When a House is a Home

May 16, 2022

 Today I feel led to give tribute to a house that was built  on a hill, on a dirt road by two young people who had no idea what they were doing. The couple walked up the long driveway past an old foundation of a house that had burned down many years before on property the young man’s father had gifted him, believing his young son was a farmer at heart. A few years before the two  had dreamed of a life together while on the property, which is another story for another day but a memory that still makes them laugh. Their first  undertaking settling  on that land was to build a small shed with a loft and  move in with their two year old son while the man traveled a lot with the military and the woman began her first teaching job. The little shed had very little in the way of amenities but they moved in with as much excitement as some would into a mansion. They bought sheep and began a farm with faulty fences and half finished outbuildings. The woman became great with their second child and still climbed the ladder to the loft believing a second child would fit into this small space and she would be fine with no running water. A story of an unfinished  macrame crib designed to hang over the older brothers’ corner bed is a good one too. A mobile home was bought while the husband was away and the four settled into that, welcoming a third child three years later. The big house was always the dream and one evening the woman saw a piece on the CBC news about a cordwood house and the seed was sown. This was definitely a case of not having a clue what they were doing but they did it anyway. Hole dug one year, footing the next, foundation the next  and cordwood walls constructed laboriously  one full way round at a time,  beginning on July first and laying the last run on November 17th. The next year the top floor and roof were put on and they moved in on December 15th with very little of the interior finished. I am tearing up now as I remember them  standing with  their  three kids in front of  the  Christmas tree with the bare cordwood walls still showing, holding a cake celebrating their house-warming. The house was not that warm the first winter! Eventually the walls were  covered with drywall, crack-filled and painted, flooring and finishing touches were added. A couple of years later  they welcomed their fourth child and improvements were made as they could afford them. Lots of changes, improvements and living  have brought the house on the hill to where it is today. This house has always been a home, as the small shed had been and the mobile home was. For that man and woman the property they walked and dreamed of building a home and a family on has been the only place they have known.  But a next  chapter is being written for this couple. The home they lovingly built  will welcome the next  generation , a new farmer and  the woman he loves and  shares  his vision.  A new family will reside in it’s thick, strong walls and the former couple will take their dreams across the road, follow a  new vision and make a new structure into a home. I am really tearing up now , but I am filled with pride, hope , joy and excitement. 


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