Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So far, so good

Our life in Timmins began last Thursday and we’ve been busy, but not too busy, ever since. We almost didn’t get out of Fort Albany on Thursday because our charter plane was unable to land because of cloud cover. Our plane was one of those plans without radar. The pilot flew over Albany and headed back to Timmins. He tried again later in the day, and this time he was successful. It took us over an our to get our stuff loaded, but the flight went well. We arrived in Timmins around 6 p.m., loaded what we could into our rental van, then headed for home. Funny story: I locked the keys inside the house, thinking I had them with me. Turns out it was the key to the rental van I felt in my pocket. We were on our way to Wal-Mart, so I phoned a locksmith when we got there, thinking we would get dinged something fierce. Well, Bob was very nice - and said he’d send Mike right over. When I arrived back at the house, Mike had unlocked the door for me already. He said I didn’t owe him anything because Bob said he knew me. I told Bob I would like to get the lock re-keyed, so he said he would waive the unlocking fee for me. Mike came back yesterday to re-key the locks for us. I was really impressed at how accomodating they were. I am finding out really fast how nice everyone in Timmins is. It’s a Northern Ontario thing.

Christine’s parents visited on the weekend and delivered our limited furniture and other personal affects. Otherwise, we have enjoyed shopping for new furniture. We are just about finished. Just need to get a dresser or two.

Jonas and the pets have adjusted well. They all have much more room to explore their surroundings. We haven’t had much of a chance to check out the neighbourhood yet, but hopefully the weather will co-operate in the next few days.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Five More Sleeps

We are in the final days of our life in Fort Albany. Life begins for real on Thursday when we move into our new house with our son, our dog and our cat. I am excited to be moving on - snow in the middle of May will do that. We have decided to charter a plan to move ourselves and our stuff out of here. Hopefully James Bay General will reimburse us for most of the cost. Off the top of my head, here are some of the things I am most looking forward to about living in Timmins.

1) High-speed internet: It makes me 20 minutes to download a song from iTunes, longer from Limewire.

2) Shopping in an actual grocery store and paying reasonable prices for food.

3) Wearing nice clothes to work. Dress pants and dress shoes just don’t seem necessary in Albany.

4) Going to hockey games.

5) Not having to get on a plane to leave town.

6) Not having to get on a plane to get an x-ray.

7) Horton’s Baby!!!!

8) Being near a vet (and not having to perform those operations ourselves)

9) Meeting a whole new set of friends (not that we don’t love the ones here)

10) Being close to KL

11) Having a choice in radio stations

12) Being in our own home

13) Being in the same town as a bank

14) Eating in restaurants

15) Going to a movie theatre

16) Going to a shopping mall

17) Having our parents visit

18) Getting a family doctor

19) Being able to drive down south on a whim

20) Taking Jonas to the beach

21) Camping in a provincial park

22) Day trips to other Northern communities

24) The possibility of joining a gym

25) Pavement

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am employed!

I am the new policy and communications director with the Timmins Chamber of Commerce. I found out via email on Friday. It’s a funny story - I was staying off the internet all afternoon to receive the news, good or bad. By 4:45, I was disappointed not to have heard. Christine asked if I had checked my email. I checked it, and low and behold, I was emailed the job offer three hours earlier. I was super excited - just thrilled that Christine and Jonas were there when I found out. My first day is June 4, giving me a week and a bit to get settled in Timmins. Things look as though they are coming together nicely.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Job Update

I am back in Fort Albany today after a brief trip to Timmins for a job interview with the Timmins Chamber of Commerce yesterday. I interviewed for the newly-created position of policy and communications co-ordinator. I was interviewed by Chamber manager Keitha Robson and incoming president Marilyn Wood. In my mind, the interview went extremely well - as well as I could have hoped. The atmosphere was relaxed; there was some friendly banter between the formal questions. We talked about everything from my family, to my reasons for moving to Timmins, to my love for Northern Ontario.

I impressed myself in the interview. I was a little unsure about how I would perform under pressure, having been at home with Jonas for the last month and not having much face-to-face conduct with people. However, I felt something come alive inside me, a certain intangible, a confidence. I smiled a lot and wasn’t afraid to make jokes throughout the conversation. They complimented me on my lucky blue shirt at the beginning of the interview, something I referenced a couple of times later on. I also told the story of how I bought new shoes the night before. At the end of the interview, as I was leaving, Keitha said: "Hey, those are nice shoes."

They also told me I was one of 35 people who applied for the position. I had been wondering how many people I was up against. Eight of us were selected to write a position paper; five people were then picked for an interview. Whether I get the job or not, it is a huge confidence boost to know I made the top five. As I told Christine, I won’t be crushed if I don’t get the job. Instead, I will be stronger for the experience as I look for a job in Timmins. There are 600 businesses in the Chamber; Marilyn and Keitha I’m sure will be valuable resources for me going forward.

They said they would let me know either way by Monday at the latest. A bit of encouraging news is that they contacted my references yesterday. I am keeping my fingers crossed.