Saturday, August 18, 2007

Moving on, yet again

Yep, next month we are moving again. For me, it's the 10th move in 17 years, which is not so hot for someone who hates moving. Put another way, we will soon be living in our fourth province in four years. That's worse than being in the military!

This was our house in Prospect, Nova Scotia, where "normal" people can afford to buy oceanfront homes (so we did!) It had been a cottage, but the former owners renovated and added on:

No, it wasn't always that snowy. And yes, I picked that yellow. Benjamin Moore "York Harbour Yellow", with dark blue doors. Colourful houses are the norm in Atlantic Canada.

This was our backyard in summer. The wharf was ours, the boat on the water was not:

My veggie garden! You can probably see why I was heartbroken to leave. But I did eventually recover. Mostly.

Next we moved to Clayburn Village in Abbotsford, British Columbia (after driving across Canada literally from coast to coast. We bought a brick "cottage" built in 1924 for someone employed at the brick factory that existed in the village at the time:

It was a really cute house with a beautiful garden, and a fish pond adored by the local raccoons and badgers, and one barred owl. (Goldfish, yummy!) And unlike in Atlantic Canada, all the houses in BC (save for the brick ones) seem to be white, beige or grey. But especially beige!

A bit over two years later, we left Clayburn and moved to Quebec (not far from Ottawa), where we have been living in this rented house (cottage, really) on a lovely little lake:

And next month, we are moving to this 86-acre farm we have bought near Cornwall, Ontario. It has a beautiful barn and granary, and a great two-car garage. Having never owned a garage before, we are quite pleased about that, especially given the winters around here:

Typical 100-year-old Ontario farmhouse, with the original metal roof. But it's all in great shape. It has been in the family since it was built in 1901. We promised the current owners we will love and look after it. I've been dreaming of a farm for decades, and I'm finally getting one. And I plan to stay there for a loooong time. I hope to start getting some animals next year. And one day I'll have my studio in the granary.

In the past four years, we have also lost three wonderful pets, essentially to old age.

This is the beautiful Chelsea, my heart dog, who was almost 16 when she left us in 2003.

She was a lab-collie-pointer mix I adopted from the shelter when she was seven weeks old. She was the first dog I could say was really mine. I grew up with a string of my Mum's English Setters.

I still miss that girl. She was a devoted friend.

Then in the summer of 2006, we lost Tara, who was 14-1/2. She had been my Mum's last English Setter, and I inherited her when my mother died in 1997. Tara was quite the character, a very loving and affectionate goof.

I swear she channelled my mother. Sometimes she drove me around the bend, but how could you stay mad at such a cutie?

Then last December, we lost our sweet Mashka, who was at least 15 but probably older. She was really Gordon's little sweetie. He picked her out on his own at a Toronto shelter back in 1994. She was also a character, and a wonderful cat with a really funny voice. Here she is in one of her favourite sleeping spots:

Fortunately these two cats are still going strong. Back in 2002, Julius (left) and Zoe (right) got stoned on catnip on the kitchen counter:

They still enjoy getting high on 'nip. Long may they live.

Someone asked me last week where I thought was the best place to live in Canada, given all our moving around over the years. You know, I don't think there is one best place to live. So much depends on who you are and what you want, and there are so many great places in Canada. Much as I tired of moving around, I don't regret having lived in four different provinces. It taught me a lot about my country, much as our world travelling has taught me a lot about life.

For me, I think the farm will be the best place to live. I was born in Toronto, and when I last left there, I swore I would never go back. Lots of people love Toronto (and lots of people hate it), but it's just not my bag anymore, and I definitely can't live in a city now. Somewhere along the line, not wanting to live in Toronto turned into not wanting to live in Ontario, which I think was a mistake on my part. I used to think Nova Scotia was where I belonged, and who knows, maybe I will go back there one day. Never say never! But I was wrong about belonging in NS, and I was wrong about BC, and as it turns out, I don't belong in Quebec either. Now I think I belong in Ontario; not in Toronto, but yes, in Ontario. Sometimes you have to leave a place for a while to realize that it's really where you're meant to be.

Oh yeah, and as soon as I get back from my trip to Scotland/England in October, I am GETTING ANOTHER DOG!!!!


  1. boy for some reason this makes me kind of weepy. :( Maybe it's just seeing Chelsea, Tara and Mashka. ...or the house and backyard in NS .. makes me want to cry (how hard it must have been to leave!). Or probably I'm just in one of those moods.

    but it does kind of have a bittersweet aspect to it, doesn't it? Maybe just all the time that passes and all the changes we go through.

    The going home theme is interesting. I sometimes experience that. I think you're going to experience some kind of "ahhhh" when you finally get moved in. :)

  2. Your new farmhouse looks lovely! I'm sure you will be very happy there - as will the animals that get to share a life with you :-)

  3. Wow! Julius sure is a big boy! And Zoe is a cutie!

    Good luck on your move!

    Oh, and I've tagged you for a meme. :-) Check it out on my blog

    ~ Wolf Lover Girl

  4. the move sounds wonderful, an old farmhouse! your pets will love it most i think

  5. They are pretty darn happy here!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!