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Fifteen Years in Tumbler Ridge!

How this mover became a lifer

Fifteen years is a LONG TIME.

I can hardly fathom that it’s been that long since we moved to Tumbler Ridge, BC. The only place I’ve lived longer is my hometown of Mossbank, Saskatchewan and that was for the first 17.5 years of my life. (Although I did move from house to house a lot while living in Mossbank! About 10 houses if I’m counting correctly…)

Very soon, Tumbler may very well top the charts.

For those who don’t know my story, I’ve moved more than thirty times. Granted, a lot of the time, I simply moved to a different house, and in some cases, I moved back to the same town more than once. In my younger married life when I had small children, we seemed to bounce back and forth between the same few locations: Crystal Lake – Churchill – Hyas – Crystal Lake – Hyas – Churchill – Crystal Lake... I tried to write it down so I could figure it all out, but as you can see from my scribbling, it wasn’t an easy task!

To my best count, I LIVED at Crystal Lake, SK on five different occasions, which is NOT counting the summer months when we only stayed there as a summer home or I worked at the golf course. (That would be closer to fifteen times!) Similarly, we moved back and forth to Hyas, SK three separate times and Churchill, MB twice. (Plus my husband worked there seasonally for several years.) Add to that Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Estevan, and Wynyard and we did a pretty good circuit in Saskatchewan!

I already mentioned Churchill, Manitoba, but what about BC and other points further north? In 1995 we packed up our four kids and moved to Fort St. John, BC. Two years later, we moved to Dawson Creek, BC. Then we moved to Fort Smith in the North West Territories for two years and after that, it was off to Watson Lake, Yukon!

My eldest daughter was in her fifth school by the time she entered Grade Two – just one of the reasons we chose to homeschool for several years after that! I will say that one of the wonderful things about moving so much is that we made a lot of friends, many of whom we still stay in touch with. This is also one of the benefits of being a Christian. Everywhere we went, we found true friendships and connections with other believers and also got to experience going to a variety of denominations. I wonder sometimes how people who don’t go to church manage to make friends. Without our church family, I think things might have been very different…

Up until Watson Lake, Yukon, the longest my husband and I had lived anywhere was three years. When we stayed in the Yukon for eight, it was a new record!

Then came Tumbler Ridge…

I fully admit that at year eight in Tumbler I felt VERY ANTSY! I was noticeably agitated, because other than my growing up years in Mossbank, I had never been anywhere that long! I would have moved that year to just about anywhere, just for the sake of moving. My feet were itchy and I was ready for a change.

Then something happened.

Year nine, ten, and eleven went by and suddenly I started seeing things differently. Maybe it was Covid that really solidified things for me. (2020 was year twelve) Suddenly, I had no desire to go anywhere else. I felt content and safe in my little out-of-the-way mountain town.

Now, at year fifteen, I’m pretty sure I’m a lifer!

Tumbler Ridge has been good to me. We’ve flourished here career-wise and in other ways. All of my children and ten grandchildren have settled nearby and are within an hour and a half driving distance. I have a church family I love and appreciate. Tumbler is where we lived when I saw my first book published and I’ve grown as an author exponentially since.

Whenever we visit a larger city, I am so grateful that I get to live somewhere that has a much slower pace. (We were in both Calgary and Edmonton very recently, and the never-ending box stores are mind-boggling. How much STUFF do people really need?)

My reluctance to stay in one place has shifted to rejoicing that I get to live somewhere that is so beautiful and safe.

(Well, except for forest fires… Remember that one? You can read about it here!)

Here’s to another fifteen – at least!


  1. Holly Hutchinson says:

    15 years!!! Can hardly believe it!
    But it sure is a wonderful place to visit!
    Love it!

  2. Joanna Cann says:

    Happy 15th to you Tracy… what a beautiful journey that brought you to Tumbler Ridge. Thank you for sharing with us all. (I related to the ansy feeling… we lived in 10 towns in our first 10 years of marriage)

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Cool! We’ll have to exchange moving tips and lists!

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