At the age of 50, I semi-retired from traditional employment and transitioned to being a full-time artist. I have the pleasure of spending every day in Birdsong Studio doing what I love. This blog was started almost a decade ago as a public accountability mechanism for a weight loss intention. It has grown into a number of different directions over the years. I hope you enjoy it.
Welcome to Okotoks
The deer stood on the side of the hill behind our new home, perfectly still, as if welcoming us to the neighbourhood. If you are one to believe in signs, I would think that was a positive one.
We arrived at our AIRBnB in south Calgary late last night, surviving the brutal rainstorm and terrible visibility. It’s hard enough playing follow the leader in a big city (Heather was in the lead vehicle); it’s near impossible during a torrential downpour. It reminded us of a driving journey between Cold Lake and Meadow Lake during a fierce winter storm. It was equally hazardous and harrowing.
After a quick breakfast, we drove the 20 minutes from our South Calgary sleeping spot to our new home at 74 Elma Street West in Okotoks. Walking into the home again for the first time since our initial visit, none of us were disappointed. Empty of furniture, it seemed even larger and lighter. The expansive mud room/laundry room was bathed in the morning light. The stairs going up to the bedrooms on the second floor were glowing a soft green as the light shone through the leaves on the majestic tree on Dr. James’s property next door.
The studio is still a work in progress, but it feels great. There is no doubt in my mind that after the installation of the cabinets, lighting, and bathroom, it will be perfect.
Carpet installers were hard at it today, ripping out carpets both upstairs and down. The previous owners had cats, and starting fresh was essential for Ben who has fierce cat allergies. They got a lot done today, enough to make it possible to move everything into place when the moving truck arrives tomorrow.
Shaw Cable was on site earlier than expected getting our Internet up and running (God bless Josh and Warren). The furniture guys were also early, bringing in the new dining room table, sofas, shelves and various other odds and ends.
I made a start at weeding the yard. I feel like the previous owners had a marvellous vision for the property. As both Heather and I love working outside, we’ll have things looking great in no time. I get the sense they just ran out of steam near the end. In a strange way, I’m glad there is a lot of outdoor work to do. It will inspire me to take lots of breaks in the great outdoors.
If today was a big day, tomorrow will be HUGE! The moving truck and over 150 boxes will arrive in the morning. Hany from 4 Seasons Moving thinks it could take about 4 hours to off load.
We are so grateful to Sean and Cornelia for the lovely plant and card. It was sitting on our front step when we arrived this morning. We also had a visit from Mike Gadde, a Calgary resident originally from Fort McMurray.
Our awesome realtor/contractor Rob dropped in to do a walk through with us. I even got a chance to meet a couple of neighbours already. Krystof and Michael were out front of 94 Take the Cake painting their fence. They are lovely people who waxed effusively about the wonders of the neighbourhood and the community.
It was a full first day of our next 20 years in Okotoks. Tomorrow we will spend our first night in 74 Elma Street West and begin the massive unpacking process.