FTLComm - Tisdale - June 25, 2000
It was a warm summer day when Uncle Wesley brought his farm grain truck into our yard and our belongings, it seemed like our very lives, were being boxed up and hauled out of the house into that truck. My memories of that day are hazing as it seemed everything I knew was being turned upside down, the uncertainty, the terrifying experience of what and where we would be, knowing full well, all that I had ever known would never be the same. I cried.

That was my first move, it was the summer of 1952, there was a war on in a place called Korea and as a dedicated radio addict who could sing every song on the hit parade and knew every member of the "Happy Gang", I was extremely concerned about this event of my time. When I asked my mother about that war she could not, though I am certain she would have told me all she knew if she had understood what was happening, but she could not. The fact that she did not understand where the war was or why it was happening, troubled me considerably, not as much as moving, but it seemed that this person whom I relied upon and worshiped, had distinct limitations and that was a tough one to handle.

When you are a kid, when you are an adult of any age, moving is a disturbing and profoundly upsetting experience in your life. Moving from one house to another, one apartment to another is just a little more upsetting then stubbing your toe, going to a new town, leaving all that you have experienced behind you, is a wrenching social lobotomy and it is totally permanent.

My father was with CN and though Kelso was the only home I had kn
own my dad had been away from home a fair amount going to other places to work as needed and now we were moving to Langbank. We would spend the next sixteen years there, sort of, three years later we would spend a year in Vandura then return to Langbank to begin grade seven. Even though we had lived in Langbank for three years and then returned it was still, once again, making me the "new kid" once again there was a need to establish a place for yourself in a tightly knit tiny village and always I would consider myself like the people considered me, an outsider.

It is has been five years since we moved to Tisdale. In the 1970s we lived about forty minutes away in Weekes and my middle son was born in the hospital here, yet not a day goes by that I don't have to explain to someone in this small town that I belong here, have been a resident here for five long years, and as I plead my case for acceptance, I can see the familiar eye glaze that I have seen all of my gypsy life.

As a teacher and principal I moved, time after time after time. Each move is not easier than the one before, each time a little bit of what you were is removed, each time the friends and acquaintances you have made are filed and you "move on." My work exposed me to several thousand lives, young people, their parents and their communities. Some times I have dreams where all the bad ones get together in the same classroom and sometimes I notice that even the bad ones are missing.

As I saw this family moving into their house on our block and watched another family moving in just across from us yesterday, I thought about that first move. The children playing as their lives are being reorganised and nothing will ever be the same. They have moved.