Why YMM is Home
Home. When I think of that word, I see the house I live in. It’s where my family is. It’s my castle and refuge. ‘Home’ brings warm feelings of comfort and peace.
Yet ‘home’ has so many other connotations. Home is where we grew up. Our community and the people in it make it home. Walking into a business where people know you and you recognize them makes it home. Home is where people gather together for a common goal or there is a like mindedness.
I’ve lived in a few places over the years. Some were big cities, on a farm, in a small town and now, Fort McMurray is my home. Not all of them were home, and I can say it wasn’t about the house. It was all about the people and my choices.
Some of my fond memories were of going to stores and there were people who knew me by name or recognized my face. Others included when the neighbours would call to tell me what I was going to contact them about. Another is the time I got a call about some strange man walking with my daughter in a stroller. The community didn’t know my father in law was in town visiting his grandkids. I could go on.
What all of these have in common is that I made the effort to be a part of that community. Our family went to the community dances, a local church, volunteered and made sure we knew our neighbours.
Fort McMurray is different. We have a whole city of people who are making this their home. There are tons of opportunities to volunteer with something close to your heart. There are groups for every interest, from scuba diving and hockey, to tai chi and film making. Yeah, you’ve probably heard about the world class facilities, but having so many opportunities to be an active part of the community is what makes it home.
Community is what Fort McMurray is about. We’re a city of people from all over the world, united in taking up the challenge of making our city home. We have a common goal of helping one another to feel welcome, to get involved and to get our kids to that hockey practise at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning. We’re not defeated by the weather and the long warm summer nights can’t be beat (or so our birth rates seem to show).
So what’s the bottom line? I go to the grocery store in my pyjamas because people will know me and I’m sure to hear the latest news.