Our little world anyway. Of course it turns daily, on its small pivot. The daily round of cook and clean, the conversation over morning coffee. But it's about to spin 180 degrees.
As much as we have loved it here, and regret leaving neighbours who have become valued friends, we've made the decision to return to Calgary. Many reasons, which I will not belabour, but we are looking forward to being close to Ian, and paradoxically, to Zak and Mandy, since they can combine visits to her family and us.
So we are looking for a condo in Calgary and will put the Beach House up for sale. Hopefully a new owner can be found who will love the flowers and garden, and enjoy the deck, as well as the glorified tin can itself.
Ian is serving as leg-man in Calgary, looking at condos and video-taping them for our inspection. Zak is coming in a couple of weeks to help purge and pack. Everything not essential to daily living will be packed, lots of extra flotsam will be tossed, donated and freecycled. (Amazing the amount of stuff one collects as soon as the wheels stop rolling.)
These four years have been an interesting experience. A good RV park is a community which you settle into, quickly or over time, depending on the situation. At Bel Air we were treated as old friends the day we arrived, as people came and went with the seasons and the atmosphere was very much "Hail fellow well met!".
Here the permanent residents are much more stable, many having been here for 10+ years, and though everyone was friendly and helpful from the first it took longer to find our place. But find it we did, and this has been a wonderful place to live. But we've realized that it's the community around you which makes a situation livable. We lived in a building in Calgary for 11 years, and got to know one neighbour in all that time. You might as well live on a desert island like Robinson Crusoe in one of those buildings.
So while looking for a place to buy in Calgary we found that there's an interesting form of housing there which is not available here. A development company has built four condo buildings with age restrictions - 55+ or 60+. These four buildings offer a wide range of amenities. Each resident owns their condo - an apartment with a complete kitchen, bath, bedroom, living room etc. but all share the building's common amenities. There are daily social activities, a bus for shopping trips, exercise, games and craft/hobby rooms. There's a library and a media/computer room. There are gathering places with comfy chairs, big screen TVs, fireplaces, and a dining room where you can have dinner if you don't feel like cooking. Each building adjoins a park with walking paths.
It's this kind of unit in a community that we are looking for. Alas, along with the age restrictions these buildings have pet restrictions. Only certain areas in each of the buildings will allow a cat and so far we haven't found the perfect match. But we will, or at least we hope so. The realtor just e-mailed to say the second of the three available buildings has enacted a new by-law and now doesn't allow pets. It's frustrating to say the least.
So, while we pack and purge and keep up a constant stream of e-mails with the realtor, the banker and Ian, we remind ourselves not to be sad or anxious that this wonderful phase of our lives is ending, or to worry about finding a new home, but instead to look forward to new challenges, new friends, and a new chapter in our ever-evolving adventure.