For the past four or so years my husband and I have lamented the long, bitterly cold Albertan winters. Every winter I say, half in jest, ‘Let’s move to Nova Scotia!’ Determined to stay in Canada, Nova Scotia has always seemed to be the ideal combination of a more moderate climate paired with affordable property prices.
This year – we’re doing it!
Many of you know how God abruptly moved us from our 80 acres north of Edmonton with a dramatic series of generator breakdowns (two in a week) followed by the fire ball/explosion of the BRAND NEW generator a week after that – removing our main source of winter electricity and taking out our heating and running water system with it.
We weren’t really sure what God had for us after that. We obviously were called to help my husband’s parents – his mother suffered a fall and serious shoulder break a few days after we arrived. We spent several months pitching in on farm chores (sometimes working full time hours), but then Larry’s wrist (he has a repetitive strain injury) started acting up and we knew we couldn’t keep going.
We decided to list our existing properties for sale and see if they moved – we tentatively started haunting the MLS listings online. God moved, financing appeared, obstacles were removed, a midwife was found – and we now have a deal on a house and 3 acres in southern Nova Scotia closing on August 3rd! We’ll be hitting the road as soon as we can manage after that!
It’s still hard to believe, despite the fact that almost ALL of my books are now packed up (I gave away 14 boxes yesterday – I CAN’T believe it!!) and there isn’t much left to do here (well, you know how THAT goes!)
So….why are we moving?
1. We couldn’t have unless God blessed it! It has really been awesome to see His hand in this.
2. The climate in southern Nova Scotia is incredibly temperate. Here in Alberta the temperature ranges from -40C to +35C easily in a year. In southern Nova Scotia it is more like -20C to +20C – I like that. I don’t cope very well with extreme heat, and the deadly cold is a bit scary – it was nearly -50C for a while this past January at our old place.
3. Longer growing season! Our existing land is a 2B, maybe a 3A growing zone if we’re lucky. Southern Nova Scotia is a 6A! The golf course near Yarmouth opens in March and closes at the end of October – we don’t golf, but that tells me winter is actually four months there…instead of….ermmm, almost six!
4. Deeply affordable property. The accepted offer on the place we’re buying was $17,050. 956 sq. ft. 3 acres. Power. Well. Barn/Worshop. Hard to beat that! I was saving up to get the electricity (grid) into our old place, and honestly – it would have cost around that much alone. Crazy. Here’s a link to the listing for the house (which is still up right now and listed as sold).
5. Homeschooling – yes you can! It isn’t funded provincially like it is here in Alberta, but there also seem to be fewer hoops to jump through. There is one man in charge of homeschooled students – you send him your registration, a letter outlining your goals for the year, and a report at the end of the year stating your progress – it seems pretty laid back. Also – we’ll only be around 15 minutes from the local homeschool support group! I’ll have to clock it this fall!
6. Close to amenities! It’s true – you can be out in the boonies in Nova Scotia as well, but we were blessed to buy a place only 15 minutes or so from THE shopping center of Southwest Nova Scotia – Yarmouth! Though small in population, it is MIGHTY in services – and shopping! It also boasts the only baby-delivering hospital in the SW for what it’s worth. They also have a ton of recreational activities – dance lessons, sailing lessons, kayaking lessons, swimming lessons, all sorts of music lessons, ice rink, Canada Day fireworks – they have it all. Really. And Atlantic Superstore too! Who needs Halifax (3 hour drive)?!
7. The ocean! Well, I’ve never seen the Atlantic Ocean – (YES, we haven’t EVER been to Nova Scotia!) It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away now! We don’t have ocean frontage – nor do we want it (too many little kids to supervise!) – but if we cross the road the ocean is just , hmmm – 2 acres away I think – we’re on a little peninsula finger. We’re also around 5-10 minutes away from a white sand beach down at the south end of the peninsula (Comeau’s Hill Beach) that is a popular spot for sea kayaking out to the Tusket Islands.
8. Midwifery – well, it isn’t as widely available as Alberta, and it’s a bit messed up, but I was blessed to find a midwife 2.5 hours away that will take me (thank God!) All four of our girls have been born naturally at our home (or that of relatives) and I was imagining some rude conversations (me being bossy/stubborn/uncooperative/not listening) if I tried delivering at the hospital.
9. Friendly people. I know this varies depending on whom you talk to, but I have read SO many accounts of friendly Nova Scotians, and that’s what I’m choosing to believe J. Friendly Nova Scotia – here we come!
10. Fishing. Well, we don’t do this right now, but Larry hopes to learn! Wedgeport (around 5 minutes away) has the Sport Tuna Fishing club, and there are plenty of inland fishing opportunities (we’re right on a tidal river/inlet that comes up beside the peninsula – see #7), and I think we can clam, and…cheap lobster? I don’t know how these will all work out, but it sounds exciting!
So – how exciting! The more we learn about Nova Scotia and the opportunities available to us there, the more thrilled we are with the path that God has put our family on! Even more exciting – I’ve even found some bloggers online who also have young families they’ve moved down east for very similar reasons to ours.
We’re in for a BIG adventure, driving across Canada, Alberta to Nova Scotia sometime this August. Watch this blog for photos and updates once our journey begins!