Is it just me or has there been quite a bit of buzz about Aldergrove lately?
Our little 100-year-old-too-often-forgotten community seems to be cropping up everywhere.
Is it like when you buy a red car and then, all of a sudden, you notice how many red cars there are on the road?
Am I just noticing it more, or is there some sort of shift happening in this little community?
I think it's a shift - that feeling you get when you know something is about to happen but you can't quite figure out what.
Yep. Aldergrove is shifting. I'm sure of it.
When I first moved here 18 months ago from Langford (a suburb of Victoria on Vancouver Island), people told me I must need my head examined.
"You're moving where?! Why?! No one moves to Aldergrove on purpose!"
I know, right? It's not like I woke up one morning and said to myself, "Gee Annette, it's time to follow your dream and move to Aldergrove."
It just kind of happened, and I didn't know a soul.
Little did I know what was in store. Just weeks after moving, I found out that Aldergrove was about to begin its quest to become the Million Dollar Neighbourhood.
My kids and I had moved to the middle of nowhere (sorry, 8th Avenue, but it IS) and all of a sudden, we had TV cameras in our home. Real TV cameras from a real production company, producing a real television series for a real network. The Oprah Winfrey Network, even.
I've been in PR for a long time and have quite enjoyed life behind the scenes. Now, every bad hair day and financial mishap was going to be broadcast for the world to see.
Suddenly, I didn't feel like I was in the middle of nowhere any more.
Sure, it's an unusual set of circumstances to get to know your new community through the lens of a camera, but even since filming finished and the crew left town, more of that shift has been happening.
People who couldn't wait to move out of Aldergrove have decided to stay. Families wanting a little more out of life are moving in. Business is going up and crime is going down.
I found myself talking with a complete stranger the other day, who hadn't been to Aldergrove since he was a school kid on a field trip to the zoo. Fast-forward 30 years and he was in Aldergrove, with a real estate magazine in hand, looking for a better and more affordable life.
He told me that when the new (Port Mann) bridge is completed, it will take him 40 minutes to get to his office in North Burnaby.
He currently lives in Port Coquitlam and it takes him almost an hour.
Something tells me it won't be long before he finds a new job in Aldergrove and doesn't have to commute at all.
It wasn't long ago I concluded that the world has become so anti-social, thanks to so-called social networking - that it doesn't matter where you live, because you'll just be online, finding friends in other places anyway - that we stopped bothering to get to know our neighbours, in exchange for living in a what's-in-itfor-me society - and that we lost the oldfashioned barn-raising mentality forever.
I love it when I'm wrong.
People are social, and if given the opportunity to help, they will. They will sell your chocolates, distribute your daffodils, pound in your fence posts, organize your baby shower, change the oil in your car, hire your friends, and love every minute of it.
Not long ago, I was in the Aldergrove Credit Union on 272nd Street, just minding my own business while waiting in the lineup. All of a sudden, a man came through the doors, and in a jovial voice said, "Helloooo everyone, where are the cookies?"
Every teller looked up and smiled and replied, "Hello Jack!"
I stood there and smiled as the somber mood was immediately changed in the entire branch, because of one person.
There are so many great people in Aldergrove who are doing great things. Every day, the nuggets of gold found here surprise me.
I'm going to do my best to introduce these nuggets to you, one at a time, and share with you what's happening in this community column, Around Aldergrove.
Annette McArthur is a media and PR professional living and working in Aldergrove. If you have an event happening that you'd like her to know about, drop her a line at aldergrovepr@gmail. com or give her a call 604-626-4506.