Hi. I’m Karen.
When I was 10 or 11 we had a family trip out West. We went to the Stampede in Calgary, drove through Banff and Jasper, picked fruit in the interior of BC, and came out to the coast. I proclaimed, “When I grow up, I am going to move to BC and marry a cherry farmer.” Look at that! I was right; we have a lovely cherry tree in our yard, and BC is ‘home’ to me now.
We live on the edge of city and wilderness. Last summer there was a cougar stalking our neighbour’s terrier, and a few years ago, I learned that insurance companies here aren’t surprised when people call and say that a bear has torn open the inside of their car. It only takes 1/2 an hour to get to the centre of the city. It is a magical place to live.
I grew up in Ontario in a Toronto suburb called Mississauga (or Mr. and Mrs Auga as my sisters referred to it). I swear, “Wayne’s world”, was filmed in our ‘rec’ room; or it easily could have been. I had a lovely childhood. We travelled, so I was less naive than some, but not by much. My Mother was an amazing woman, and highly intuitive; she was adept at providing my sisters and I what we needed, without making too much of a fuss about it.
After highschool I went to McGill in Montreal. The top factor in my going there was that it was the furthest from home that my mother was comfortable with… where I grew up wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t where I belonged. I moved out west to do my Master’s in Speech Language Pathology and never left. I love it here, the pace of life is more suited to me than Toronto is. If I hadn’t met my hubby, I probably would have stayed anyhow; meeting him made it easier to explain. We have two kids, aged 13 and 7. The I am astonished at how amazing my family is.
I’ve had series of health issues as an adult, not a lot of major stuff, but a series of ‘unrelated’ illnesses. Then, in November of 2011 I suddenly got sicker. A lot sicker. I have finally gotten a proper diagnosis, and it explains the whole series of illnesses. I am finally getting some of the treatments that I need, but every tiny step forward with my care has been hard won ground. The full story can only be described as an excellent example of truth being stranger than fiction.