It's been 3 months now since we moved from our home in Nunavut to our new life in New Brunswick so I thought it might be time for the inevitable 'I'm not in Nunavut' anymore post. All the Northern bloggers do one sooner or later. It's a right of passage. A sort of closure for that part of your blogging career. I've been putting off writing this post for a while, in the mean time taking notes of things to add when something jumped out in my mind. For a long time the list consisted only of things that were good about not being up there anymore but now with some time and the perspective of hindsight, I have a list of things I'll miss too. So without further ado....
Southern things that are hard to get used to-
-Not having a years groceries at any given time. It seems I get a little snaky if I don't have at least 50 boxes of Kraft Dinner and 10 bottles of taco sauce in my pantry. I have designated one closet in my house as our 'sealift closet' and try and keep a small stockpile if our most used items.
-Recycling- When I moved north I was so hard to get used to throwing everything out. I felt dirty seeing pop cans and cardboard in a garbage can. I'm now astounded at how little garbage we actually accumulate in the run of a week once you sort out the recyclables. The downside is adding the disposal of the sorted items to your already busy schedule but I don't mind. I think I have to be extra dilligent to counterbalance all the garbage I left in the north.
-High def TV. It's just too much! I'm used to it by now but the first few weeks I found it rather distracting.
-Working 9-5. Well, not quite. Nick is working shift work so it's not 9 to 5 by any means but he has a schedule and is not ever on call. If he has the weekend off he knows he'll be able to plan something without the likelihood of being called out at any given moment. The phone never rings at 3am and a family event or supper is never interrupted by someone else's problems. It's nice having that stability.
-Choices- I'd come to rely on the ease of having little or no choice in where I shop or what I can buy. There is something freeing about accepting that you don't have much choice so you live with what you can get or you do without. Having so many stores to choose from and sites that you can afford the shipping from is sometimes overwhelming.
Things that I miss:
- The beauty of the north. I love the trees and the beauty New Brunswick has to offer but I will always miss the breathtaking views of the fiord out my front window.
-The unique experiences- When will I ever again get to stand on the tail of a whale, do a polar dip in July in the arctic ocean or participate in a northern style parade on Canada Day.
-The laid back lifestyle- A friend once coined Nunavut as her frozen Jamaica which I realised quickly was a very apt description. Everybody and everything runs on Nunavut time which is rarely on time and never predictable. While that took some getting used to it was one of the charming characteristics of northern life.
-Family Dinners- This is a little contrary to what I said earlier in this post but I miss sitting down to eat as a family every night. Even though Nick was always on call we did manage to spend the vast majority of our suppers together. With both of us working and the kids spending lots of time at their grandparents it seems we only sit down together maybe twice a week these days. That's something I'm working to change.
-The kids being able to run loose. I was recently showing pictures of my time in the north and there was a picture of Oliver being carried by an elder during Aboriginal Day celebrations in Cape Dorset. He would have been about 5 months old. My friend asked who the lady was and I said I have no idea. She was someone who saw that O was getting cranky while I was trying to do face painting and just picked him up to help me out. She said really? You let someone just take your baby? I can understand why people down here would find that shocking because I'm sure you would never do that here. I'm also sure they would never let their 2-1/2 year old run around all of Canada Day with kids they don't know and not being at all panicked if I looked up and he wasn't in the same place he was 2 minutes ago. The sense of community parenting was strong in both Cape Dorset and Pang. I couldn't go to the store without someone adjusting my amauti or asking how the kids were. I guess the fact that a random white kid living with an Inuit family would attract alot of attention should someone actually attempt a kidnapping also takes alot off a mother's mind.
-The Northern Lights and 24 hour daylight. The daylight might be a surprise to people who can't imagine dealing with that. Don't knock it till you try it, I would have taken that with me in a minute.
One thing that hasn't changed:
-Monitoring water usage- Now it's because we have to pay for the water we use instead of just worrying about running out but it's still something we think about every day.