Friday, November 26, 2010

Donut Delay

Other than the terrible pain that took over my right ear, all I was feeling as my Jazz flight was landing on the tundra was relief. Finally, I had made it home. Home to my quiet life with my laid back friends in calm, easy going Iqaluit. The quiet lasted until the Tim's store opening crew landed and shifted my world into high gear.

The three locations are totally put together and they look beautiful. Yesterday we held an orientation for new team members. I stood in the back with Kaila and Mo from the ops team, baking the first batches of Tim Horton's donuts to ever come out of an oven in Nunavut. It felt monumental. Our soon-to-be store manager, Rick, sent me out to grab the current store manager, Eldon and a camera, so that we could document the moment. I feel blessed to be a part of the insanity.  Overwhelmed is another feeling that has taken hold of me.

When Matt picked me up from the airport he told me that we had moved into the one bedroom apartment that we had wanted to move into. He, along with our fantastic neighbors, moved all of our belongings over while I was away. Our new apartment is really nice. It is directly next door to our last place. The bedroom is small and the living area, dining room and kitchen are open concept but modest, warm and inviting. I bought lots of picture frames when I was South so I now have pictures of our friends and family stationed around the apartment.

On the twenty-fourth, Katie, Stephen and Shemekia moved into our old apartment. They are settling in nicely and we can barely hear the baby crying through the wall. I am going over to spend some time with them and help set up their new Christmas tree tomorrow.

We have the day off tomorrow because we had to push back the date of our soft store opening. We had planned on opening early to smooth out the kinks before the grand opening but our permits didn't come through in time and our cream and milk has yet to be delivered. I'm about to say it again... welcome to the North. 

I saw the final article printed in the Oakville beaver about our store opening. Actually I saw a picture of the article that was posted on my wall by my old friend Dayna. How exciting.

I also received a really cool message on facebook from a pair of fellow GTA-ers, named Alex and Luke. I hadn't heard their story before the message but I wanted to share it here because it is incredible. Alex and Luke are best friends from my home town area who are travelling across all of North American in their VW Rabbit. Their trip is fueled by social media. Their followers on sites like twitter and facebook have been deciding where they would travel to and what they would do while they were there. Nunavut is one of the last places left for the adventurers to visit. Alex read the article about me in the beaver and messaged me to see if we could meet up while they are in Iqaluit. I am so inspired by their journey and am so excited for the chance to meet them. They were supposed to fly in today so hopefully I will see them soon.

A day light update ... almost none. When I left for work this morning at ten to eight, it was still dark, the light was just starting to make its entrance. Around one thirty pm, the sun began to set and by the time I walked home from work just after four, it was as dark as midnight.

The weather brought us a blizzard last week and then warm, rainy days and cold nights. We have had roads like skating rinks. The last few days have been fairly mild. It seems that the arctic is having an identity crisis this fall.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My training at Tim Horton's training centre ended yesterday. I finished it off with a successful re-cert of first aid and CPR. The days flew by and I met some highly entertaining, kind people.

Sometimes I find myself going through really uneasy feelings, I brace myself for it and ride it out. I'm feeling that right now, in the pit of my stomach are butterflies and I cant say for sure why they're hanging out in there.

It may be because I've met so many great people here and leaving means that I will probably lose contact with the majority of them. That has always been something that I wish I could avoid in life.

It could be because I never found enough minutes in the days and didn't get to spend time with a lot of my old Oakvillian friends, which I will regret until the day I get home for vacation.

The flutterbies are probably there in huge part because I'm nervous for the store opening. I'm nervous because quiet little Iqaluit has become some sort of sanctuary for me, where the stresses of Southern life are exterminated and the mentality of 'Welcome to the North' has become just that, welcoming. I'm nervous because of the expectations of Tim Horton's, and the driving forces behind the name. I'm nervous that bringing this power house of a company into my peaceful world with disturb it in anyway.

I could also be feeling this because I'm terribly excited. I am beyond myself to be able to be a part of this project, I've been on this excitement high since the day I found out I was coming to Oakville to train.

The unease of going back to Iqaluit also has something to do with my pull in both directions. I hate the crowds of Toronto... even the crowds of Oakville now. However, the other day we headed downtown with our new district manager to see the Leafs play the Canucks. As we drove past the CN Tower, and into the downtown core, the look on Stephen's face, the excitement behind his and Katie's eyes... it was magic, like a child walking into Disney World for the first time. I was proud to be from the GTA, from a place that has the power to wow guests.

I am also proud to be a Nunavumiut now, I want to show my new home to the world and wish I could share the smell, the sights and the culture. I wish I could share the rush of breathing crisp air into your lungs after stepping out the front door to greet the morning.  I wish I could share the friends that are quickly becoming my family away from family.

When the butterflies subside, when I step off the plane and back onto the tundra, when I make it home without breaking any of my breakables (and all of the perfectly wrapped Christmas gifts from Momma Grigg and my step mom Stacey)... I will write a blog about finding my inner peace again and probably about my preparations for Christmas. I have decided to get into the spirit a little earlier this year so that I don't have a second to miss Christmas in Oakville. I took a productive Walmart shopping trip yesterday, I went with baby Gabriella, which made my heart very happy... and our mommies, which was equally as wonderful.

My theme this year for Christmas is pastry... cupcakes in particular. Sorry Matthew...

In my next blog I may also include the link to the online article they published about me but only if they edit the mistakes they made. I am a tough critic and to be fair, they called my Katie a supervisor instead of a manager, so I had to get them to change it. Hopefully it will be edited before it goes to print.

I cant wait to unpack all of my new Christmas treasures and to be back with my Matt, Jack and Sadie.

All my love, from Oakville.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Being Everywhere at Once

My eyes are beat red and my head keeps slowly falling to one side. I cannot give in to the desire to nap. My days in Oakville are long and exhausting yet I cannot manage to find enough time during these passing days to see and do all that I wish I could.

My work load has been a challenge, getting up at three am, even more so. The crowds are tiring my mind and my nerves. I miss the quiet of Iqaluit terribly. I find the volume of people here and the high stress environment makes me much more anxious than it used to. Being here again makes Iqaluit feel more like home, a safe place to return to.

I miss my new found family there. I am so blessed and lucky to be able to be here and to visit with so many of the people I love but to balance that with work has worn me down and I find myself longing to be back with the tundra.

I have had a wonderful experience here. Firstly, my hotel suite is fantastic and having a big cloud-like bed to spread out in is such a luxury. The people at the Training Centre have been so hospitable and kind. I have met some truly incredible people, including my new partner in crime, Miss Katie Inukshuk.

Katie and I will be running our Tim Horton's together in Iqaluit. On my first day in training she walked into the staff room to introduce herself and I had this urge to hug her. She is fantastic and her sense of humour will keep our working relationship alive with laughter. We've been plotting and planning for success and have so many wonderful ideas to bring back with us. I know without a doubt that we are going to be a killer duo and my excitement about returning and diving into this project is at an all time high.

On a high note, my talent for baking and decorating donuts is progressing... On a low note, and I'm sorry to say, Tim Horton's Iqaluit will not have an Iced Capp machine.

We will also be without a drive through, soup and sandwiches and a few other hot drinks. Serving the basics will surely keep us busy enough to start out.

I had a day off yesterday and used my time to creep Ellen's facebook page, where I found an updated picture of one of our Tim's counters. My heart did a little flutter. I excite easily.

Spending time with my friends here has been hard to do and I haven't spent nearly enough time with my parents and siblings. Ive been cuddling my mom at every chance and had my sister stay with me at the hotel for some sister loving the other night.

My "loving" sister emailed me after I landed here to tell me that she booked an appointment and put a deposit down on the matching tattoos we had been "planning" for years. I never imagined the day would come that we would actually go through with it.

I now have a tattoo down my left thigh that reads, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living." Jenna has it written down the side of her ribs. It is the repeated verse from one of our favorite books from childhood. Sort of our reminder of each other when we're so far from one another, a tribute to each other and our family. Our brother Brett plans to follow with the, "As long as I'm living," as a tattoo across his heart.

I still have a week here, I feel so torn between missing my Iqaluit family and and the nerves that are rising inside of me, knowing that I'll once again be flying away from my home town, and everyone here that I adore and miss everyday. I miss Matthew and my cats, my new friends and even work.

Ive gotten every kiss possible out of baby Gabriella and told her I love her a million and one times. I've done some shopping for jeans and other things that lack in selection in the North. I've seen faces that I love and done some serious catching up.

I am almost ready to head back, but will enjoy every last second that I have here. 

I had a chat with a gentleman from the paper the other day, so keep a look out for an article in the Beaver.

All my love... from Oakville this time.