Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Living a Scattered Life

It's over. All the munchkins, in all their scary costumes, are gone. A lot of them visited our home for Halloween last night, about 150 in all. That is somewhat fewer than the record of 220 or so trick or treaters of a few years ago, but our area of the village where we live is maturing, kids are growing up, going to college, moving away and starting families of their own. The cycle of life.

We have lived in the area for nearly thirteen years. We have watched families move into or out of the neighbourhood, our kids grow up, all of us grow older. How many of the kids that visited last night will end up eventually right back where they grew up? Not very many, I'm sure.

In an idle moment a few days ago, I tried to count how many times I have moved in my life, since I was born in Groß Steinrade, Germany in 1949. I gave up at 35. I'm sure I missed a few moves. My family moved at least 10 times by the time I finished grade 8, in Port Colborne, Ontario. In contrast, my own son has moved once, from London, Ontario where he was born, to Thorndale, Ontario, the village where we now live. My wife and I want him to have a stability in his life that I never had. I was so used to moving all the time that I would feel uncomfortable, unsettled, edgy, after I had lived somewhere for more than a few months. I've settled down a bit but have no intention to live out my days where we now live.

It's a big world. I still want to see more of it. Much more.

To satisfy my own curiosity, I created a list of places where I know I have lived, in as far as I can remember, proper chronological order. It may not be comprehensive. Multiple residences in any community are not listed.
  • Groß Steinrade, Germany
  • Heidmühlen, Germany
  • Freedom, Alberta
  • Barrhead, Alberta
  • Port Colborne, Ontario
  • St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Stratford, Ontario
  • Mitchell, Ontario
  • Sebringville, Ontario
  • Hamilton, Ontario
  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • St. Catharines, Ontario, again
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • London, Ontario
  • Appin, Ontario
  • Ailsa Craig, Ontario
  • London, Ontario, again
  • Thorndale, Ontario
It is no wonder I feel tired.

I don't regret having moved so much. I got to know a lot of people and have a lot of interesting experiences. Unfortunately, I have lost touch with most of the people I grew up with, went to school with, or encountered in many of the jobs I had before I settled and put down roots (not too deep, though) in the London, Ontario, region. I'm hoping that my son will have the chance to develop enduring friendships.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. I have to go back to browsing the real estate listings.

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