the heart’s home   25 comments

Posted at 8:29 pm in Uncategorized

Sage on the front lawn of our new-old home in Round Hill, Nova Scotia

In an update at the foot of my last post, I mentioned that Sabrina, Sage and I had completed our eastward journey to the new-old place which I bought in Nova Scotia. Without some background, the entire relocation project might appear to have been seamless. However, it was anything but that. In this post, I’ll try to give a rough outline of how we got to be here. If nothing else, this story might illustrate how much I’ve come to trust instinct, luck and fate over and above caution and careful planning. I wasn’t always this way, but the past couple of years of dealing with Don’s illness, death, and my “going it alone” have radically altered my decision-making process. I no longer steer in the direction of that which seems sensible, practical, safe or easy, but plot my course based on what “feels right” to me in spite of how off-the-wall it may seem. My path is rarely ever easy, but more often strewn with countless obstacles and challenges. I can’t recommend this way of thinking for everyone, but it is the only way I know how to carry on and make sense out of what has happened to my life.

work has begun on repairing and priming the old shiplap siding

To begin, if you’ve followed this and my older blog, Burning Silo, you will know that Don and I felt a strong connection to Nova Scotia. Our long range goal had always been to work and pay off our farm near Ottawa, then semi-retire somewhere in Nova Scotia when Don turned fifty-five. The disparity in land prices in the two regions remain such that we knew we could sell our Ontario farm and buy a suitable older place in Nova Scotia for a fraction of the price. As Don approached his target retirement age, we began to gear up toward selling the farm with the intention of moving in the spring of 2008. In summer 2007, after recovering from my surgery in 2006, I began work on repairs and clean-up around the farm. Don continued to work that year, looking forward to 2008 with great anticipation. Of course, most of you know the story of what actually transpired. In summer 2007, Don began to have respiratory problems which were initially thought to be related to the asthma and allergies which bothered him more some years than others. After a series of attempts to cure the problem with inhalers, he was eventually diagnosed with a form of lung cancer – already stage 4 – and given a prognosis of just a few months at best.

house with the pottery birdbath by Doug France that Don and I gave to each other as an anniversary present

In one afternoon, our long-cherished plan to spend our retirement years together, hiking and canoeing, gardening, and restoring an old farmhouse in Nova Scotia were entirely dashed. All that remained to us were a few precious months during which we spent every second together as Don gave chemo and radiation treatments a try in order to stave off the inevitable. With Don’s death in early September 2008, all of our hopes and dreams and a large part of the person I was, died with him. A month or so later, with our weak and aging dog, Sabrina, I set out in an somewhat decrepit Windstar van, bound for the west and then southwest U.S. to spend our first winter “on the road”. Last summer, I returned to our farm to ready it for sale while disposing of many of our possessions and moving the rest into storage. Sabrina was much improved after our winter in the south, and we were now joined by a new collie pup, Sage. Due to some unforeseen glitches, the sale of the farm took longer than expected to complete. I had hoped to buy a place in Nova Scotia that summer, but the uncertainty of the farm sale caused me to delay until there was no practical point in trying to find a place so late in the season. Instead, I packed up our newly acquired used van, and departed to spend a few months traveling west and then back for a second winter in Bisbee, Arizona. That’s the back story – the ancient history – that brings us to the story of the new-old Nova Scotia house.

view of the brook running alongside the property

Last winter, in my spare moments, I perused through online real estate listings for Nova Scotia. My goal was to find an older house on a quiet, out of the way tract of land. I was looking for a house that needed plenty of work and would keep me busy as I have found that the only way to manage the pain of loss is to throw myself into almost-impossible projects. I was not looking for a house that needed a new porch and a coat of paint. I wanted something that was still standing, but just. A place that was of architectural interest, but that was in need of serious restoration efforts. I bookmarked a number of potential places and began making inquiries with real estate agents. One or two responded quickly, but I found that most did not seem to be interested – perhaps feeling that my inquiries were too insincere. Fortunately, I lucked onto a new agent to the Annapolis Valley region, Lynn Drennan. I told her my story and what kind of property I was looking for. After several back and forth emails, she quickly intuited the kind of information I needed. I sent her a list of URLs to the properties I had bookmarked over the winter. She began going through it, making inquiries to listing agents, and sending me whatever bits and pieces she could dig up for each place. One of the houses appeared on my list as a “possible but probably not”. It was a very poorly maintained old place set on a couple of acres of land bordering on a creek. I had included it mainly out of curiosity as it had been for sale for several years – Don and I had both noticed it probably as long as 3 or 4 years ago while looking through the MLS listings. The problem was that it had only 2 acres of land. While I was more than willing to consider a house in very poor condition, I wasn’t too keen on a smaller property as it probably would not have the solitude and privacy I was looking for. However, there was just something about this place – the way it seemed comfortably set among mature trees (photo from original listing file). Lynn checked it out and sent some information along with a batch on a couple of other places on my list. When I saw a lot plan of the property, my curiosity turned to excitement. It looked as though the house was set back quite well from the road (a rarity in Nova Scotia) and had an irregular-shaped lot with a long frontage on a brook – one that went on and on back out behind the place as the property became increasingly narrow toward the back end.

downstream end of property near old railway bridge where there is a now a hiking trail

I quickly wrote back to Lynn to ask if she’d ever actually seen this property. She replied that she’d noticed it in the listings and had been curious as it was a somewhat unusual old place. She knew it wasn’t possible for me to come out to see the property (I was still in Bisbee), so she volunteered to go out and take a look, shoot some photos, and report back to me. A day later, I had the first batch of photos of the place. Let me begin by saying that I thought Lynn was pretty brave to go out to this place in February, walk around in the snow outside taking photos, then go indoors and shoot photos and little video clips of what actually seemed like a rather spooky old place filled with old stuff. In a matter of hours, she uploaded and sent me the photos and videos. Although there were a few somewhat scary things about the house – structural problems that would require work – I was not deterred by the images. In fact, the photos of the property convinced me that I could almost entirely overlook the house’s shortcomings. I decided to submit an offer on the property. All of this was done over the internet and by emails. After making my offer, Lynn volunteered to go back to the house one more time to shoot a few more photos and video clips. I had made a “wish list” of things I would like to see in better detail so that I’d have a better handle on the condition of the place – the electric panel, the water pump, the basement and foundation, certain views of the property that would give me a better impression of the proximity of neighbouring houses, etc.. Lynn went out once more and shot more photos and videos to send. After viewing the second round of images, I was quite sure that I liked the property – in fact, I was even more sure about this – but admit that there were a few “Yikes!” and “Egads!” moments from the logistical side of me. No matter — that was what I was looking for in the first place.

downstairs shot of the house

I suppose the rest is now history. After more back and forth emails and forms being signed, witnessed and sent from Bisbee, the transaction proceeded. It looked as though we would have a “home” for the summer after traveling north and east in the early spring. However, the trip home was not without its own difficulties. We ran into snow and cold at almost every turn. Just before Brandon, Manitoba, I noticed that one of the van’s front tires was looking “weird” so I searched around town that evening and could not find an open tire shop. Then I thought, “What the heck, I’ll go to Canadian Tire Store!” The other three tires were looking pretty rough too, so I had them all replaced that evening — the service people managed to fit my truck in and get all of the tires changed so that I would be ready to roll again in the morning. We stayed a night at a motel in Kenora, then another camped in the yard of a friend’s cabin up on Lake Superior – they are in Ottawa until spring. The next day, we drove through snow for several hours and made it as far as Sturgeon Falls by night. In the morning, the van wouldn’t start. I called CAA and they sent a tow truck out to try giving it a boost. The van sputtered a bit but would not start. There were no garages open in town as it was a Sunday. Resigned to being stuck in town another night, I checked with the motel I had stayed at and registered for a second night. However, just before going to my room, I gave the van another try and it started up. I canceled the room and began the last leg of the journey to my mom’s house in Ottawa. We made it there by late afternoon.

staircase in front hall

I’d like to say things went smoothly from there on out, but what kind of story would that be? I took the van for an oil and transmission filter and fluid change and they accidentally broke the speed sensor off the transmission and had to order another one. Then, the next morning, the van wouldn’t start – acting the way it had up in Sturgeon Falls. My brother and I deduced that the ignition wires might be the problem as the battery showed plenty of charge. He drove me to an auto parts place where I bought a set of wires, distributor cap, rotor, and air filter. The next morning, I pulled the dog house (console) out of the inside of the van and changed all the parts. At one point, my mom came out of the house and peered in the door of the van at me. I was kneeling between the front seats of the van, wearing my reading glasses, and tugging on a plug wire that didn’t want to come undone. I looked up and said, “Don’t worry, mom, I can’t get electrocuted doing this.” Satisfied by my answer, she said, “Amazing” and went back indoors. I think the problem was actually the rotor as the contact on it looked pretty ratty. After replacing everything, the van started up smoothly as soon as I turned the key. I’d bought a trailer while in Ottawa and took it to a friend’s farm to pick up the lawn tractor and its wagon stored there since last summer, then to the storage locker place to get my power tools and other necessary stuff for working on the house.

A week after arriving in Ottawa, I was back on the road to Nova Scotia, driving through Montreal with a trailer in tow. It seemed a long trip for me – even after all the miles I’ve driven crossing North America. I’m not sure why this was so. A slight apprehensiveness over the house? It’s something like 1200 kilometers (750 miles) from my mom’s house to the new-old place in Round Hill. I made it in two long days of driving. Lynn met me at the off ramp for Annapolis Royal and led the way to the house. It was great meeting her “in person” after all of our emails. Until that point, we had not even talked on the phone. I suppose the whole transaction is a testament to how completely I function using the internet – finding and renting the Bisbee house, buying my van, finding my latest Collie, and now buying our home – using the internet and following my instincts when emailing back and forth with people. Some people are amazed and think it strange, but for me, it all seems pretty normal. I suspect I may be more comfortable and better at reading between the lines of an email, than at reading people’s voices and body language.

Sabrina lying nearby while I work on the house

And so it was that we came to our new-old home in Round Hill. I’ll have more to write about the house and the region, but that will be the stuff of future posts. For now, all I wanted to say is that at just under three weeks after arriving here, I’m still feeling good about the decision. Yes, there are problems that have to be sorted out, and the house will need a terrific amount of work over the next few months. However, I love the old place already. It’s got a lot of character. Unlike many old homes, the inside has not been messed with terribly much since it was built. Although rough, the exterior is actually in reasonably good shape and all of the millwork is in place. That which isn’t good enough to restore can at least be used as a pattern. I’ve done some work on the shiplap siding and have begun applying a primer to several sections over the past week or so. I’ve begun removing windows and repairing them as needed. Meanwhile, on rainy days, I’ve begun doing some work on the interior as well. The dogs follow me from place to place, lying down to watch. We take time out to walk down to the brook at least a couple of times a day. The night skies are good, as are sunrises and sunsets. The Spring Peepers begin calling in the evening and we hear Loons calling from the marsh behind this place at night. Great Blue Herons fly up the brook to fish, or to perch on the topmost branches of the spruce trees. All in all, its a good place to be. I believe we may have found our heart’s home.

Old cherry tree in back yard. It blossomed just after our arrival.

Written by bev on May 8th, 2010

25 Responses to 'the heart’s home'

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  1. I’m glad you’ve found your “heart’s home,” Bev. It sounds like the place will keep you busy and give you plenty of opportunities to engage with the natural worls. I look forward to reading all about your experience as you make it the place you want it to be.

    John

    John

    8 May 10 at 10:40 pm

  2. The house is beautiful. I love how you describe each step of the way to the house, then describe in detail both it’s charms and challenges. This is already sounding like home. I envy all of your skills, and confidence in them.

    Dan

    Dan

    8 May 10 at 10:59 pm

  3. John – Indeed, this place will keep me bus for some time, but this is such a wonderful property. In fact the whole area is so terrific and unique that, for the first couple of weeks, I found myself thinking, “Is this for real?” On Friday, I drove over to Bridgewater, crossing over the “top” (central) Nova Scotia where there are forests and many lakes, and found myself marveling once again over the beauty and wonder of this part of the country. I do love it here already.

    Dan – It’s such a neat old place – an 1860s Greek Revival, but with that funky folksy tower on the front! There’s just something cool about the place, warts and all. It’s been fun getting to know more about it – the history (my neighbours loaned me a local history of this area, so I now know quite a bit about the first builder-owner), and I’m discovering interesting things about how it was built, the various kinds of siding, windows, woods, and more. And now that plants are growing and some beginning to bloom, I’m discovering the “old gardens” that surround the place in spite of being neglected for years. It’s all just so darned interesting. I do have a lot of skills – gained during many years at our farm – so it’s fun to have this chance to put them to some use as I begin working on the old place. I hope I’ll be able to extend it’s life for at least a little while if not longer.

    bev

    9 May 10 at 7:04 am

  4. Bev, your new home has good bones, and it looks as though it will make a fine sanctuary for you. The surrounding property will be a fine area for pottering about with Sabrina and Sage, and I love the creek wandering through. Spring Peepers, Loons, Great Blue Herons and blossoming plum trees – they are all essential elements in a real “heart home”.

    The house actually reminds me a bit of my grandmother’s farmhouse in Glengarry County, and I loved that old house. OK, a lot of work has to be done, but your new lodgings have the makings of a fine home place. Welcome home, my friend…

    Is there still a working fireplace behind the wall and leaning bicycle?

    Cate

    9 May 10 at 7:41 am

  5. Cate – Yes, the house does have good bones — perhaps a couple of broken bones or sprained ankles — but I’ve seen much worse and those brought back from “the edge”. The property is fantastic. I’ll have more to write about this soon, but there are so many trails going out from this location – a rails to trails that is supposed to be linked to the TransCanada trail and that goes to Annapolis Royal and joins with the marsh trails there — a trail going along the brook south into the south mountains of the interior – and a very old cemetery on the top of the highest hill just across the road from my place. I can really walk for miles in any direction I choose right from my doorstep without getting into a vehicle. How cool is that?!
    The house has a nice feel to it – the window openings are so tall that I can almost stand full height inside the sashes after I’ve removed the windows. The rooms are full of light as the sun tracks around the house each day. Really so unusual for an older home such as this.
    The fireplace is not functional as the chimney has been decommissioned. It was knocked back to below the roof planking about 4 years ago when the roof was redone. This was done as the chimney had become a source of trouble to the roof — as do so many of those big old “center of the house” chimneys. At some point, I’ll probably see about putting in a wood stove – perhaps in the “back kitchen” part of the house which still has a chimney going up through the roof and was once equipped with a wood cookstove (has the wall opening for it), but that will be sometime down the road. For now, this is a 3 season place for us — we’ll spend winter in the south again this year. All in all, I like the place a lot and see plenty of potential in spite of all of the work. It will certainly keep me busy between walks this summer and well beyond! (-:

    bev

    9 May 10 at 8:08 am

  6. Third try. Let me rewrite the headers and delete the website URL. Maybe that had something to do with it? You can remove this if it works, Bev.

    Wayne

    9 May 10 at 9:11 am

  7. OK, that worked. Maybe it didn’t like the sparkleberrysprings email address. Anyway, here’s what I wrote, although at this point I should just email it to you 😉

    Actually – a fifth attempt adding in the website didn’t work, so maybe that’s what it doesn’t like?

    You’ve written many a rich post, Bev, but this one is extraordinary. Of course I’ve been waiting to see Nova Scotia and the new old house, but there’s so much here.

    There’s the great relationship you struck up with Lynn, the efforts she went to to locate this house, your finally meeting her, and the comment about the email aspect of it.

    There’s the repairs to the van, the week in Ottawa, and the long long trip to NS.

    And there’s the house and its surroundings. I understand , at least from the outside, the challenges of an old house, but it’s an amazingly handsome house. I love the tower. And it’s wonderful to see that it’s beginning to enjoy your attentions.

    That’s a mighty fine brook, too. Loons, spring peepers, and who knows what else is to come. All good.

    Wayne

    9 May 10 at 9:15 am

  8. Wayne – Sorry you had a problem getting the comment to post. I’m not sure why that happens as I’ve got things set to allow a few links in a post.
    I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. It actually took me a little longer than usual to write this up as there really was so much to tell. I’ve been pushing myself for weeks to get here and it still seems a little impossible — I mean, impossible that it actually happened! My last post about the Oregon and California trails actually contained so much truth about how I felt during this journey. At times it felt as though I was traveling the Oregon trail in reverse in my own version of a prairie schooner. (-:
    “Meeting” Lynn online was a huge plus in all of this and I can’t thank her enough for taking my property search quite seriously right from the start. This was a difficult task for her as I was depending on her to be my eyes and try to convey to me what she saw when she visited this place. Her communication skills were quite excellent and she has a good use of technology. Without that, I don’t think I could have had the information I needed to make this decision. I should also mention that I showed all of the photos and video clips to a good friend who has restored a couple of victorians that were in terrible shape, and he was able to help me with my decision as well — again, all of this done using emails and photos posted online. There is so much to say about how everything fell into place but depended so much on the internet in order to become a reality.
    I love so many things about this old place too. Yes, I love the tower and feel it is a handsome place even though it needs a great deal of work. It’s setting is just wonderful – the views toward the brook and the low “north mountain” range across the Annapolis River out behind. There’s also so much history here — something I will write about quite soon. I feel somewhat honored to be able to work on this old place and hope it really does enjoy the attention!

    bev

    9 May 10 at 9:53 am

  9. Such a grand house, and as Cate says, with good bones. I love the beginning of this story, all of it. Soon there will be new chapters and photos of all those miles you’ll be walking. It has so much promise. With a chorus of loons and spring peepers you, Sabrina, and Sage begin this adventure. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

    robin andrea

    9 May 10 at 9:54 am

  10. robin – It really does feel like a grand old house. I can’t quite describe why, but it’s definitely got a presence. I feel it should probably have a name. Perhaps that will come to me in time. I’m looking forward so much to going or long walks out from our doorstep. Up until now, I’ve been feeling a little too weary to go off walking, but I know that will change. I’m also looking forward to seeing which insects are around, especially the moths this summer!

    bev

    9 May 10 at 10:44 am

  11. I also like the bones of the house, its charm and how wonderful it found an owner to restore it make it possible for it to exist many more years. So many old houses are just discarded. I like your attitude toward it. Sabrina and Sage should love it there.

    Rain

    9 May 10 at 10:50 am

  12. Rain – You’re right – so many houses are discarded. Just on this road, there are perhaps a half dozen that have been pretty much abandoned and on the slippery slope to demolition. I hope someone comes along in time to save them! Sabrina and Sage do love it here. There’s enough land that they feel like they’re exploring each time they go outdoors. The brook flowing by really makes this place.

    bev

    9 May 10 at 3:48 pm

  13. “I was traveling the Oregon trail in reverse in my own version of a prairie schooner. (-:

    I’m also looking forward to seeing which insects are around, especially the moths this summer!”

    Your post with beautiful photos brought me happy tears, tears of joy and relief that you and Sabrina and Sage are in your dear sweet new-old home. There is great energy in your writing since you have arrived in Nova Scotia. I was deeply moved by your writing in this post especially. My favorite photos are the one of Sabrina down the hill from your house, the one with the pottery birdbath and the one with the two chairs by the flowering plum tree.

    Many kind wishes!
    am

    am

    9 May 10 at 7:37 pm

  14. The house is a beauty, Bev. I don’t envy you all the work, but greatly admire you for doing it.

    Dave

    9 May 10 at 9:51 pm

  15. The house we didn’t buy in 1992, across from our study site south of Cochrane, is again for sale, and looks to be about in the condition of your Round Hill house. Aleta was sparking this afternoon about selling our holdings in Bishops Mills, and moving up here, as the TransCanada Natural History Centre, right on the TC highway.

    fred

    9 May 10 at 10:35 pm

  16. am – Thank you! I’m feeling different since arriving here, so it is interesting that you picked up on that from my writing. I seem to thrive best on fixing stuff up, gardening, making little trails through the property. It’s been such a long while since I did this kind of work for he fun of it and not just because I had to in order to sell the place to someone else. I’ve always loved to garden and it’s really been at least 3 years since I did much due to various circumstances. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I’ll be picking up a large order of perennial plants from a nearby gardener who sells plants. I can’t wait to get working on that! I’m glad we’re here for Sabrina and Sage’s sake too. Dogs do love to have their own home territory – athough both were so good while we were on the road for so many months. It’s fun to see them exploring this place.

    Dave – Yes, there will be quite a lot of work, but at this point in my life, I don’t think I see it as such. I’m just setting an easy pace for myself and trying to break things up with time working in the garden. I’m even thinking of starting to paint or carve again in earnest. I suppose I’m getting to about that age where I could begin doing a Helen and Scott Nearing kind of thing!

    Fred – If the Cochrane house is about as rough as this one in Round Hill, you might want to think hard about that kind of a move as this place will require a lot of hard work and some injection of cash. I would sort of hate to see the two of you divert your energy from your studies and art, but if you are feeling like that’s the spot to settle down — well, maybe it’s the right thing to do. I’m sure you’ll know what to do by the end of this year’s field work!

    bev

    10 May 10 at 7:12 am

  17. To echo your mom, “Amazing!”

    Add mine to the collective sigh of relief
    exhale emanating from all your readers

    Steve

    11 May 10 at 10:13 am

  18. It is an interesting house. The interior shots are encouraging. From the outside it looks like the weather has taken a toll on it, but It looks like the house has been doing its job of keeping the weather on the outside. As I’m sure you know, that’s very, very important.

    Mark

    11 May 10 at 2:46 pm

  19. Steve – Ha! Well, it doesn’t feel so amazing while I’m in the middle of it, but after the dust settles, sometimes it does. (-:
    I’m with everyone else — a sigh of relief after this particular trip as it seemed harder than the others. Not sure why, but maybe the stress was a little more than usual.

    Mark – Part of the interior have been done over, so they look reasonably good. Unfortunately, the outside was scraped in preparation for painting about 4 or 5 years ago, but then never painted. Not so wonderful. However, the nice surprise has been in finding how good some of the shiplap siding is. When I scrape it before priming, the smell of the wood is still very “fresh” and it scrapes to wood that looks almost new. I’m told that houses here in the east were built with the same woods used to build boats, so I guess that’s why they seem to hold up. The roof is about 4 years old, so fairly decent. Structurally, there are problems — parts of the house are okay, but the east side where there is a stair well into the basement is looking pretty mean. I’ll probably have to hire someone in to work on that. I know how it is done, but don’t really have the experience of manpower to do it myself. There will be a few structural jobs like that which I’ll probably contract out if I’m not feeling up to it. I guess the good news in all of this is that — a.) I didn’t pay much for this place, so have a decent budget to work with, and b.) in this area, almost all of the houses are at least a century old and there are many people used to working on them — it’s sort of an “industry” in this region – with many skilled carpenters, sawmills that do old style millwork, and so on. A trip to any of the hardware or lumber stores around here is quite different than elsewhere — a lot more stuff in stock for working on old places. Anyhow, I wanted a “project” and it does look like it will be a handful. The nice thing is, I’m in no great hurry to get the place fixed up – really, the longer the better.. and the other thing is that I won’t be spending the winter here, so I don’t have to get it winter ready this year. It’s an adventure for sure.

    bev

    11 May 10 at 5:29 pm

  20. I’m so excited for you, Bev…this house will be beautiful, when you are finished with it. I love the red, wood trim topping the outside windows. I have never seen trim like that before. The old doors, with the old brass knobs are great. And the old wooden floors – it won’t take much to finish them. You have lots of work ahead of you, but I know that is what you want and need. It is neat that Don did see the house on the internet. I can’t wait to see each project, as you finish them. Will you head back to Arizona, next Fall? We are just heading home. We worked in the Apalachicola National Forest and have lined up host positions in two state parks and the National Forest for next Fall and Winter. We’ll be looking for positions in Arizona in two years, so I hope to meet up with you there. I’m using your recommendations to look positions.
    Take Care
    Love Judy

    Judy Pollock

    11 May 10 at 7:30 pm

  21. Hi Judy – Great to hear from you! The kind of trim over the windows isn’t particularly common. I’ve seen it bit here in Nova Scotia, and also down in the eastern U.S. along the coast. Yes, lots of work ahead, but I’m trying to see it as a fun project, which is really what it is to me — I’m not in a rush to get it ready to live in this winter or anything. So long as the dogs and I can live comfortably and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, we’ll be doing just fine. Regarding Arizona, yes, I will be leaving to return for the winter and probably each winter beyond. I love it there in the desert. That’s great about you doing park hosting and and work in the national forests. I have some ideas for places where you mind find interesting park hosting positions in Arizona, so email me if you would like suggestions. Take care and say hi to Ron for me. love, bev

    bev

    12 May 10 at 5:50 am

  22. I’d like to borrow your mom’s assessment of her daughter.

    Amazing. In so many ways.

    I realize I’m smiling as I type these words. Thank you for that, Bev.

    All the centeredness offered here. I love the name, Round Hill. I love the sense of Journey to the Center having come full circle and the heart’s contented settling into routines of restoration and discovery. The voice of the loons as nearby accompaniment.

    Sabrina and Sage , your fellow voyagers, who have watched you storm-battered, yet defiant – now witnessing the homecoming after the long nights at sea. Home at last.

    My heart is smiling, too.

    Cathy Wilson

    12 May 10 at 8:45 pm

  23. Cathy – I love the name too – Round Hill – and started calling the house “Round Hill House” almost from day one when emailing back and forth to Lynn. The journey does seem to have come full circle – back to a place with some land, a garden, soon to be insects, and this house that will need many hours of work. That’s not to say the journey has ended as I know that isn’t the case – but at least we now have a place to rest and set up our home base.
    Sabrina and Sage have been through a lot over the past year – and Sabrina more and longer than that. I’m glad that they have a place that feels like home to them. Yesterday, while working on something for a few minutes, I returned to the back yard to find Sabrina lying back by the plum tree, gazing off across the neighbour’s fields. It was sunny and warm and she looked very happy – as though she was the queen of all she surveyed. Yes, you’re right — “Home at last.” (-:

    bev

    13 May 10 at 5:37 am

  24. I’ve been remiss in not having dropped by here in a while. (Sorry. Blame pressure of work!) But the bonus is that there’s so much that’s exciting to see and read. A rewarding catch-up! The house is wonderful. No wonder you fell for it hook, line and sinker. Great proportions and a comfortable sense of belonging where it stands. I’m delighted for you. A long journey brought you to it with great sadness, but also hope in your heart. I know you’re going to bond with this house and it with you. You’re both going to be good for each other!!!

  25. C live – I can well understand why you haven’t been by for a visit in awhile. It seems like you’ve been working non-stop for weeks! Yes, you’re right – the proportions of this house are quite pleasing. I will soon post photos now that the trees have leafed out – to show what it is that I feel when in the yard and gardens, or when looking out any of the many windows It fits well into this place. As for bonding with the house – the house and I seem to be doing so already. All is well.

    bev

    28 May 10 at 6:15 am

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