1. It is safe here. There are no tsunamis, we are not on an earthquake fault, and the land is not dying from drought, fire or excessive rain.
2. Land was affordable. My first choice was Salt Spring Island, but I didn't have a few extra million dollars to spend, so this is where I could afford to make my dreams into my reality.
3. Although I am alone here, I do have some friends in Edmonton and relatives around, should I wish to find them and make myself their guest for a visit. One of my children has now made this his home too and a second is moving to Calgary next year. The other is applying for university in Calgary and if accepted will be there 4 years. I am hoping they all come to the land of milk and honey.
4. It is beautiful here. This land I am privileged to own is a valley carved by a large glacier centuries ago. It had not been farmed or used for almost 40 years, so no chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or defoliation chemicals have been applied to the land and it has not been sprayed with Round Up. It is as it was, and it has not been logged, so the trees are really big for Alberta. I love trees and am most at home in the middle of the forest.
5. Where I am is far enough from civilization to think it is way out in the country, though in reality, it is only minutes from three towns and just a little over two hours from the capitol city and 5 hours from Calgary. It feels as though it is isolated and sometimes I can go for days and not see another human if the bed and breakfast is not booked.
So basically, Alberta, is home. It is where I was born and where I have returned. True, the winter is hard and the cost of living is double what it was in White Rock. It costs more to stay warm in winter and more to get anywhere because everywhere is a drive, not 5 minutes like living in the city. Now that the bed and breakfast is becoming established, the proximity of the oil and gas industry has brought clients from as far as the Yukon and tourists from overseas, France to be exact. What a delight it is for me to serve these guests. I try to treat each and every one as though s/he was royalty, waiting on them, speaking to them, being genuinely interested in their welfare and also sending them some love. Servitude is the greatest gift we can give to a stranger. One day, I am hoping that the permaculture orchard will produce in abundance and the fruits will be given to those who want them, for free. What the land gives, I want to share.
That is the dream and that is why Alberta. It is really a lovely place to be!