What do you love about your home? A house is just the physical structure; bricks and mortar, as they say. A home, though, is so much more than that. It’s the feeling that envelops you as soon as you cross the threshold. It’s the invested love that warms you so much more than the furnace ever could. It’s all the things you miss when you’re away – none of which, I fancy, are its physical elements.
“These are a few of my favourite things”*:
- Safety. My home is and feels safe. Not merely physically, but a safe place to be me and to live my life in my own way. It is where I am loved and cherished, needed and wanted. Safe as houses!
- The back of our house faces east which means we enjoy bright sunshine in our bedroom, family room and kitchen every morning. It is so nice to pop out of bed and immediately see the sun’s rays filtering through the shutters, a sight that never fails to make me happy.
- The lamp on our living room sofa table is on a timer. I love the soft, warm glow of its lamplight once the timer pops it on. Whenever we return after dark, it is just like a welcoming beacon.
- Our washer and dryer are in the kitchen (please spare me the critique, I’ve heard it all before, promise!). Being so centrally located, they make my home smell like clean laundry; that wonderfully fresh scent unique to tide+snuggle+bounce… There’s nothing like it!
- I have two small wooden chests – one is my original Hope Chest and the other is the seat of our Deacon’s Bench. This is where I keep my bulky wool sweaters. A couple of years ago my friend Theresa treated me to cedar blocks to keep in them -now that’s a smell I love – on my sweaters, of course, and also the faint scent that escapes every time the lids are lifted.
- Toby! I love the explosion of enthusiasm, energy and love with which he greets me. Every. Single. Time. He never seems to have an off day! You know, I’ve even become a bit fond of the little clumps of his hair that are always drifting across one floor or another (even mere seconds after having put the vacuum away).
- We enjoy homemade bran muffins and there’s nothing quite like that freshly baked, cinnamonny/nutmeggy aroma that always seems to linger long into the evening and sometimes beyond. I love that smell.
- Music! It’s always playing in the family room. Sometimes it’s our local – Northumberland 93.3 (Meg and Jamie in the morning) and sometimes it’s Classical 103.1 Cobourg but it’s always on and it’s always pleasant and friendly company.
- Y’all know my only true forte is sleeping and home is where my perfect pillow, most-comfortable-ever bed and (at this stage of the game) threadbare wubbie are always waiting for me. Comfort, pure and simple!
- Cam is here.
2010 was a great year for us; we bought this house (definitely a fixer-upper) and immediately set about the three Rs: Repairing, renovating and redecorating to turn it into a home we could be proud of and love. Two of the major projects that year were replacing the hall/bathroom/kitchen flooring and gutting the kitchen for a complete redesign. It was a huge expense and upheaval but we were both filled with happy excitement. We believed these renovations would easily last through our years in this house. Not so!
We both prefer to shop in town whenever possible so the kitchen was designed and built by a great Cobourg company with a downtown storefront operation. Many of our friends had used them with great success and my sorority sister worked there. She came up with a brilliant design for us that maximized the space in our oh-so-small kitchen. The company acted as our general contractor, arranging for permits, plumbing, electrical, gas, carpentry, flooring, cabinetry and countertops. They only used local trades/crafts/retailers. We did our due diligence, thought long and hard about our choices and were happy with our decisions.
Since then, all of the cabinetry and trim and the floor have deteriorated – badly enough that they need to be replaced – and as our luck would have it, the kitchen shop has gone out of business. Not, perhaps, as you’d imagine; sadly, the owner became very ill and closed up shop, for good. We’re on our own for this “renewal” project.
A local cabinet maker, https://www.facebook.com/bouwmanscabinetry/ – also highly recommended – came to see our kitchen and offer up his recommendations. He says our “boxes” are fine so he recommends just replacing the doors and trim. He chose a superior product for us, it will be finished in a custom colour (a super-pale silvery grey), and best, there will be some upgraded fits-and-finishes. Am loving Frank to bits and pieces! He invited us (Cam, mostly) to visit his shop to see their huge machine (lathe? router? saw?) in action and it is pure amazingness. Decision made.
We shopped around quite carefully for flooring. Despite current trends and designer recommendations, I simply did not want hardwood. I have Cam. I have Toby. I need to mop. Often. This stretch of flooring runs from the front door and the door to the garage, to the back door, plus throughout the kitchen and bathroom. Enter Mannington and their luxury vinyl flooring (Surely to goodness I’m not the only one who thinks ‘luxury vinyl’ is an oxymoron!!!) which, mercifully, can be laid atop our existing limestone, without grout (Ohmigosh, do I ever hate cleaning grout!). There is some levelling/smoothing to be done (I think we have to move out for that step – um, Sandy!!!) and we’ve chosen a very pretty mid-to-darkish mottled steel-grey colour. It will be laid on a 45° angle. The warranty is outstanding.
I am so very excited. And nervous. What if this, too, only lasts seven years?
This was a bit of a rough week for me; fever and trouble breathing again. I’ve looked nothing short of thrown away like so much trash (Nana’s expression). The best I can say is that it’s behind me now. The silver lining about having a bad week, though, is realizing how much worse it would have been without Cam’s tender love and care and help.
And, best of all, tomorrow is Art Day at Annie’s. Ohmigosh, I’m excited for that too. Life is good. I am grateful.
’Til next time, y’all…
*Oscar Hammerstein II