Here we were, in the "Sunny South" - the California of Canada; the only place where there were four seasons.
Joe had rented the top floor of a house on Agazzi Street, in Richmond, B.C. It was a large house, a house that was all but empty - as we had only the beds and two night stands that Joe had made up North; there were the nine of us (Rose was still in Alaska, on a farm up there). The house had a bright red, wall-to-wall carpet; it was faded near the large front window. I enjoyed having a place large enough for all of us.
The stress of another move and another job for Joe, was there; I never adjusted gracefully for any of our "moves". To "bloom where you are planted", has always been my goal and I have had plenty of opportunities in this area - as we had moved about 20 times in that many years of married life.
It was difficult adjusting to all the traffic, here in the Lower Mainland; and, difficult finding our way into the "maze" where we lived. Nearly all streets in Richmond branch off, what is called a "gate"; from there it's round-and-round-and-round: a mouse would do better in making his way through, in quest of a piece of cheese. And, before long we began to notice the "flight path" for the International Airport...just overhead. Funny how you don't notice it, when you first rent a house or when you move in; but you sure notice it after that.
Joe was working for a kitchen cabinet company - because of his experience up North. He had been out of electronics for almost 5 years and it changes so very fast, that he wasn't able to get back into it. They noticed his past experience and, because they had just purchased an electronic-operated saw, at their Port Kells plant - they transferred him there. Driving in all the Lower Mainland traffic was too much for Joe, so he spoke to our landlord and got a release from our rental.
We looked up our friends Tom and Dora Condon; they had immigrated out here, from Leominster (where we came from) - by way of a year or so spent in the small town of Everett, WN. We visited for awhile, looked at their newspaper and found a duplex to rent - close to where they lived (also in a duplex). Next, we got a Buy & Sell Newspaper and found a kitchen set, and a three piece living room set. (One piece was an end table that we used for a TV stand.)
We had two bedrooms upstairs - one for Joe and me, and the other for Mary and Lisa. The boys had their bunk beds in the unfinished basement; it was above the ground and as large as the upstairs - they played downstairs, when it rained. We had a back porch and a porch just off the master bedroom. We had a large backyard, but it wasn't divided from the people on the other side of the duplex. It wasn't long before the two teenage boys next door began to fight with our boys. They had an adopted daughter at home also, but she didn't cause any trouble; they also had a married daughter.
Part of the basement was poorly insulated (between units), and our children heard the father next door making some of his business calls - he also said something about a "hair piece" that he had just bought. Well, it was no time at all before our children began talking about the "hair piece" outside, in the yard - the mother and father were very upset that we all knew, and said plenty about it.
There were times when we came home and heard someone going out the front door. Our little dog, Tiny, got skiddish - and we figured out that one of the boys from next door, was coming into our duplex when we were away. We spoke with the parents about it, but they said it couldn't be. One night they got the front door open and threw a firecracker inside - I think we weren't at home, at that time, but we saw evidence of it later.
We weren't in the duplex long before Tiny attracted some "male" friends - one of which was to be the father of her pup. Exactly 9 weeks later, Lisa was sleeping on our front porch, in her sleeping bag - she didn't hear anything, but during the night Tiny had her pup...which we named "PeeWee". From that time on Tiny was a messy dog - she probably had some infection, because she smelled terrible; we gave both of them to the SPCA.
Friends had given us the names of two churches to find, once we got settled. I guess one of them had changed names, because we couldn't find it; the other one was way out in Vancouver - and we never did go there. We tried about two dozen different churches and never felt at home in any of them. We did visit some of the people who were in the local assembly, affiliated with the farm up North. Our friends, the Condons, went to the local assembly.
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Pen Name: Aimee Love