I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday. It was a cold, crisp November day spent driving from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, through New York state, across the border and eventually into Ottawa. It was my first road trip between Canada and Florida, but it wouldn’t be my last.
The sky had that unique-to-winter look of clear coldness with an element of foreboding - the clear day would bring snow. Driving through upstate New York, we encountered a winter wonderland of lake effect snow. Another first for me. It was magical to see. The dusting of snow on the bare trees. The perfectly smooth mounds on each side of the road. I couldn’t take my eyes off the landscape - it was so incredibly beautiful.
Later, as we approached the border, butterflies began making an appearance in my belly. The documentation was complete. The van was fully packed with everything we could possibly fit. Nothing had been left to chance - I even had a ring on my finger. I couldn’t stop thinking, “What if…?”
The border services stop was shockingly anticlimactic. We parked the van and took all the documentation that I’d carefully prepared into the building. Other than the staff, we were the only ones there. We approached the desk and handed over my documentation. We expected to have the van searched, but all they did was stamp my passport, attach my visa and send us on our way. As we crossed the bridge and drove into Canada, I tried to grasp that I was driving home. To my new home.
It was mid-afternoon when we crossed the border, but already growing dark as is common in Canada in late November. We pulled into Ottawa as snow softly fell from the sky during rush hour traffic. It was another really beautiful sight to see on a day that was very surreal for me.
Ten years ago today I moved to Canada. To spend my life with the man I love.