It's negative 44 Celsius with wind chill today in Iqaluit. It's only a number and when we were getting ready to move here I thought I would laugh in the face of it. I enjoy the weather. I enjoy experiencing the things that make the arctic the arctic. I'm not as tough as I thought I was though. I smile through the tears that the cold drags out of my eyes but still it always wins.
Today was a big day at the store. Rick and Barb are an important part of our Northern family here. Rick is our new store manager and Barb is his lovely wife. She has been holding down our front of house happenings at Tim Horton's. Today is Barbs last day at work before heading home.
When someone I love leaves this cold icy place it leaves a void in me, however small, a piece of me feels empty. Its a confusing feeling, where I am unbearably jealous but also terribly pained to see my friends go.
Last night Rick picked me up and I spent the evening with Barb and a few of the ladies from work playing Skip-Bo over drinks and spinach dip.
This morning, Kathy and I walked down to the store. I had to pull the hood of my parka over my head and down to my chin. Then, through the most narrow gap, I watched the ground move beneath my feet as I walked almost blinded down the side of the road. I used the wooden posts that stick out of the ground every fifteen feet or so along the road to keep me on the right track.
We picked out the only suitable card in the store, filled a handful of pastel coloured balloons with helium and set them up in the break room with the cake I made yesterday. A baby blue cake because its Barb's favorite colour. It was the colour of the suit Rick wore at their wedding and when we talked about why she loves the colour, her eyes lit up. Barb is a passionate woman with a love for life that made me appreciate her right off the bat. She cried at the sight of her cake and I smiled knowing how much I would miss her.
I've said it before but I cant express the way that the life I'm living has opened my heart to new love. Being so far from my own family has opened me up to new family members from all walks of life, with all sorts of stories to tell and personalities to bring. Leaving your life behind is not for everyone and it's been one of the most difficult things I've ever done but at the same time it has been fulfilling and has changed the way I look at the world.
I am thankful for the people who have become a part of my day to day and who I know it will break my heart to let go of.
I've learned to enjoy company while I have it, enjoy the cold while its here, the world while its at my fingertips and the soundtrack of my life while it still plays.
Here's to happiness during blizzards.
All my love from Iqaluit