Many moons ago, I lived in Vancouver, BC, in a pretty swanky neighborhood called Yaletown. If you know where that is, you’ll have a good frame of reference. Vancouver, BC is one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Look at the real estate listings if you have spare time. It will shock you! Rob met me there, way back when, and transplanted me to Arlington, WA years later. Culture shock? Uh, yes.
I was actually born in a smaller town just over an hour east of Vancouver, called Chilliwack. It’s a city in a valley (much like the Mount Vernon area, for you WA people!) and it’s pretty beautiful. It’s surrounded by mountains, in the summer you have multiple lakes to choose from, it’s close to major cities, but it still has a quieter, more simple feel. It’s boomed in the past 15 plus years though, so the growth there has been incredible to watch from far away. When I go home to my parents, I’m always astounded by the real estate and development. But it’s the same here in WA too. It’s quite surprising the buildings popping up everywhere you look, and the real estate going up and up and up…..
Rob and I met in Vancouver, in 2008, when I was 28 and he was 30. To make a long story short, which is hard for me, we pretty much fell in love on our first date. We were goners after that. Rob spent so much time driving back and forth, on the 5 hour long trip to see me (He lived in Omak, WA at the time) and he decided to make it official. A year later, we went on a vacation to New York, where he nervously asked me to marry him, on the rooftop patio of a beautiful hotel overlooking the city. It was exactly ‘me’, and what I had always dreamed of. We got married another year later and moved me across the border, into our first little apartment together in Arlington, WA.
(Newly engaged! On top of the Hudson on Madison in NYC! Nicely done Rob!)
I will share with you, that as a city girl at heart, with a lot of really nice shoes and purses, I probably didn’t understand how different it would be from my life in Vancouver. I had just gotten married, then jetted off to a fancy honeymoon in France. My rose colored glasses were on, and still had the price tag on them.
(Ahhh….so young…..I would like to insert here that I might put on my cathedral length veil now and again and prance around the house. Honestly, I have)
I will never forget waking up 24 hours later (jet lag) here in Arlington, with my new husband just leaving for work, and me….all alone in our apartment. I had my cat and my car and all my personal belongings, but I felt like I didn’t recognize anything or where I was. I cried. I’m not ashamed to say it. It finally hit me.
I probably spent the first few weeks being stunned, but after a while I put on my brave girl face and I would go out every day and go somewhere different. I’d drive around until I was lost, but then managed to learn the back roads better than a local, and figured out what to buy where. As similar as Canada and the USA are, there’s still some very big differences. I felt like I was downright stupid at times because I didn’t know ‘the drill’ for what was going on. Keep in mind, I wasn’t just wandering around like a crazy person, really. I was waiting for my permanent resident card, and then ‘greencard’ which took a while. So it took about 8 months before I could work, or in a lot of cases even volunteer here.
But then I got a job and met some pretty fabulous people. It was what I really needed to feel like I was part of this place, and could really settle in. It made me feel like I belonged, and the people I met there were so wonderful. I worked there for years, until I became pregnant and had our son, Judah, and decided to stay at home with him full time.
This little town of Arlington, WA has become home to us now, and I have grown to love it. I love the community that surrounds us, the honest to goodness, kind people, who live here. Our son was born here, and our lives are really unfolding in this small farm and ranch community, and the friends and people we have met have been wonderful. In these past 8 years it’s become home. Now we’re really putting down our roots and I would love nothing more than for Judah to grow up in one place, for his whole childhood, that he can really grow with and feel a part of. I had that growing up and I value it. It makes the idea of “Home” so much more defined.
So here we are. A country farm boy, named Robert, who is going back to his roots, a city girl from Canada who has a good collection of cowboy boots now lining her closet, with a beautiful horse to match them, and a little boy named Judah, who has so much discovering to do, and we cannot wait to see what he will find.
– The Homesteaders Wife
(My little Farmer Judah)