Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is where we used to live

It’s a little overdue, but I figure it is time to add an entry about our recent trip to Calgary. Truth is, I have been putting it off because I was a little sad upon our return to France. Turns out it was much harder leaving Calgary this time than it was a year ago. For those who don’t know, we spent three days in Calgary earlier this month. Gilles had a conference in Houston, and we figured we could not pass on the opportunity of being so close to our old home, so I tagged along and we extended the trip from Houston to Calgary.

I knew our return trip to Calgary was going to be emotional, and I was right. The overwhelming feeling of returning ‘home’ hit me as soon as our plane started its descent over the city. I looked out the plane window toward downtown, and thought, “this is where we used to live”. We had great lives in Calgary, and it was hard to leave. I was starting to see that it was going to be hard to return too.

The thing about Calgary is it holds so many wonderful memories for us, and our visit became a 72-hour walk down memory lane. A little bit of nostalgia is one thing, but memories were jumping out at me everywhere we went. I looked at the river trails, and not only thought, “this is where we used to run”, but was reminded of training for half-marathons, running late at night, having great chats. While eating paninis at Mercato, I thought about all the times we went there during our condo renos, stocking up on the prepared salads and sandwiches while our kitchen was out of commission. I walked by the Petro-Canada in Kensington, and remembered the day we fuelled up there before a camping trip. It was a warm summer day, and I couldn’t wait to be in the mountains, going for a hike,…. That last memory made me realize how carried away I was getting. Who becomes nostalgic at the sight of a gas station?!

I would like to thank everyone for making themselves available for us in such short notice, and on a long weekend. We would have loved to spend more time with everyone, but even our short visits meant so much. We have so many wonderful friends in Calgary, and while there we slipped back into our relationships as though we had never left. It was a bit shocking, and a little unsettling. I think being reminded of such great commeraderie made me miss it even more.

But now, here we are, back in the land of wine and cheese. Do I want to hop on the first plane with all my belongings and move back to Calgary? No. Despite my feelings, I know that I am not ready to leave France yet. I am just starting to feel as though I have a good handle on life here, and there is so much more I want to do before leaving Europe. Hopefully once it is time to move back to Calgary, we’ll fit right back in again.

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