Musings about being a part-time resident....
An unexpected conversation with a friend in Asheville on the phone today brought the reminder: you’re hardly in Asheville anymore. Well, fair enough.
And of course, in the last couple of years, we’ve been traveling A LOT, thanks to HomeExchange. So we haven’t been in Asheville more than about half the year for the last couple of years.
And now, with an unexpected, and much-appreciated house in Quebec, we’re looking at being here up to 6 months a year (our limit as visitors). If we were younger, and working, perhaps we could stay longer. We could probably stay a few more months, even as retirees, for a couple of years, seeking extensions, but Canada is definitely not welcoming retirees of any sort, at this point in time.
|A variety of sweet potatoes, Dalat, Vietnam|
But we really don’t need to be here longer than 6 months. Asheville is a wonderful place to be in spring and fall (as well as other seasons). And even though winter has been wonderful in Canada for 6 weeks, I’m not signing myself up for the spring thawing and freezing, nor the rapid darkening of days that occur in November and December.
It’s volunteer and friendship connections that take work to continue, though; I’m doing 6 volunteer programs/classes in Asheville and nearby in March and April and will sign-up for Y Mobile Pantry outreach stints, too, while we’re there. And I’ve had a great time volunteering at Heritage Lower St. Lawrence in Rimouski this winter— checking English-language books in and out and interacting with the folks there and will certainly continue that in the summer ahead.
And we so appreciate having wonderful neighbors here in Quebec, too, who are now friends as well as neighbors.
But, that’s the reality of trade-offs — if you’re away, it’s hard to maintain in-person ties in a digital age. With friends who aren’t on-line, well, that’s even more difficult. Even my largely-offline friends don’t connect via the phone anymore!