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Dex asking to please go home

It was twenty five years ago today that I landed in Oh Canada! with two drugged cats and a not very happy, unwelcoming husband. I had left my country, my friends, a paying job and, in retrospect, I could say my sanity as well. It was not an easy voyage up the highways from that life to land here. I should have taken drugs like the cats in the back seat who every few miles would let out a “Meowwwwwwwww.” not sure whether they liked all this or not — I totally sympathized with them. 

 

 

 

 

My first and best cat (don’t tell Rose) Milagros

Those first few days? Weeks? Months? Years? were not easy. I had to start all over again at age 49. To add to my “challenges” the day after arriving to an apartment with a musty futon matress on the floor and the exes’ daughter’s underwear in the bathroom, I was sitting on a pier at Swan Lake (aka Shadow Lake) with a bunch of tree-hugging environmentalist feeling even more homesick for brusk Americans and lawyers and pantyhose and pay checks and my job and all my friends.

Give me your tired…the day of my becoming an official resident of Oh Canada

But I survived — no I’ve done better than survive — I’ve learned a lot more about me here in Oh Canada than I did in Washington. I’ve had to recreate myself many, many times here. I — and he — weren’t so hot at the marriage part so after six years I became a divorcee on the same day I became an official citizen of Canada. I wore my little flag on my lapel as I rode the elevator up to sign the papers.

So I was on my own again. One of my brothers asked me if I was going to regain my sanity and move back to the states. I told him no because of two little words — Health Care. He didn’t get it.

I became a Master of Environmental Studies (I won’t even go into that — but the positive part of it was that I met my friend Lynda there who was a friend until her death this year. I wrote books, I became an “expert” on the life of office workers. So all those years of working as one paid off in a not-so-bad book and speaking gigs here and in the States. 

I muddled through to support me and the cats. I sold my skills — those I knew I had and those I pretended to have. I became a researcher and a book promoter and a college professor, and a project manager, and an English tutor, and a facilitator of workshops for newcomers and a transcriber and a job coach and a writer and The Excellent Cat Sitter. I never totally trusted all of the new reincarnations of Annie Eyerman but I did what I had to do. 

And best of all, during these 25 years I have met wonderful people, heart-felt good friends from all over this world. Canada, as my friend Leslie told me, has indeed been a good place to land. 

So is it home? I think so. If it just had a few members of my family it would be perfect. Anyway, Rose has let me know that she is a Canadian cat and she ain’t moving anywhere. Eh?