Official Announcement

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It has been lurking on the edges of my blog posts and conversations for the last seven months. It has been central in my mind for most of that time. This has made it difficult to post sometimes, when all I can do is think about something I'm not supposed to talk about. And now I am finally allowed to speak freely about it.

We are moving. Not just across town, or out to our property by the gun range. No. We are moving to Arkansas. As soon as our house sells.

Many of you know this already, but have been sworn to secrecy. Okay, the secret's out! You can stop changing the topic whenever anyone asks you about it!

Jason didn't want too many people to know about it, so word wouldn't seep back to his boss and co-workers before we were certain it would happen. However, his little trip a couple of weeks ago had the end result of a stamped and approved work visa for him, so that means we are going.

What are we doing? We will be going down to work for, and eventually take over (assuming our green cards go through) my mother's business, Wells 5 Star Equine Products. These are the products I have been selling on eBay for the last three and a half years at www.wintersdistributing.ca.

People keep asking me if I am excited. In all honesty, no. This is a big move, and although we know that this is what God would have us do, it is not what we would do if we could just obey the cry of our hearts. Some of our dearest friends are here. We are beginning to become better friends with some people we have wanted to get to know for the last two years. We don't know anyone in Arkansas other than my mom and Mike, and the few of their friends we can call our acquaintances. (Well, there are the people at 5 Star's shop, too, I guess.) While we only get to see our family a few times a year right now, that number will be going down to an average of once, maybe less for the first couple of years.

Moving is a lot of work, and this is by far the biggest move I will have experienced. While I know a few wonderful Americans, I am not excited about living in the United States. I am fiercely proud to be a Canadian, and I worry about my kids growing up without a strong Canadian identity--not to mention a Southern drawl! I'm sure every parent wants their children to speak like them, so although I know it is somewhat inevitable, it still saddens me.

If I felt like we had no roots tying us here to the Peace Country when we moved here, how much less will we have to hold on to when we are in a foreign land where none of our previous generations have walked? My great-grandparents lived in the States for a short time, but not so far south. At least here, we are still in Alberta, a place where our ancestors had a hand in forging it--some of my relatives even lived here in the North for short periods of time.

I have had "mourning moments" in increasing intensity, the closer we get to the actual move. Sometimes it is hard to remember why we are moving in the first place. I've started crying over the stupidest stuff--I've thought of sending thank you cards to the owners of the drug store that carries the soap I like, as well as the cod liver oil I like, and the apiary owners where we get our honey. Silly stuff like that, because I just know that it will be work when we move to source that stuff out again. At least my mother has already found a good source of raw milk and grass-fed meat, among a few other things. The health food store there is small, in a little old farm-house, but she actually carries a pretty impressive selection of stuff.

Today is one of those days where I am having a hard time finding the positive in this, but I will try, so those of you reading this don't think that there is absolutely no good reason for us to go there!

Reasons to move:

  • The opportunity to own our own, well-established and successful business, which will help us achieve the financial freedom we need to accomplish our other goals, like regular short- or long-term missions trips
  • Thanks to low housing prices (comparatively to here), our "get-out-of-debt" plan will continue, except we will be living in an actual house, not a garage, while we work our way through the "Baby Steps."
  • An eleven-month growing season. With our debt-driven North American lifestyle, it seems only inevitable that the economy is careening toward a major crash. When that happens, it will be those without a debt load, and who can sustain themselves from their own resources, that will weather it with the most ease.
I have reasoned myself through all my objections a million times: Yes, we are leaving friends, but we will make more. We didn't want to move here either, and look how wonderful it turned out to be. I will be home schooling my children, so I can have a say in how much Canadian history they learn. We will still be able to see our family and friends in the summer when we come north, and hopefully more often if they choose to come visit us during the milder winter months.

But still...

I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next few months (or longer!) It is only by the grace of God that we will get through this.

Thank you, friends.

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  1. I am astounded.


    I will put you in touch with my friend, Lea. She came to visit me for 10 days last summer. They moved to Mena in December. She has a 12 yr old daughter and an 8 yr old son. Her husband works overseas on rotation. And she has a HUGE heart.

    And now I have TWO reasons to visit Mena. Plus, my friends John and Josh have family in Fort Smith.

    I'm just now getting my passport together in my new name...the birth certificate FINALLY arrived!

    I'll have to figure out when I can visit all of you!

  2. I'm so glad I've been able to see you a little lately, if even in snippets. We will MISS you! I mean, what's New Year's Eve if not spent with you? Well, we've never been to Arkansauce before and now I really want to go and see that lovely little mountain range behind your house and I'm sure Mark will want to see a golf range or two. Oh yes ... and YOU GUYS!
    I had never even thought of your boys having a drawl but I think it could be very sweet. I'm sure they will create their own unique hybrid in which Arkansaucians will think they've got this great Canadian accent and Canadians will think the inverse. You hear such wonderful things about the south and the wonderful warm spirit there. It will be hard at first but I just know you'll love it. Peace River was the same way. The way you and Jason are - how you just dig in and invest in the people and community around you, how kind and gracious you are with others - will go a long way in this new place and make you all sorts of lovely friends. I'll definitely be praying for you ... and YAY! Blogging! E-mail! Telephone!

    We love you guys. ♡ xo ♡

  3. Unfortunately, we don't live anywhere near Arkansas...and I don't know anyone there either.

    I can't imagine how hard of a decision this was for you guys. But it sounds like you have really prayed over it and are making the wise choice.


  4. That sounds like a really good move Talena. Leaving friends is never easy but from what I have gotten to know of you from reading your blog for two years, I am prettu sure you'll never want for friends.

  5. Vicki, you really do know people everywhere, don't you? Thank you so much--it will be nice to have someone with whom I share common ground right off the get-go--the common ground, of course, being you! :-) And there are definitely worse places to visit than Arkansas! Especially in January! I'll be watching for you some winter's day...

    Colleen, I wonder what the chances of spending New Year's together will be now? Do you think we could continue the tradition somehow? And Thank Goodness for the internet--they help us keep in touch with old friends, and help us make new ones. Thanks for sharing your friends with me, too. See today's post.

    Anne - That's okay, I'll be meeting lots of people there soon, and soon you'll know someone there, too--ME! :-) And wouldn't it be Grand if I could make a rapid stop to see you on my way south? :-)

    Rohini - So sweet of you to say that. Thank you--but as my blog about Amanda last week expressed, while the friends themselves may not be lacking, the mature friendships I have already will be missed. Thank goodness for the internet! :-)

  6. Well, I was thinking that I had a fellow northern blogger and this will change things! Good thing you can blog from anywhere (almost)!

    Interested in hearing about your homeschooling plans as I start my oldest doing kindergarten at home this fall.


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