For the four different homes that Tim and I have lived in over the years since we were married, I distinctly remember the very first time I saw each place. For our home on the Long Stretch Road, it was just land the first time I drove to see it. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I immediately pictured the boys running around the yard that we would clear. It was our find, and we fell in love. When we moved to Fort McMurray, there was so much anxiety on my part about, well, pretty much everything. Would the boys adjust, would I make friends, would we like it here, and would we find a home in our budget in a good neigbourhood.
I like telling the story of how we found our house. I had arrived in Fort McMurray during a boom in the housing market, and there was lots of pressure to find something fairly quickly, as all our stuff was in storage, and we were in temporary housing. Not an ideal situation with two young kids. Tim was out here working already, and in the middle of a shutdown when we arrived. So I had no help at home, and arrived to no help(from him) in Fort McMurray. I remember dragging the boys to see about 12 houses, and nothing seemed to fit. And then one rainy night the boys and I went to see a house in Dickinsfield, and once again as we walked to the car afterwards we all felt so disappointed. And I remember the next part so distinctly. I turned on the windshield wipers, and pulled up to the stop sign, and looked across to this scene: