Dateline: May 23, 2019. Kitchener, Ontario
NACO decided to offer the job to another candidate, so the wait is over and we now have a new direction confirmed: We’re moving to Edmonton!
It’s amazing how much suddenly falls into place when for so long it was all up in the air. There are still details to work out regarding schools for my kids in Edmonton and an apartment for the family to move into out there, and what size truck are we going to move our stuff with, and when will our AHCIP (Alberta provincial health care) take effect, when will my benefits kick in through he ESO (Sep.1, I just learned)...
But many other things are now set - namely, our summer schedule.
This weekend is the final program I’ll play with the KWS for the foreseeable future: a pops show, “The Piano Men.” Next week I fly out to Edmonton on my own to play the last few weeks of the ESO season, except for the final few days of concerts which are a reprise of Harry Potter music concerts happening this week, which I won’t play because I’ve been invited to perform In the Summer Solstice Chamber Music Festival final concert on June 21, and coach groups participating in the connected Amateur Chamber Music Workshop from June 11-15.
My wife and daughter will fly to Edmonton a few days before I’m done, so that they can see the city a bit and investigate schools for Miss M. I’ll fly back with the little one on June 22, leaving my wife alone for a few days when she is auditioning for the ESO oboe job coincidentally now open.
On the day of Z’s audition I’ll be driving with my kids to Boston where we’ll pick her up at the airport the next morning, visiting our friend Elena Ruehr, and the MIT campus (yes, my son is that age, considering university options for after next year... yikes!). We’ll be in Massachusetts until July 1 when they drop me at the airport and drive up to Ottawa to visit my father-in-law on their way back to Kitchener. I’m flying west to Jackson Hole Wyoming where I’ve just been asked to sub last-minute for somebody in the viola section at the Grand Teton Music Festival for 2 weeks.
When I head back to Kitchener I’m flying into Buffalo to save $ and a friend has agreed to come pick me up in the middle of the night so that my wife doesn’t have to. I owe him big time! The morning we roll back into Kitchener I’ll pick up the U-haul for the final move and head home to load up all our worldly possessions that made the downsizing cut that is currently going on.
With the U-haul ready to go, my 16-year old son and I will head out on the road the next day, while Miss M and Z stay with a friend in Kitchener - M is attending a very cool musical theatre summer camp the second half of July - for a 35 hour drive (over at least a few days) on the trans-Canada highway all the way to Edmonton where we’ll unload the truck into storage and fly back one more time to Ontario.
Miss M’s final theatre camp performance is on July 26, after which we all pile into our remaining sedan loaded with a cooler full of food and our three suitcases and instruments, and drive west back to Wyoming - Beulah, this time, in the north-eastern edge of the state where my grandparents lived - to spend a week visiting with my brother’s family and our mom who now owns the inherited cabin.
After that week of play and catching up with the Florida cousins, back in the car for more driving, further west! To California for a few days visiting more old friends in the Bay Area, then a u-turn to Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon en route to El Paso, Texas where I’ll be performing concerts with Zuill Bailey and a couple other guest artists in a new late-summer Chamber Music mini-Festival he’s getting started there.
That brings us to Aug. 19 when we get back into the car for one last long drive straight north through Utah’s Monument Valley and everything else between Texas and Alberta, arriving sometime before August 24 when my season with the ESO commences with a weeklong summer outdoor concert series. We should have somewhere to live by then, but we’ll see what it ends up actually being, looking like, where it’s located, how long-term the rent may be... we’ll see.. and then you’ll see! ‘Cause I plan to keep sharing our journey, bit by bit.
Watch this space!