snowstorm in Victoria has the rest of the country merely increasing the speed of their windshield wipers. Jack Knox, of the Times-Colonist, wrote a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek piece about this in his article last week.

Consequently, I’ve devised a step-by-step guide to Victoria’s snow weather:

  1. Environment Canada issues “Heavy Snowfall Warning” for the region.
  2. Mass hysteria and panic ensues: salt and snowshovels sell out, stores close early, people leave work early, a run on tire shops occurs as people rush to get tires installed.
  3. The first few snowflakes fall.
  4. Hysteria continues and the weather is now all that we can talk about.
  5. It continues to snow. Perhaps a collected accumulation of 4-6 cm.
  6. Public transit is running 1 hour behind on the routes which are still open. Many routes are suspended or have altered routes.
  7. CRD Police forces close down certain roads, specifically anything with a slight incline or decline.
  8. Anyone who did not  already leave work early, does. Shops close, meetings are cancelled. Taxis make do a roaring business driving everyone who was too afraid to drive their own car home.
  9. Three days later, the city is still reeling and Gillian is still riding her bicycle.

The World as Best as I Remember it

The last two weeks have gone by so fast that I’m not really sure what happened. Last Tuesday I could have sworn that I had only gotten home from Montreal the night before; apparently it had been the previous week. I’m still trying to figure out where the last five days have gone.

  • My aunt from Montreal was here visiting for a few days, we went to the art gallery (good exhibits going on right now, Victorians), wandered downtown, saw a movie, climbed a mountain…
  • I started a new course, one which I am not thrilled about but am trying to make the most of. Maybe I’ll finally get that A+ I’ve been trying to get.
  • Random note about that course (research methods) – the prof goes by the same name as my UVic stats prof which is kind of weirding me out.
  • These next two weeks are going to be psycho chaotic with course work plus the last two weeks before the big conference on the 28th/29th. It is not to late to register and you know you want to come!
  • The weekend was great,  but too short. Britt, Kelsey, and I had our first road trip of the summer and it was great fun! Bamfield is lovely and since the resident soothsayer decreed that I will return to Bamfield, I suppose I must. We had a pig roast (like a whole pig on a spit turning over the fire), The Broken Group played the house down and people danced all night. The sun shone all day and the stars shone all night. I got in the first real stargazing of the summer.
  • I know I just mentioned them, but I get very happy inside whenever I think of the name of Bamfield’s resident band: The Broken Group. (For you non West Coasters: The Broken Group versus The Broken Group.)
  • Photos of the previously mentioned weekend are forthcoming. Maybe Friday.
  • I booked airmiles flights to Prince George today for my 10 year reunion this summer. Airmiles was the only way I was willing to go. I’m too cheap to pay full price to see people I only had one year in common with… But I’m stoked to see other friends and (quasi!)family when I’m there!
  • I started reading a new book yesterday. Its really good.
  • Ok. Back to the school work.
  • PS – bonus points for anyone who gets the obscure early 90’s Christian music reference in the title. No googling!