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  • Writer's pictureRiley Gettens

Most ask question #1 - Where do you live and how long have you lived here?

We moved here in 2007 and live on West Bench Drive, just north of the school.

What brought us to West Bench?

At the end of 2006, Grant (my husband) became critically ill and was hospitalized.

At the time, our oldest Chay was two years old and our youngest Jase was six months.

It took about a week to diagnosis Grant and while we were waiting to find out results, Grant and I had some really great heart-to-heart talks about, well, everything. And one thing we both agreed on was that it was time for us to leave Calgary and find a place to call home that better aligned with how we wanted to live our lives and supported how we wanted to raise our boys.

Grant is from Sydney which means we could have chosen anywhere in Australia or Canada to call home. We chose here, we chose West Bench.

Grant was diagnosed with viral arthritis from which he is, thankfully, fully recovered. His illness lasted 20 months. It was a challenge, without a doubt. But, we both recognized how lucky we were to have such a big life lesson... and for us to then to both be ok. We took this time to really think about how we wanted to spend our day-to-day rather than wait for 'some day'.

I thought Grant would want to move back to Australia and I would have been onboard. He had lived in Canada for 10 years, his family is amazing (we miss them dearly). But, the Okanagan was the dream that neither of us had yet lived. So, we did a family road trip from Calgary to Penticton in January and confirmed the mild-winter rumours. We fell in love.

Here felt like home.

We returned to Australia in April to visit Grant's amazing family and see how we felt about moving back. While we were there, Grant found our current home online. So, we actually chose West Bench while we were in Australia! We were booked to come home and within a week or so of being back in Canada, we were in Penticton making our hew home official.

It was the best decision we have ever made. We have never looked back.

That's a photo of one of our dogs, Ellie.


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