We Never Meant to Leave America

Many of you have wondered how our family came to be up here in the frozen North, and why we are permanent residents in Canada. I even get that question up here–

“Where are you from?”

“Los Angeles.”

“Why are you HERE?” they’ll ask with raised eyebrows.

When you’re covered in 5 feet of snow, Los Angeles seems like the promised land. It also seems like the promised land if you are in Todd’s line of work– the Entertainment Industry. Most people want to go to Hollywood, not leave it. But after working there for 15 years, we both felt strongly that we did not want to raise our kids in that environment. You can do LA and raise wonderful children, in fact, some of my favorite families live there. But living close enough to Hollywood so the commute is reasonable rules out most of the safe, affordable areas.

Our first stop was Maryland, where Todd’s family lives. We thought we might carve out a nice Eastern US life for ourselves while Todd started a portrait business. I love his paintings!

But God closed all the doors and soon after, a studio in Montreal found out Todd was available.

They contracted him for one year.

‘We can do Canada for one year, how hard can it be’, we thought.

One year turned into two, and then three, and on to five.

Another Montreal studio offered Todd a job perfectly suited to his taste, but it required obtaining permanent residency.

Now in our tenth year here, we both realize that Montreal is a great place to direct films and not be in the Hollywood climate. The only other choices are New York and LA. Here, you can live in a tiny little town where kids walk home from school for lunch, and still be 20 minutes from the hub of the industry.

We MISS America. It is our home, and in our opinion, the BEST country in the world.

If we hadn’t moved away, we never could have appreciated all that America is. There are some very interesting differences between Socialism and Capitalism and I am extremely glad I’ve lived under both so I can debate informedly. (I have a definite preference– but that’s another post).

8 Responses to We Never Meant to Leave America
  1. Malek
    September 22, 2010 | 11:19 am

    Todd is such a talented painter!! I had no idea he did that – incredible. Also, I would love to hear your views re: socialism/capitalism. Do you skype?? It would be great to have a skype and/or phone date with you!

  2. Joyce
    October 26, 2010 | 12:43 pm

    I’m going to follow (found you thru Mindee). We’ve been back in the States after 6+ years in the UK. Living abroad allows you to see your own country from a different perspective. And it allows you to truly appreciate much of what you didn’t even realize existed in America as you went about daily life. We loved the UK. We love America. It is possible to feel at home in two places.

  3. Tina
    May 19, 2011 | 12:39 am

    Would I recognize any of the films Todd directed?
    Christians are so needed in the entertainment in-dustry, but it would be a hard industry for a Christian to work in, keeping focused on the Lord, and raising children. What a blessing to have been led to a place where you and your husband can do both. My son has just graduated from Full Sail U. in Orlando, in Recording Arts. At first the idea frightened me, but then the Lord showed me that the passion my son has for music originated with God,(our creator) and God uses our passions to fulfill the plans He has for us.
    You have a lovely blog. I have enjoyed my visit here! Blessings!

    • Missy Jill
      May 19, 2011 | 7:39 am

      Thank you for your kind words! And that is a very astute observation, since we are made in God’s image, some of us are “creators” and were born to create! I see it so strongly in Todd and now our daughter. I think it’s great that you let your son pursue his dreams. Todd’s parents encouraged him in art and film when they could have given the classic speech “you’ll always be a starving artist”. We are so blessed now that Todd can use his gifts.

    • Cece
      May 20, 2011 | 11:39 am

      Okay, this is a small world, because we have just taken in a border — he is a new graduate from Full Sail in Orlando, and he’s a Christian interested in filmmaking. Is Full Sail a Christian institution?

      • Tina
        May 20, 2011 | 4:41 pm

        No! But there are Christian students. My son got involved with a local church that ministers to the many college students in Orlando. There are several colleges around there. The church body has a heart for young Christian men and women, and has been instrumental in helping my son to keep his eyes on the Lord. The entertainment industry needs Christians. Technology is here to stay. Movies, video games, music; it is all part of our culture. Family values are so needed to improve as a whole in our culture and the media can help that happen. An ungodly influence has hurt us all. I look forward to seeing what comes of the Christian influence moving into the industry.

  4. Miriam
    December 21, 2012 | 7:35 am

    I found you through Mindee. I’m Canadian who has been living in the US for 11 years now (and will probably never leave because my husband is from here). I find myself missing Canada, especially when it comes to health care. But actually I kinda wish I could get the best of both worlds, because free shipping is amazing in the US 😉

    • Missy Jill
      December 22, 2012 | 8:51 am

      heh-heh, I know exactly what you mean. Do you have a blog? I would love to hear the experience of a Canadian living in the US. So good to meet you, Miriam!

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