City Girl, County Girl: The Move to PEC, Day 1

So, here I was: A die-hard city girl and her family, transplanted into Prince Edward County. The glorious views from my tiny Toronto house of my neighbours’ ultra-modern glass and concrete mansions had been transformed into a silver body of water that stretched to infinity under a huge, low winter sun.

We’d been here a week and were still tripping over ourselves, our stuff, and each other—but when one of my favourite clients called to check in, I flopped into a big nest chair in front of the window to chat for a few minutes. “So, are you bored yet?” she asked, both brash and sincere.

Am I bored yet?

I paused. It was late January. We’d arrived in Prince Edward County a week before our new home would be ready to receive us and stayed a few days in a pretty BnB in Picton. While the weather was pretty good for January in Ontario, we’d had a few blizzards that had kept us inside and off the roads. Then the big day came and we moved in. We spent a few days eating poorly planned dinners derived from a few loosely strategized grocery runs. Our TV wasn’t hooked up, the ‘internet’ hadn’t quite happened yet—and most of our everyday stuff was still packed in the rows upon rows of boxes piled on boxes. I certainly couldn’t get any work done, trying to manage a restless toddler in a totally non-child proofed environment with a handful of playthings—but, were we bored?

The County, Day One

I woke up that morning and gawked at the view. The sun exploded through the pitch black of pre-dawn in a fiery show of brilliant orange. As I stood transfixed, witnessing the first day, my heart was so full it ached. Fifteen minutes later, I was downstairs putting on the coffee, when seven swans swam by. Seven. Huge, beautiful, majestic, snow-white swans—the QUEEN’S swans no less—swam by my house. Everyone had come into the kitchen and I abandoned coffee as we all stood together, side by side and watched in awe. Some time later, a thousand ducks flew in overhead. They landed in the water and splashed about together until the light morning snow stopped and the afternoon sky emerged, the vibrant blue of Alaskan icebergs.

Same old, same old.

A neighbour’s dog wandered onto the property and made a billion joyful footprinty patterns in the vast fresh powdery snow outside while the baby laughed delighted, yelling “HI! DOGGIE!” over and over. We sat around the dining table playing cards and drinking a chardonnay, brought over as a welcome from our new neighbours (whose house we can barely even see from ours.) These grapes were grown and bottled at a winery less than a mile from our front door. Did you know that Prince Edward County has more than 50 wineries? We could snowshoe over for a few more bottles in a pinch. Watching the sun go up and down in brilliant pinks and oranges. Watching my little boy’s eyes light up because he can finally really run, really play, throw pebbles into the crisp, clear water, explore the boundlessness of his new life.

The County, Night One

Last night I went outside to look up at the sky and I saw what I imagined people saw in the beginning of time. Thousands of stars, brightly defined orbs and pinpricks: a Pollock light show. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen there before—like living on a completely different Earth. I could understand why our ancestors stared up into the brilliant night and believed in God.

“Definitely not bored.” I answered.


Lonelle Selbo

Writer, Designer, Editor. Publisher + Editor of auLAIT Magazine. Creative Director at auLAIT Media. Mama of Sebastian + Partner to Mark. Lover of Prince Edward County, my beautiful home. Most often, a very happy human.

  1. This made me tear up with jealousy. I’ve yearned for this for many years. As I write this, I’m lying in bed in our little house in Belleville listening to the nerve-wracking banging and squeaking and whirring and beeping of giant machines digging up the ground that used to be woods behind my house. They’ve flattened and filled in vast swaths of what I came to think of as our forest, where my husband and beloved dog and I explored daily. Now I’m reluctant to get up and move about this fishbowl and feel dreadfully exposed and boxed in. It’s all so horrible. Hence my jealousy. But I’m also the type to be genuinely delighted for people who change their lives as you have, and I wish you countless days of your idyllic setting absorbing any bad and lightening your heart.

    1. I think we all live a number of very different chapters in our lives….and they’re all incredibly important in making us who were were meant to be! Hoping this is our final stop and hoping to someday see you on the other side of the bridge 🙂

  2. Hi Lonelle:

    Chris D.D. passed on your website to me.
    Being a die-hard “Cafe-au-lait” and “Life-au-lait” person myself, I think we should meet.
    I make a pretty good Latte Machiatto but I’m guessing so do you.
    I’m the owner of the Empty Nest Bed and Breakfast (north end of PEC) and also work at the Grange of PEC.
    Would love to get together .
    613 849 1406

    1. Hi Susan! Sounds lovely. Perhaps email me at [email protected] and let’s chat more.
      PS. I make terrible coffee/variations and am highly undomesticated in a kitchen context (Life Au Lait is about the simple life, the complicated life, the good life!)

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