Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To My Girl Who Continues To Rock The North

So, I noticed that my girlfriend Teri read my last blog, so this one is dedicated to her.

So, sit back and let me tell you a story...a story about how I met this wonderful woman that I have the honour of calling friend.

In 1999, my cousin was moving to Beaver Creek, Yukon to take a position of nurse practitioner.  She had 2 young boys and her job involved her being on call 24/7.  Her husband was remaining in Ontario for about 6 months to complete a course.  I had finished college and was just doing some babysitting locally.  They called and asked if I would be interested in coming up North for 3 months to babysit.  Heck yeah, it was going to be a great experience and not cost me much money to go.  So, I made my first lengthy plane ride and landed in Whitehorse.  This was my first introduction of life in a northern town.  The airport in Whitehorse is not large by any means and the fact that arrivals and departures all mingle together gives you a good idea.  I met my cousin Lori and we headed out to Beaver Creek.  It's about a 6 hour drive and this was September, so tourist season is winding down and it's a long, lonely stretch of road.  The sights are beautiful and every time I see a show about the Yukon or Alaska, I get TERRIBLY home sick!!

Beaver Creek has a population of about 100, and it's on the Alaska border.  It's the most western community in Canada.  The community is very tight knit and more like a family.  There is an airport, arena, school, post office, bank, nurses station, church, 2 restaurants, motel, RCMP and probably a few other things I am forgetting at the moment.  Now, who would choose to live in a community like this?  Aside from a number of government employee's, most everyone else is native or is there with family.  I met Teri at a bingo night at the community centre and was instantly " in love"  It was so nice to meet someone close to my age, who wasn't married and was willing to hang out.

Not unlike a number of people living in the Yukon, my 3 months turned into 6, which turned into 2 years.  I had a number of different jobs, and proper training wasn't always necessary, just a willingness to do the job and be available the days they need you.

Over the time I was there, Teri and I got closer and spent most of our waking hours together.  We spent my last summer there hanging out with the younger, summer staff from one of the hotels and another woman, Hazel, who was also our age and filling in as Nurse Practitioner.  Teri and I would go for regular "critter runs", turn up my Shaggy CD or some Uncle Cracker.  We would stop dead in the middle of the highway for any animal we spotted.  My memories of my time up there are endless and will make me smile until I am old and gray.

So, my long term goal is to save up some money and drive on up there again.  When the kids are a bit older and my husband gets a few more weeks of holidays, that is my plan.

Finally, in 2001, it was time for me to return home to Ontario.  I missed my family terribly and my mom had some health concerns going on.  But I missed all my adventures and the constant chatter with my friend.  I eventually met my husband and Teri was my maid of honour at my wedding. The short time she spent in Ontario was fantastic and we picked up right where we left off.  I so desperately wanted to return the favor and be at her wedding, but that just couldn't happen for me, plus I am not as proficient as Teri at finding awesome seat sales.

It's been almost 6 years but I know if I saw her tomorrow it would be like I just saw her yesterday.  It's not often you find friends like this...the ones you know you can trust and call on anytime.  The ones who know you care and think about them, even if you don't touch base too often.  I have a couple other friends on this list and that makes me fortunate.

So Teri, this one is for you and know that I do love you like a sister and think of how you are doing every day!

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