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Hants’ Faces Friday — Shannon Pierangeli

Shannon Pierangeli, who moved to this region in 2014 but grew up in New Minas, has been living across Canada as part of her husband’s postings with the Royal Canadian Navy.
Shannon Pierangeli, who moved to this region in 2014 but grew up in New Minas, has been living across Canada as part of her husband’s postings with the Royal Canadian Navy.

GARLAND’S CROSSING, N.S. — Faces Friday is our online feature highlighting members of our community: their strength, challenges and humanity.

Meet Shannon Pierangeli, teacher, business owner and military mother. She talks about moving around for different postings, coping with new environments and getting to know a new community.

We sat down with her in her home in Garlands Crossing, where at times her two young children attempted to steal the show, but she managed to get through the interview as only a seasoned mother could. 

Meet Shannon Pierangeli, teacher, business owner and military mother. She talks about moving around for different postings, coping with new environments and getting to know a new community.

We sat down with her in her home in Garlands Crossing, where at times her two young children attempted to steal the show, but she managed to get through the interview as only a seasoned mother could. 

Shannon Pierangeli with her daughter Aurelia, 6, at their home in Garlands Crossing, where they’ve been living for the past two and a half years.
Shannon Pierangeli shares a tender moment with her daughter Aurelia, 6.

“I grew up in New Minas, met my husband when he was working in Halifax — he was in the navy — and after we got married, we were posted to Ottawa and then Victoria and then in 2014 we were posted back here. Having grown up in the Valley, I wanted to be in the Valley. I’m a teacher, so I knew more people in the Valley board, but we like to be close to my parents, who still live in New Minas and I have brothers and sisters in Halifax, so we wanted to be here. My daughter is six now and he’s three. It’s a nice area.”

“I had some experience with Ottawa, because I did my university there, so that was OK. We were there for two years, living in military housing and then we’d get the message that we’re going out west for two years in military housing. It was nice, but being on the other side of the country from my family was really hard. I was pregnant with (my son) at the time and my husband’s teenage children were living with us, so we had teenagers and little-little kids. To have to start over in a new community, to find a new network of friends and I wasn’t working at the time because of babies, it was too hard. Even coming back here, where I grew up in New Minas, I didn’t really know anybody in the Windsor area.”

Shannon Pierangeli says she’s bracing for another potential move for a new posting. It’s something she’s dealt with before and will deal with it again if need be.

“I had been running, but that’s when I got started with the Run Junkies here, and that’s really how I met a lot of people in the area — and with my daughter in school now, you meet other parents and that sort of thing. Military life is interesting, because now we’re waiting to hear if we get to stay here or get posted out. It is tough. We’ve been here almost two and half years, and I was thinking, ‘wow, this is the longest we’ve been anywhere for a while,’ but I think it takes a special kind of person. I’m fine if my husband goes off to sea, I can cope on my own. It’s nice to have family and friends close by but I’m lucky that my family was able to visit us in Ottawa and travel out to B.C. But it is hard, especially when thinking ‘OK, are we moving again? Do I transfer my teaching license? Do I bother trying to set up my own business out there? Stay at home and worry about it later? Changing schools and all of that kind of thing.’” 

Shannon Pierangeli found solace in running — a practice she keeps up to this day — and also found a circle of friends through the sport.

“It’s kind of exciting too. I still have friends out in B.C., but it means new doctor, new dentist, new house. I think the kids are so young that it doesn’t matter for them as much, like I don’t think they would cry leaving friends, whereas when we had the teenagers with us, it was a bit more traumatic I guess. They were resilient though and adapted quickly. I go to the grocery store now and see people I know, which that really hasn’t happened for me in a long time. When you live somewhere you grew up, you take for granted the idea that you’ll see people you know wherever you go. We’re starting to feel like part of the community and I know for other military families sometimes that never happens.”

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