Universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are, it’s the right place … and the right time. Pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born. … I will tell you a great secret, Captain. Perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are starstuff, we are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective. Delenn — Babylon 5
Since I left Abbotsford in February, after the RV show, I’ve felt a bit lost and adrift. For the first time in two and a half years, I had no idea where my life was going. I hadn’t made any plans beyond the RV show so that I would be open to any opportunities that came from it. Nothing did. So I drifted through the American northwest until an invitation made me set a course to Lethbridge, Alberta.
I don’t believe I’ve really expressed on this blog my belief in fate, in destiny, that everything happens for a reason. Well, I do believe in the causality of events. So I knew that a reason for landing in Lethbridge and so firmly entrenching myself here would manifest itself. And it did, in bits and pieces that came together with an openness of mind and which stuck together with one binding factor: health care availability.
It’s no secret that I have felt poorly for a long time but have never really had access to any sort of meaningful health care in the form of a family physician with whom I could build a long-term relationship and get to the root of what ails me. And then I arrived in Lethbridge, got Alberta health coverage (literally took one minute once I had my license!), and in only two phone calls, I had a family physician!!! I had no idea as I dialed those ten digits that my priorities would suddenly shift. It was time to take care of my health. There was no longer any excuse not to.
So remaining in Lethbridge over the course of the 2011-2012 winter became an obviously, and painless, decision. This is exactly where I need to be, and stay, for the time being. And, suddenly, there is direction again to my life. Unless something crops up after my physical, I can chart the next couple of years of RVing adventures. I would like to pull out Lethbridge at the beginning of April, fully a year after arriving, and finish off the winter in the US as I head east. A summer in Quebec and perhaps the Maritimes, a winter in the US, then back to Alberta and a journey north through the province to the one Canadian destination still on my bucket list: Yellowknife, NWT.
This decision to ultimately spend a year in Lethbridge does not compromise my vision for my ideal life and I do not believe it makes me any less of a full-time RVer. I dreamt of greater freedom and a life without borders when I began to plan my nomadic existence. I cannot imagine any other way that I could have done these last three years with so little money. How else could it have been possible for me to move to Yukon and back, much less settle so cheaply in Lethbridge for a year and pull out so effortlessly? Moreover, it is only through full-timing that I have been able to find the perfect place to resolve my health issues. The fact that I am in Alberta alone speaks to how much I have grown; two years ago I would never have considered this province for residency!
If I have to spend another winter in Canada, then I am in the only place I would want to do it. I like Lethbridge and look forward to a sunny winter more than I dread the cold. And, truth? Oh, I do miss those crisp twenty below days and the sound of snow crunching underfoot! Even if I could afford to be a BC resident, I could not handle another sodden grey winter there! I am getting excited at the thought of exploring Lethbridge’s miles of walking paths with my snowshoes. I still have a good winter wardrobe, missing only a pair of boots, so equipping myself won’t be too painful.
Now, I’m sure you all have questions, the most pressing one of which is what, praytell, am I doing with Miranda this winter?
Well, one of the things that happened to me in the last three years, and which probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the RV park in Oliver, is that I’ve grown a backbone and have learned to ask for what I need. Work is giving me a discount on a bachelor suite for the winter and will be furnishing it for me with the basics I’ll need: table, chairs, sofa, computer desk and chair, microwave (I’ll bring in my pallets and mattress for a bed). I will also be able to park Miranda outside the building, tucked away safely out of the traffic, with access to a plug so I can run a heater all winter. Having access to a compressor, I’ll be able to blow my water lines and then properly winterize the plumbing system. Another project will be to move the 15A solar panel to the truck battery to keep it charged. Other than that, I plan to remove any liquids from the rig, keep cabinets open, and periodically switch out the heater for the dehumidifier if needed. And, of course, I will watch for snow on the roof!
The toad will need winter tires and I am asking around for a set of used ones to resell in the spring. I might need a block heater, too, but I did without in Quebec so I’m not convinced they are necessities in Alberta. Work will be two flights of stairs from home and every service I could need except Walmart is within walking distance so I really won’t need to drive that much.
Perhaps without the stress of trying to keep comfortable in an RV this winter, and with a solid, stable source of income, I will have the time and energy to focus on writing another ebook, update Full-Time RVing in Canada, and write more RVing articles.
I am completely at peace with the winter that is shaping up. When I set out from Ottawa three years ago, I had no idea what I was heading into or how my life would turn out. I opened myself to new experiences, people, and places, and have emerged stronger and enriched. I feel blessed.
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
— Albert Ellis
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