By Aerin Guy
My Temporary Residency in Fernie is coming to an end, much sooner than expected and with a mixed bag of emotions. In greedy pursuit of the opportunity to make a real difference in education technology, I’m lugging my family back from whence we came. They’re not very happy with me.
The hubster has lovingly fostered some lovely facial hair and a wardrobe of waffle-esque long johns, ski pants, and woolly socks, and he is feeling much like a burrowing animal who’s been plucked from a cozy hibernating spot and thrust into the cold glare of daylight.
My daughter, who turned corners we never dreamed of in her quest to master skiing this year finally gets why we grimace when we say “Blue Mountain”.
And my extended family are peeved that their crash-pad is disappearing.
6 months in this wonderful place has had profound effects on me. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Fresh air every day makes me feel alive, healthy, and energized. I had to sleep for almost 2 weeks upon arrival last October, because the Toronto city smog had to eke it’s dirty way out of my system. It was kind of like Celebrity Rehab, but without Dr. Drew.
2. Something happened to my feet. I’ve only worn Sorels or ski boots for the last six months. During a recent business trip, I was forced to contend with some fierce crimson high heels and walk on blocks of harsh urban pavement with them. I suffered from seven days of shin splints, the likes of which I haven’t endured since running shuttles at volleyball practice in high school (as a punishment for shaving someone’s eyebrow off when they were sleeping. HAHAHAHA.)
3. I’m the Mayor of nearly every place in Fernie on FourSquare. And I look forward to losing these mayorships as local biz picks up on the stickiness of location based marketing tools. Check in, people!
4. There’s never nothing to do here. As often as we turtle on our couch in apres heaven, nary a night or weekend goes by without something going on. Whether it’s a film fest, an art opening, a knees-up, a hockey game, a jam session…..one cannot be bored here. Cheese is bloody expensive, but so be it.
5. Kiwi cab drivers. ‘Nuff said.
6. Hot tubs. I need one. I haven’t seen the film, but I had so many great conversations in hot tubs this winter. I’ve sneaked into a few, which made me feel youthful and rebellious. I’ve had every story in my arsenal topped by local expert story toppers. “That’s NOTHING!……” is gonna be the pet project of the century, with so much great Fernie fodder.
There are plenty more Fernie virtues to extoll, and I will certainly do so in the company of my Toronto friends. Soon enough they’ll be totally sick of it, and implore me to return here. And I just might.