Calm Before the Housing Visit. . .

One week of April remains.  All calm as I await the arrival of the first week of June.  For on 3 June I fly to Victoria and on that Monday Rachel of Rivers Relocation fetches me at the Helm’s Inn to show me the various housing possibilities she has surfaced in her hunt on my behalf.  Hopefully, by mid-week I will have signed a lease agreement to rent housing in Victoria for the coming year.  Also, that week I plan to set in place all the various utilities for the housing and open checking and savings accounts at a local credit union.

The jury is still out on whether my chiropractor, Dr. David Doll, makes the trip with me to serve as a second opinion for my housing choices.  He must find another chiropractor to cover his practice for the week, which I surely hope he does as in the fifteen years since he opened his practice here in Midland, he has never taken a week-long vacation anywhere.  Just the occasional long weekend.  Me?  All through my professional career I have always taken all my paid vacation time, which is why I have traveled the globe.

I have abandoned checking the internet daily for housing opportunities in Victoria as recently one of the “landlords” appeared to be enticing me into a scam situation.  His command of the English language left much to be desired.  He couldn’t disclose the square footage of the property when asked on three occasions.  His rental application, Rachel said, was one she had seen before in a scam context.  He could not provide anyone locally to actually allow Rachel and me to see the inside of the property on June 4 or 5.  And the property, three bedrooms and two baths, seemed quite under-valued compared to the local market rental rates.  After that experience, I decided to just let the professional, Rachel, provide her service—find me housing possibilities that meet my budget and preferences.

Flight arrangements are made.  Hotel accommodations are in place.  $25 CAD should cover the airport shuttle ride to the hotel.  Likely midweek, that first week of June in Victoria, I will rent a car for the balance of the week.  My visa card applications are in with the folk in Nova Scotia and Southern California being processed (presumably).  I have even boxed up all my stuff awaiting the move.  Time now to just go bonkers with the wait, wait, wait for June to arrive.

So, in the meantime, enjoy the photo above of Victoria in daylight on a sunny day.  I do wonder how many of the 365 days each year are such in Victoria?  For now, Cheerio till next time.


Butchart Gardens Victoria BC

On at least one of our two visits to Victoria when cruising the Alaskan Inside Passageway, Mary Nell Baird and I explored the city’s stellar attraction Butchart Gardens as pictured above.  Once relocated and living in the city, I will feel compelled to take all my visitors to see the gardens as they are gorgeous, peaceful, and inspiring. One purpose of this blog site on the web seeks to entice visitors.  Plan a vacation and come my way.  There is much to see and do in Victoria and on all of Vancouver Island.  Once here, I will have time to explore the city and island and find those unique spots that must not be missed that most tourists never know exist.

Looking back through the Canada file folder within my yahoo email account, it appears that my serious plans to leave Midland for Victoria took off in early February.  For that is the month I prepared and sent a one-inch thick application to the Canadian Immigration Officials in Sydney, Nova Scotia, for a Right of Permanent Residence in Canada Visa Card.  They can take a year to process such applications, and no, I have yet to hear from them.  I have also sent to the Canadian Visa office in southern California a much thinner application for a Temporary Resident in Canada Visa good for a year or longer.  I have heard from them regarding more paperwork they need.  I have sent it their way.

In March I arranged with a local Victoria relocation firm for them to conduct a search  on my behalf for housing in the city in accord with my budget and preferences.  I will fly to Victoria the first week of June and they will show me what they have found.  I have also arranged with a local British Columbia moving firm to be ready to move my stuff from Midland to Victoria come sometime in mid- to late- June.  I anticipate my lease move-in date will likely be 1 July 2018 (I am practicing writing dates British style).

So matters are moving along for the relocation.  Now what you need to do ,Reader, is start thinking about planning your summer vacation in 2019 to come see Victoria and Vancouver Island.  By then I should know all the secret spots most tourist never see that are not to be missed.

The Siren Lure of Victoria’s Weather . . .

Triple digit days of heat here in West Texas come as early as May and persist even into September.  Checking into the prevailing historical weather patterns for Victoria, British Columbia, I learned that a typical high summer day temperature would average in the mid-seventies Fahrenheit.  The record high for Victoria was 86 degrees Fahrenheit as I recall.  Wow.  No triple digit heat days.

Then there are the winters.  An average of 12 days of snowfall and in the winter of 2015 there was no snow.  Some 30 to 33 days of temperatures below freezing in the typical winter.  Low temperatures usually in the forties through much of the winter (I always speak in Fahrenheit).

So, forties in the dead of winter with seventies in the high summer.  Must be fifties and sixties for the spring and fall seasons.  Then there are about 150 days of precipitation in the course of a year leaving 200 days precipitation-free.  Now, I do not for a moment think those to be 200 days of sunshine.  This is the Pacific Northwest of the North American continent after all.  But, after a lifetime in Texas, I have had more than my share of sunshiny days.  I can deal with 300 plus days a year of overcast cloudy days.

All in all, the Victoria, British Columbia weather patterns sound like near-Heaven to this lifetime Texas resident.  As one of those people who never really needed a sweater or jacket until temperatures dropped into the forties, I think I shall do just fine.

Naturally, there are other reasons for targeting Victoria for my relocation this summer for my retirement years.  Let’s save them for another day.  My next task is to learn how to upload photographs here.  Photos would be helpful when exploring those other reasons for targeting Victoria.  Cheerio till next time.



Cheerio! I am your host . . .

Welcome Reader to this the first blog entry.  I am your host, Gary Randall Willis, a published poet and writer.  Eventually, I am sure, a published book will result from my blog posts here. My inspiration and model you wonder?  The quite successful science fiction writer, John Scalzi, who has provided us his blog site Whatever for longer than most of us can remember.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, USA, in the fifties and sixties of the century now past I have lived within a few miles of Interstate 20 (and its predecessor Highway 80) my entire life: first in Dallas, then Abilene, Texas, where I earned my BSED and my MBA degree from Abilene Christian University in the seventies, and presently in Midland, Texas, since 1982.  I shan’t be here in Midland too many more months.

I retire on 3 June after my 45 years in the professional workforce.  Seven of them I spent at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell, CPAs (now KPMG), twenty-one of them as the chief financial officer of a Midland based private corporation, one of them teaching English full-time at Abilene Christian University, and the other sixteen years teaching English, Chemistry, and/or Mathematics in public schools in Dallas, Abilene, Midland, and Odessa, Texas.  My MA in English earned 2004 at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin was quite helpful.

As I suffer reverse-seasonal-affective disorder, wherein I find myself truly charged-up and ready to conquer the world every rare Texas morning I am greeted with grey, overcast skies with a cool mist in the air, I am likely certifiably insane having lived in Texas all these sixty-six years.  But, hey, the professional salaries were here and the money was good.

For the past several months I have been plotting my escape from Texas for my retirement years.  In my life I have traveled extensively having seen Paris, France, twice, Brazil twice, Hawaii, Alaska, most of the lower forty-eight continental United States, Mexico once, Nova Scotia twice, eastern Canada four times, cruised out of New York City and Galveston, Texas half-a-dozen times to ports of call in Canada and the Caribbean, Northern Ireland once, England four times, and Scotland five times.  The trips to Alaska were cruises out of Seattle, Washington, and both of them stopped for day-excursions in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island.  I plot my escape to Victoria, British Columbia.

You can expect over the course of time, should you become a regular follower of this blog, to learn all about why I shall become an Expatriate Texan living in Victoria, my current preparations and process for the relocation, and what I discover and learn as I live in Victoria, retired, blogging here, and continuing to write poetry and prose, seeking publication of my creative efforts.  But I shall not try your patience today.   Until the next blog, cheerio! (I learned that common salutation in 1974 in Great Britain when living for ten weeks with an Edinburgh Scottish family).