Friday, August 19, 2011

Packing it in

My father helped us ship some of our boxes today. We have also already taken a load of boxes to my mother's place for safe-keeping, since we can't afford to ship much. Upon returning to my house and saying goodbye just for now to my father, I promptly burst into tears. I broke my strict no crying! rule for moving. I curled up onto the bed with my partner and I allowed my dog on the bed just-this-once, and I sobbed. And when I was finished sobbing, I dried my eyes, and then I sobbed some more.

Peterborough, I really am going to miss you. All of you.

I will miss the people, first and foremost. I have made the greatest friends here. Seriously, the greatest. The sure, I just met you last week, but I'll go in late to work because you're having a panic attack and you can't get out of your house and I'm worried about you kinda friends.

I know the underemployed and underhoused by name. I also know the names of all of the dogs that visit the three closest dog parks. I still don't know why people come to Peterborough, aside from attending school here, but I do know why they stay - it feels like home. My partner has been affectionately nicknamed the mayor, since he seems to know everyone. He can't walk down one block without running into at least a half dozen people that he knows.

I know where to get the best deal on raw dog food and where to get awesome clothes for cheap. The servers at all of the downtown restaurants and at my favourite cafe know what I'm going to order before I do. I know which bookstores to go to for particular kinds of books. I know which grocery stores to go to for my favourite foods and for the cheapest prices. I know the operating hours of the fifteen closest convenience stores. I know 3km of walking trails, 8 parks, and more heritage buildings that I can count. I know the last four business attempts in a storefront before the local deli was successful.

In short, I know this town. And I love it. And I don't ever want to leave it.

I found the oldest part of Vancouver and a 100-year-old mansion to live in, in order to replicate my experience working and living in this old city of mine. I want to wake up, see an old radiator, and remember the awful year that the radiator in my third-floor attic room didn't work. I want to wash the original hardwood floors with cold water and gentle dish soap and remember lugging the mop and bucket up two flights of stairs at work and not feeling satisfied until the entire hardwood floor glistened, dust-free. I want to have tiny pieces of Peterborough with me, until I can come back.

 And I really hope that everyone I love will still be here.


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