Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Welcome Home

The first night in the new house, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. The sun was beaming through my window and I had no idea what time it was. All around me there was the sound of silence. Two weeks ago I could rely on the back-up beeper of the Safeway delivery truck or the binners digging through the recycling in the alley out behind my building to get up me up in the morning.

Out here, I have one neighbour in sight but if it weren’t for their rather delusionally protective little dog, I’d think they were on vacation.

It was the quiet and solitude I was after when I asked for a one-year unpaid leave of absence from my job as the news editor for The Canadian Press in Vancouver. Now I wonder how I’ll get used to this deafening silence after 20 years of city living.

My house near Horse Lake
I’m not a morning person but I roll out of bed because the moment my eyes are open a long to-do list appears in my head. A loooong to-do list that makes me wonder if, in just one year, I’ll ever reach the end of it.

I fell in love with the house as soon as I opened the gate and walked up to it last spring. A hectare of trees and raspberry bushes and a tree fort that, for my three nephews, is the highlight of the whole package.

They just might be right.

Horse Lake looks a lot closer in real life. Really.

The house is shy of 600 square feet, which is small even for a long-time apartment dweller like myself. The kitchen is so small I’ll have to watch my weight so I can fit in the narrow galley between the 50s-era stove and the wooden shelf that seems to serve as a counter, and the shower doesn’t appear to be working at the moment. The insurance company laughed when I told them what the house inspector said about the electrical system, then made me swear a blood oath to have it fixed immediately before charging me an amount of money that would make a Vegas loan shark feel bad. It seems the previous owners might have searched the Earth high and low for the ugliest and most mismatched ceiling fixtures they could possibly come up with in order to hang them in the most awkward and useless places in the house – an ultra-modern black-and-chrome ceiling fan? Really? Did I mention that the “cabinets” in the kitchen are old dynamite boxes?

Yes, a loooong to-do list ahead.


  1. Awesome Dene!!! I'm an avid blogger... I'll be following along your journey! :)
    Loooks like a .... uh.... fun one. ;o)

  2. Oh! I should mention.... it's Cheri... Jay's wife. LOL