Making ourselves at home

Lots of things might happen during your first day or two in Cochrane if you move there. Here are some examples.

1. You might consider going for a quick swim in Lake Commando. Sure, there’s a nip to the air, but it seems like the right thing to do. You might drive around the lake and be surprised to find that although it’s mid-May, the lake itself is still ice covered, for the most part. And is that snow mixing with sand on the end of the beach? Yes, it is.

You might not go swimming after all.

2. You might decide to go pick up a few things from the grocery store so you don’t have to keep eating out. You might get to the grocery store to find that it has closed for the night.

It might be 5:40 p.m.

3. You might opt to check out restaurant reviews online, since you’ve been eating at the same few restaurants for every meal. The places at which you’ve already dined at might be the top ranked options, and the next few might have questionable reviews.

That’s right, the next best dining establishment might have two reviews: “Ok” and “It was ok.”

4. You might pay more than 10 cents a litre more than the “outrageous” gas prices from down south.

5. You might go for a relaxing midday stroll with the dogs. You might have to wear two pairs of pants and two sweaters in order to bear the cold.

Remember, it’s mid-May.

6. You might run a number of errands around town, like picking up paint and changing your address on your official documents. While no one calls you out on being new, you might notice that they do greet everyone else by name.

You might wonder how long it will take until you, too, can identify the person taking your order at the drive-thru by voice alone.

7. Despite your theoretical English-French bilingualism, you might have a hard time following all the conversations on which you’re eavesdropping because you can’t keep track of what language you’re supposed to be listening to, and it turns out French Canadian is a lot different from the French you learned inside the four walls of a Southern Ontario classroom.

8. You might have to wear a sweater inside your house. At all times.

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