Oh, the places I’ll go (with apolo­gies to Dr. Suess)

The Labradorian - - Editorial - Thom@thom­barker.ca

The places I’ve lived are like chil­dren.

Most peo­ple, if asked, will say they love all their chil­dren equally.

For me, that is true of the places I’ve lived — with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of Bramp­ton, On­tario, which re­ally has lit­tle to rec­om­mend it aside from its prox­im­ity to the great city of Toronto. (Dear Bramp­ton boost­ers: write a let­ter to the edi­tor.)

My dear read­ers, as as­tute a group as you are, you have prob­a­bly guessed by now I will be mov­ing again, maybe even by the time these words are ink on pa­per.

I know what you’re think­ing: “Con­grat­u­la­tions!

To­day is your day!

You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

If I were a per­son prone to at­tach­ing su­per­sti­tion to events, I might say I prob­a­bly sealed my own fate a few weeks ago when I wrote in this very space that I had no plans to leave Labrador and couldn’t see my­self go­ing back to civ­i­liza­tion, at least not in the short-term.

I am not that kind of per­son. In fact, when we moved up here, I pre­dicted our chances of stay­ing in Postville more than two years were about 50-50. You have to un­der­stand, I have known my wife for 13 years. In that time we have moved four times, seven times if you in­clude lo­cal moves. That is once ev­ery 3.25 years for ma­jor moves and 1.85 years all in. Be­fore we met, each on our own, I sus­pect those av­er­age fre­quen­cies hold pretty true. We are kin­dred spir­its.

Now, just be­cause peo­ple love their chil­dren equally, doesn’t mean they don’t have a favourite, or, at least one for whom they have a greater affin­ity, or are more com­pat­i­ble with.

No of­fence to Ot­tawa, Austin, Smithers, Saska­toon and all the oth­ers — don’t ask me to enu­mer­ate them all or even count them for that mat­ter — but Postville, Labrador, is that child of mine.

Of course, that might be like say­ing my favourite paint­ing is the one I just fin­ished, but I am truly go­ing to miss this place.

That be­ing said, I could not be more ex­cited about where we are go­ing.

Al­most ex­actly one year ago, on va­ca­tion, Lor­raine and I vis­ited the North­ern Penin­sula on the is­land of New­found­land and were ex­tremely im­pressed. In fact, when we stopped in St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet, we both re­marked, al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and in sim­i­lar enough words, “Wouldn’t it be in­cred­i­ble to live here?”

Now, we will. Well, in St. An­thony, but close enough.

Again, if I were the kind of per­son to as­cribe meta­phys­i­cal mean­ing to phys­i­cal events, I might re­mark that “things hap­pen for a rea­son.”

Again, I am not. Things do hap­pen for a rea­son, but usu­ally the rea­son is physics, or bi­ol­ogy.

An­other trite ob­ser­va­tion for this co­in­ci­den­tal cir­cum­stance might be: “What are the chances?”

Well, in fact, Lad­brokes of Lon­don had a move to St. An­thony within three years hand­i­capped at 3:2. Ve­gas had us at 2:1.

It’s pretty easy math. Given our above-de­scribed his­tory, the chances we would be mov­ing, sooner rather than later, to some­where, were pretty good. And if we were to move, the odds it would be to the is­land were high since that was all part of the long-term plan when we left Saskatchewan. Fac­tor in Lor­raine’s com­mit­ment to Labrador-Gren­fell Health and the po­ten­tial des­ti­na­tions are nar­rowed to a few Labrador and North­ern Penin­sula com­mu­ni­ties.

Bingo. St. An­thony it is.

I have writ­ten on sev­eral oc­ca­sions about how it is pre­cisely the things that make liv­ing here on the edge of the world in­con­ve­nient that also make Postville at­trac­tive — the “un­doc­u­mented fea­tures” as I called them a cou­ple of col­umns ago.

I am hop­ing, and have pretty good rea­son to be­lieve, the North­ern Penin­sula will of­fer the best of both worlds. It is both re­mote and con­nected.

We will soon find out and maybe I will have a new favourite child. Re­gard­less, we will suc­ceed (98 ¾ per cent guar­an­teed).

Dis­claimer: This is sup­posed to be a fun, op-ed piece and in no way re­flects on my ac­tual chil­dren, whom I love equally and with no favouritism.

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