Thursday, March 4, 2010

so you have plans, do you?

This is what it looks like outside our living room window on a nice February day here in Portland. Our place is tucked into a section of Forest Park and what you see are scrub maple trees covered in moss, ivy and ferns. It doesn't snow much here in winter and what does come down never stays long. Spring arrived about three weeks ago and I'm reveling in it even more than usual because this time next year we're planning to be in Halifax, NS.. yes, where it gets cold early and stays that way a long time. I'm a little nervous.

After more than 30 years in the US, half on each coast, I'm more American than Canadian in spite of having spent most of the first 30 years there. I like this country and I like the people. What I don't like are the politics of war and economic devastation. We've done what we can and it's time to move on since we may, hopefully, be able to do so. It's a much more complicated process than we imagined.

The documentation required to sponsor my husband's immigration is enormous. After perusing the 60 page manual and the 20 or so multiple page questionnaires we decided to hire an attorney in Halifax to help us with the process. They're a bit laid back. Every so often I'll get an email from them with questions and requests for attachments of birth certificates, passports, citizenship papers, proof of marriage, bank records etc. They require job, address and salary histories going back to the year dot. They want to be sure we have no hidden dependents. There's an FBI background check that takes 18 weeks and only one doctor in the state qualified to do Canadian permanent resident visa physicals. There may be an interview at the nearest Canadian Consulate. Talk about taking the fun and spontaneity out of something that used to be simple.

I'm not ready to resign from my job quite yet and I don't want to think about inventorying and packing all our stuff. The process can take a year. Will we drive or ship the car? I don't want to think about that yet either. It will be nice to be near the sea and it will also be nice to be closer to our son in New England. We're taking it one step at a time.

Speaking of taking steps I did buy myself a nice pair of boots - the green ones ☺


La Belette Rouge said...

As synchronicity would have it, He-weasel is turning in his application for Canadian citizenship. His mom is from B.C. and as you may know Canada is recruiting for ex-citizens and children of citizens to apply for citizenship. We thought that maybe we might like to retire(many years from now) in B.C. but it sounds like I would have to go through all kinds of hoops to be eligible to go to Canada with him.

I hope to get up to Portland before you leave. I would love to see you in the Rose City before you head for the land of Maple leafs.

I will keep my fingers crossed for both of you that soon the bureaucracy will be behind you.

Seraphine said...

you can only do what you can do. sometimes life requires a certain sequence of jumping through hoops, waiting and filling out paperwork. there is no way to avoid it. it's like buying green boots- you either put them on or live with wet feet. hang in there, susan. change is good, right???

susan said...

belette - That's wonderful news and I'm sure it will work out well. When he gets his Canadian citizenship documents and if you ever do decide to relocate to Van (as they call it) it's not impossible at all for you to go too. The process is just time consuming. For starters, as well as for safety's sake, I would advise opening a bank account there and putting a little money aside but it's not necessary. We did about 10 years ago. They like it if you own property but that's not required either and who wants to rent out at a distance?

I would love to meet you if you happen to come this way and Crow would love to meet Lily beak to nose again. ♥

sera - It's true that things are not simply good or not good but are as they are. I think a certain aspect of my recent artwork has much to do with my underlying excitement about another big change. All we can really control in this world is our perspective ♡

marja-leena said...

Oh, much good luck with the process and hope it doesn't take TOO long! I didn't know that "Canada is recruiting for ex-citizens and children of citizens to apply for citizenship." as Belette writes!

And I love the boots! Are they waterproof? You'll need that in Halifax (and here in Vancouver, BC).

Elaine- said...

addicted huh? well that's a good addiction if i do say so myself :) thank you!!! yes we are just starting to maybe have plans, about moving to Switzerland lol but neither of us are citizens, so the red tape would probably choke those plans right out of us lol aaaah well it was just a thought :) nice boots!!!!

Randal Graves said...

Hey now, all this red tape is understandable. For all Canada knows, you might be terrorists. Better to be safe and police statey than sorry.

Never trust an artist, they're all anarchists.

jams o donnell said...

Wow it sounds like quite a rigmarole but I am sure it will be worth it Susan

Pagan Sphinx said...

It's so exciting, Susan! Yet, as you described it, my head began to spin. What a lot of hoops to jump through and things to prepare and pack. I'm so low-key about stuff like, it would probably take me two years. But that's me.

Your boots are gorgeous! Rugged but stylish. Perfect for Halifax!

A couple of days ago, I saw a live wecam from one of the ports around Wolfville - 100 kilometers from Halifax - it was cloudy and damp looking, maybe slightly above freezing and there was slush along the pier. I wish I had taken note of the temperature.

I'd love to see Nova Scotia in all seasons.

I'm thinking of you while you jump through those hoops.

My daughter has been talking about graduate school in Canada. I can't image that it would be that easy but when she sets her mind to something; really sets it; she won't stop till it happens. We'll see...

susan said...

marja-leena - Thanks for the well wishes. At least we're in process and are hoping for an okay in the summer. I hadn't heard about the recruitment either - unless it's to entice some doctors back :-)

Yes, the boots are waterproof as well as pretty and I lucked out in getting the last pair available in my size. I took that as a good omen.

elaine - It's not just that your photographs are remarkable but your eye for processing the camera results into something unique is amazing.

Switzerland, eh? Well, if you're going to have a dream you may as well go all the way and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you if that's really your plan.

randal - If you live in a police state the best jobs are always those with the police. It's a self perpetuating career.

Anarchy sounds better tan what we've got :-)

pagan sphinx - It is exciting but a bit nerve-wracking too at times. Nevertheless, we're still hoping it comes together before summer's end.

I loved the boots but all the ones in my size were gone (even in other colors). When Zappo's wrote me they had just the pair I wanted I knew all of it will work out.

The other very cool thing about Halifax is 4 universities. It would be nice for you if she chose one of them :-)

Liberality said...

The good thing is that even if you move you can still keep blogging if you want to.

I'm jealous of your springtime, we are still stuck in winter here.

susan said...

liberality - Yes, I can and probably will keep blogging for a good while longer.. so long as I can think of things that may interest someone.

Don't be jealous of our spring. Allergies are rampant here with the moss, mold, and spores. How can you enjoy the flowers if your nose is running?

Seraphine said...

i can relate to yout words about change. well, we can do something with change too. and i think i have to clear some things from my life to make change available in my life. i'm still deciding, but i'm getting excited. excited as ideas swim in and out of my consciousness, like fish in a lake. something is going to happen, besides or better than what has gone before. but i'm scared of the unknown, afraid i'll feel foolish. um, i made these comic on my computer, would you be interested in hiring me? shee.

Spadoman said...

I love those boots, and I bet you're quite a dish prancing around in them beauties.
I never realized the paperwork involved in moving to another country, especially when you of that country in the first place. What was the procedure when you did it the other way around?
I have never been to the Maritimes. A trip there is on my bucket list, but this year, a grand motorcycle trip through the canadian Rockies and to Yellowknife and Prince Rupert.
When it all happens, I' want to send a resume to you for the driving of the automobile. I have done this many times, (read my latest road trip posts), and I have a passport, good driving record and I am responsible, (yes, me, I am!) Besides, that way, I'll get a trip East.
Best to you on this quest. Hope it goes well and all the knots get tied as needed.


Gary said...

With boots like those, who wouldn't go to Halifax!

They may get longer winters, but they have more live music and pubs per capita than just about anywhere...not to mention kitchen parties.

susan said...

sera - I've been thinking about this while working on a border. We're surrounded by invisible borders all the time, aren't we? We're used to taking years to build our careers and contemplating some distant and imaginary freedom. Working at a job is like being harnessed but we like to modify our own a bit so they're comfortable. Being cut loose from the traces comes as a shock but the good news is their weight drops away and the blinders are removed. I don't know if it will be your comics but it will be something new and interesting that involves what you're already good at doing.

spadoman - Even if only in my mind's eye, yes, I'm still quite a dish :-) but I think most people are. Beauty is far more about attitude than pulchritude.

It was complicated coming here too and it took most of a year for Jer to get my fiancee visa approved. Part of the problem was that they had to do a background check in the European countries I'd visited previously.

That's an interesting idea and one I hadn't considered but our car is a '94 Geo Tracker and we're thinking she (her name's Fuschia because that's her color) may not be comfortable over the long haul.. either for her or us. It's still under consideration but I really do appreciate your offer.

gary - Yes! Aren't they cool? My idea of going to a place where the weather suits my clothes really is a New Englandy environment. I'm just not a sundress and sandals kind of girl. The pubs and kitchen parties sound like fun - I just hope we don't have to practice tossing the caber in summer :-)

Lisa said...

I know it's a necessary thing, but the word process just gives me the blechs.

Halifax sounds amazing. Just like those green boots.

susan said...

lisa - I know. You can't do anything simple these days - it's all part of the disservice economy :-)

I think it's a good choice for us - for one thing, neither of us ever lived there. Yes, got cool boots!