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After leaving the Kootenays over twenty years ago to attend university in Victoria, I find it interesting that I would set up roots in the community that my father thought was his 1st choice of places to live.
I remember him saying, "If I couldn't live on Kootenay Lake my first choice would be Parksville where I can fish and golf all year round and not have to shovel snow for months at a time."
At that time, I had never been to Parksville and yet this is now my home.
My husband's job was transferred to Parksville eleven years ago. We did have other options but chose a smaller centre to raise a family.
I love visiting big cities but I don't miss the traffic and congestion. It takes me 7 minutes to commute to work. When we lived in Vancouver it sometimes took one and half hours each way. I don't miss that! There was an adjustment period though.
I remember thinking everyone moves at such a slow relaxed pace, there's no rush. But I was always in a rush to get from home to the store to the park and back home. All are within ten minutes of each other. I remember going to the grocery store and the cashier looking at the items and asking me questions about certain foods because she had never tried them before and who does my hair? I have a very expressive face, so I am told; I can only imagine the look on my face when she asked who does my hair? What has that got to do with my groceries and I am a busy person with a toddler and I am in a hurry to get to an important place, like the playground is what I was thinking.
I now laugh about those first six months because it was the city in me: get moving, hurry up, bag those goods and let's get out of here. Well, that "hurry up get me out of here" attitude has definitely changed. The cashiers are still asking questions and I appreciate their friendliness. I tell them how I prepare certain recipes and people behind me add their own two bits worth.
It's great! People talking to each other; they're curious, they're making conversation plus they're making their jobs more interesting and adding to that neighbourly feeling that I have really come to cherish.
I know when I travel I always appreciate genuinely friendly and welcoming people and that is definitely what I hear visitors say about their experiences in Parksville and Qualicum Beach. I can't count the number of people I have met that say they first came here during their childhood summer vacations and still return every year but now with their grand children. Special places provide great experiences and lasting memories and I am thrilled to be living in communities that can do that for both locals and visitors. I guess that's why my Dad fell in love with this area.
|From: Kathy Schaefer|
Entered: Apr 19, 2008
|Wow..Small Town wins Heart|
What a great inro. to the small town atmosphere. I also live in a small town...at the end of the road. We refer to it as... God's country. It's nice to know that there are those whom appreciate the small town setting, the people and what the community has to offer. Thanks for making a plug for the "small town"