ended up babysitting for the grandkids I don't live with. I am back again this morning and momma is seeing if there are better medications out there.
My drive is about 40 minutes and as always when I drive, I do a lot of thinking and running through memories and I thought of the day that Brian and I first saw our house.
We had been living in Calgary while Brian was retraining for his job. It was April or very early May. We had been watching the newspapers for Real Estate ads for a while and were getting ready to think about calling a realtor. Getting ready to think about calling a realtor is several steps from actually calling a realtor. We hadn't really talked at all about what we were looking for, only that we wanted an acreage rather than living in town. We knew how much we could afford in mortgage payments too. But we never talked about the things we wanted from a place we lived. I don't know. Maybe people didn't talk about things like that in those days. I just know we had not.
I was looking for a good place to have a big garden and I am not sure what Brian was looking for. In his dreams, he wanted a log house, and a big stone fireplace and a cathedral ceiling where he could one day hang his dream elk.
Brian was called to work on a weekend and we had enough notice to call a realtor and make arrangements with a very lovely sister in law to watch the kids. The realtor could only arrange for 4 home showings at such short notice. He worked, I looked.
House one, was a newly built house that a builder felt he could build and have livable before school started in the fall. That would have been great except the lot he had available was mostly swamp. Not at all what we were looking for. I still recall the subdivision. Another was a mobile home on 80m acres. It was a really old home and smelled of mold and mice. It would have been great to have the land at the price of then to sell in the price of now, but we would have had to do something for a decent place to live and that would have put us over budget. Next we looked at a nice place, 4 acres all open land and rolling hills. It was neat but the house was only 1100 hundred square feet with a formal dining room and an eat in kitchen, as the style was for a while. The rooms were claustrophobic. We could have fixed it in time, but the the biggest downside was that it had an old fashioned cistern in the basement. Livable space in the basement was only 500 square feet. Still not a total loss and the home stayed on the table for a bit as a possibility. And then I looked at what would become our home.
I liked the walk in basement (in at basement level and living level upstairs). It meant that there were big windows downstairs and it hardly felt like a basement. Upstairs, it was open. The front room and over the front entry, was open the full length of the house but for the small second bedroom. The bedroom end of things overlooked that high lovely open space. It felt huge! To the back was a hallway to a backdoor and the kitchen and a large dinging area. The bathroom was down that open hall to the master and the master itself was giant. I fell in love with its space and openness. It felt right for a place that would soon be filled by boys growing to manhood.
When Brian went to see it, he fell in love with the outside. Its grand forested landscape was his dream, and that open from basement to the living room front entrance was perfect for his eventual elk. (All his dreams had elk. It was who he was.) But the outside thrilled him. We were very close to Cooking Lake Blackfoot Grazing Area and Provincial Recreation area. It was old growth forest. Basically, it had not burned off in the forest fires that swept the area in the 1880s and early 1900s. Big old trees. Feet of peat for a forest floor. It was so much more than he ever dreamed he would have and he loved it. We looked at the house and then took a quick walk down the path in the back to the far end of the lot. On the way back to the house, he was calling it our place.
But it came to be. Two days later it was ours, and other than my wee house in Spruce Grove, is the only house either of us ever owned. I gave up my dreams of a garden for him...and for me. There were so many positives that for a long long time, working in an office (never wanted to do office work) doing a job (bookkeeping) that I never dreamed I would do in my wildest nightmares, was fair trade to live in a place like that. I loved living here for so very very many years. Each day I would get up and thank my maker for giving me the privilege of living there. It was a blessing and a joy.
It is such a lovely memory: the look on his face as he says our place, and how right there, that day, his heart started living there. He made it a grand place to live and him being there, made it home.Such a warm and lovely memory.