Last Saturday marked our first year anniversary in this city and I really can't believe how quick it has gone. We moved here on a Friday - I drove here first with my son and my husband followed hours later with the moving truck. I remember feeling so nervous about the drive because there was crazy traffic on Spadina Ave (Oh Toronto! You had to curse me one last time) and I had felt so scattered about the move all day. I didn;t know if I had the keys to our new place on me, I needed to get gas before I got out of town and I wasn't even really sure that I wouldn't end up in Niagara Falls. I felt in pieces and stressed and I remember mouthing the directions Chris had given me over and over the entire drive.
And now we're here - a year later and I love the home that we have been able to make in this little apartment in Hamilton. It's been a lot of work but we love this place and we feel pretty settled. I am sure this is happy news for all of the friends who have helped us move. We've moved a lot recently and I am more than happy to stay a while.
I remember when we first started thinking about making the change from Toronto to Hamilton, one of the first things that drew us here was the architecture. The old buildings, the different neighbourhoods and the fact that this was still a pretty big city. I have loved getting to know Hamilton by its bricks and streets but I don't think I could have foreseen what is actually the best thing about this place. The strength of Hamilton is in its people. I don't think I've ever met so many nice people in such a short period of time - people who are proud of their city and so happy to share it and invite others in to it. I worried that loneliness would get the better of me out here, away from my closest girlfriends and family, but I've had such a great time getting to meet wonderful women who want to participate in their communities.
We're finally getting through one of the most awful winters of recent memory and there is something about the sun of the last few days that is telling me that yes, spring will come back, at some point and that no, we're not doomed to live in a polar vortex or snowmaggedon or whatever else forever. It's all making me feel positive and productive and I'm hoping for another wonderful year of change and challenges.
Above: Original photos from three years ago taken on a spontaneous day trip to Hamilton. These were some images I had submitted with an essay I had written for a magazine but never made it into the story. That is the day that I fell in love with the Hamilton Public Library Central Branch and told Chris I would move here in a heartbeat if I could live in the library.