Monday, May 19, 2014

Where did the time go?

My, how time flies.

Two years ago, on the May long weekend, we flew into Baker Lake for the first time for our site visit, to help us decide if moving here was the right decision for us. It seems like it was ages ago that we first landed here, amazed at the ten foot snowdrifts but otherwise pleasant weather.

Here is a short re-cap of things we have experienced since arriving that we will treasure as memories for years to come:

Ice-fishing. Granted, ice-fishing is not exclusive to the Arctic, and is common enough in Ontario. However, if we were back home, I would expect to be in some sort of shelter, with a gas-powered auger, iPad, cell phone, radio, and a small BBQ for food. Manually carving a 7 foot hole, using rudimentary fishing poles (handles would be more accurate), and being completely disconnected from technology for a day was exhilarating and refreshing.

The Northern Lights. On the rare occasion when we did see them, they were breathtakingly beautiful, and did seem to dance in the air at times.

Square-dancing. I know what you're thinking - square-dancing happens all over Ontario. Trust me - you need to discard your understanding of square-dancing when you come up here. It's like the Ironman of square-dances. Baker recently hosted a tournament which drew teams from all over the region. The dancing was quasi-similar to the South, as was the music. The difference? 30 solid minutes of non-stop dancing. I think the winners should be the team that's still standing afterwards.

Blizzards. I know you folks in the South think you've seen blizzards. You haven't. Trust me.

Friends. We made a lot of friends while we were here, and we really lucked out with our neighbours, coworkers, students, and many other people in town.

On the flip side, there are a few Northern staples that we will definitely not miss when we do decide to leave. Chief amongst those are:

Not coming home to find one's house reeking of the smell of sewage;
Not paying exorbitant prices for food, air travel, and shipping costs;
Not seeing snow for 9 months of the year;
Not being unable to get home because the roads are blocked with 4 foot drifts of snow;
Not being ridiculously far away from our families and old friends (that's friends from before Baker Lake, not necessarily old-aged, although possibly also applicable);
Not having to worry as much about pedestrians ignoring oncoming traffic.

I'm sure there will be more recollections and pearls of wisdom as more time passes. For now, we are focused on today, but these memories will be with us forever.


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