Beginnings
 
July 1, 2008, my daughter, her father, and I packed up our belongings and headed north. For some reason, my friends and family weren’t surprised. I was...kind of. Just ten months prior I sent the following email to my daughter’s father:
 
Aug 25, 2007
 
I have been thinking a lot lately about living in Vancouver and
feeling like it would be ok but thinking of owning a house and having
some space. I feel really frustrated about the cost of living in Vanc.
and never being able to own a home. Also, wanting some more peace,
quiet and garden space. I thought I would just mention this to you to
see what you think. I see families in the city working their lives
away so they can "keep up" and I don't want to do that...and I know
you don't either.  There just seems no way of getting ahead in
Vancouver. I am committed to keeping our family together so if it
means living in Vanc until Quinn graduates I will do that but if we
could somehow support each other if we want to make the move to a more
affordable rural place I would do that too. I don't even have a
preference as to where to go ......I realize a lot of that would
depend on work availability............
 
Let me know what you think..............
 
Kat
 
I am not sure I could have imagined exactly how far 1425 kilometers was until the second day of driving - and we were only two thirds of the way there. It wasn’t long before I felt in my gut that I wouldn’t be back to Vancouver anytime soon, nor would I have friends drop by for a visit anytime soon, if ever. I had to remind myself that I had willingly made this choice.
 
I needed space,
    wild abandon,
        clean, fresh air.
          
I was feeling trapped in the city - like I couldn’t get OUT - out of the concrete, crowded, industrial, commercial, commuting frenzy...I was on a treadmill that kept speeding up and I couldn’t get off if I wanted to live independently and support my daughter. I felt like I was drowning, everything became a chore...
I was tired.
 
I was heading to a part of British Columbia that was foreign to me. I had never lived in the north, nor would I ever have dreamt of it even a couple of years ago.  But I also couldn’t have known how truly magnificent this place is. Terrace is situated within the north-south Kitsumkalum-Kitimat Valley. It  is bordered to the west by the Coast Mountains and to the east by the Hazelton Mountains. The Skeena River flows in a narrower valley from east to west (Gottesfeld, 1985).
 
 
After living here for a few months I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
 
 
We landed on the shores of Lakelse Lake
 
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 
- it is what I craved - wild, raw and open. We put all of our belongings in storage and camped at the Lake for three weeks. I wondered why I pack so much ‘stuff’ to fill my home so that I feel burdened down. I felt so free and longed for nothing but I also felt vulnerable as I was in a time pregnant with change - like I was living in the ecotone.
 
“I stayed in Vancouver for seven years, living in a landscape of cars and buildings and noise and exhaust fumes, when I left, it seemed odd to me that I lived somewhere for so long and still couldn’t find anything about it to love. I loved so much of what I did there: classes at the university, playing with my grandson at the park on Sunday afternoons, going for coffee with friends at the small crowded coffee shop down the street, movies, sushi with the family on Friday nights but I couldn’t love the city itself nor could I find any place in it to which I could feel connected” (Armstrong, 2007, p. 238).