Nick and Mason came over for dinner last night. (Unfortunately for us, they didn't bring Athena and Cian, who we were hoping would romp around in the yard with Cody.) I had such a good time. We all talked endlessly, and once again - just as when we met Nick when he was here in August - I felt like I was among old friends. They are just great guys, and a really cool couple.

They're closing in on their first month in Canada, and we're beginning our second year. We compared impressions and observations of our new lives and our new country. Like any group of recent immigrants, there are some things that only people who lived there and now live here can appreciate, and it was really good to affirm them.

I also realized how Denver-to-Toronto was a far greater change than New-York-to-GTA. Nick and Mason have had a bigger culture shock, and so are going through a bigger adjustment, than we did. Even our urban-to-suburban change isn't as huge, as Allan and I both grew up in suburban areas.

It's still kind of hard to believe how far we've all come since that day in November 2004 when Nick bumped into Allan on DU, then emailed me. There we were, strangers with a sympathetic spirit, half a continent away. Now we're all legal residents of Canada. (And waiting for so many more of you to join us!)

We know other people in Toronto who made the same move - especially Diamond Jim, Matt the Nurse and John, and A&S. But Nick was the very first person who made that connection with me, the first person to find my blog and say, "We're thinking of doing this, too," and I feel a special bond with him.

In general, I feel so lucky to have friends here, to know people I feel so comfortable with. I know I say that all the time, but not nearly as often as I think it.

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