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I Felt Like Natalie Wood

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I saw our house in Canada. Having seen only a few photos of the inside, I felt like Natalie Wood.

The miracle was that it worked. Internet judgments-turned-interview questions for my husband, who had been inside, paid off. We'd found the right location and the right house. I'm excited.

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I'll have to adjust car-perusing to going on foot, but a sense of the land is a combination of urban and rural similar to that of Boston. And when and why was my wish granted? The day of the closing, the realtor met me at the house for a walk-or, in my case, leap-through. It was a relief to see a fitting blueprint. These are circumstances that concern the growing years, economics and as healthy a political change as we can muster. And when I say the growing years, it includes all of us.

After giving me a general and generous view of the neighborhood, the realtor took me to another part of town to my daughter's high school. And while making the rounds, we discussed Canadian laws and habits. For example, there is no law prohibiting cell phones and driving, and fines for speeding are uniform. I also discovered that not all banks accept MasterCard, though you have a chance with a debit card. Some banks offer account options if you work with both U.S. and Canadian dollars. Apparently, there is sufficient need among the population for that provision.

And banking in Canada for a foreigner with an imminent closing on a home poses a Catch-22. Our lender requires a Canadian bank account. But, as the familiar song goes, the required identifying documents, with the exception of a foreign passport, mandate the "egg before the chicken." We've asked nicely for help in airlifting the egg.

The actual closing was crowded in with three or four others. While I sat in another room, and even before arriving at the attorney's office, they were dealing with paperwork and faxes regarding ours. Among the issues that needed to be sewn up was the revisiting of spousal laws. Spousal laws in Canada are protective, something I had to keep firmly in mind throughout the closing, which actually began in the U.S. in order to save time. Although it's been taking some getting used to, in the end, they're with us...not against us.

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Is it a movable line? In Canada, not really. If the closing is set for a particular date, they've got to have real reason to move it. And, in our case, the jibber-jabber stopped after the offer was agreed upon. Therefore, it happened in Canada sooner than in New York because in New York it's, perhaps, a little too flexible.

Such flexibility, however, affords us a little more time while a replacement is sought for my husband's current post. Luckily, we have a going-away party to distract us (a little) while a possible replacement makes up his mind.
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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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