I’ve lived in my current home for over 30 years.  What makes a house a home?

In 1981 when we moved here, this house was kind of half finished:  old Mr. Jones, the first owner/builder, was creating a ‘dream house’ for his wife until she died suddenly.  Neighbours say he died of a broken heart 6 months later…..so their adult children decided to sell this house.  That first day we moved in, my 3 young sons were delighted in chasing frogs in the long grass and exploring the riverfront.  Back then, it was a long distance telephone call to the children’s school, fire department, or the city……and people thought we lived way out in the boonies.

Over the years, alot of changes have taken place.  I became a single parent of 5 young children.   Later I came to realize that when one door painfully closes, another door opens when I met and married Chris.  Two more children were born making it 7 children, many of them born at home in this house.

With so many children, came so many interior changes to this house.  We’ve built more rooms and renovated areas than you can imagine!  At one time there were 3 bedrooms upstairs and none downstairs, now there are 3 bedrooms downstairs and one upstairs!  The upstairs is now ‘open concept’ …..easily accommodating our weekly family gatherings of 13+ people.

Outside has had just as many improvements.  About 20 years ago, we built a 2 car garage, then a few years later, closed in the ‘breezeway’ a.k.a. the mudroom, connecting it to the house .  We doubled the size of the driveway, which comes in handy these days with my grown children having their own cars when they come.  The garage has also served as our ‘overflow’ area, hosting many parties through the years like our annual skating party, summer party, weekly Saturday night hockey games with the neighbours where we also played darts, cards, and  pool,  (yes we put a pool table in our garage), and even our childrens’ wedding parties.

I’ve enlarged the garden many, many times.  I continue to expand my fruit bushes by planting more blueberries every year and expanding my raspberry patch.   My vegetable garden out back was increased last year when I created a raised ‘kitchen garden’ up closer to the house.  We built a


pond in the back about 10 years ago which houses goldfish and a big Koi, plus various native frogs, turtles, birds, and other wildlife.  It also serves as my giant rain barrel:  I connected a plastic pipe to one of my rain barrels at the house to keep the pond constantly filled because I ‘backwash’ my pond water into my vegetable garden when I need to water it.  Ten years ago, we reduced the  grass area in front of the house by making 5 foot wide garden beds along the porch,up the driveway and continuing in front of the cedar trees by the road in a giant ‘horseshoe’.  I grow many different ornamental grasses, low-maintenance perennials like Black-eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, and  various Japanese Maple trees, plus I stuff in some vegetable plants when I’ve started too many.   My flower gardens must be self-sufficient as I rarely water them.  I do plan on setting up rain barrels out front since I’ve had great success with them out back for the veggies.  In the backyard, there’s still plenty of room to set up the badminton net every year or play bocce, volleyball, or soccer on the grass.  In the winter we can make a skating rink on the river, cross-country ski, or snowshoe.

I’ve heard it mentioned many times that our home is warm and welcoming.   Visitors feel comfortable and free enough to make themselves at home.  My Sister Bet loves to come and lay on the couch and be served her tea like a Princess that she is.  My other Sister Faye generally visits several times a year for a few weeks each and is my ‘low-maintenance’ Sister LOL!  I just love it when my Sisters come!!  We always make room for my adult children from afar who come back home for a visit or a few months.  Sometimes, joyfully, this house is bursting at the seams with company!!

There has been alot of change in this area in the last 30 years.  My immediate neighbourhood is ‘closed’ in that there can be no further development due to the Rideau River ‘floodplain’ plan.  But more people are discovering the benefits of country living and moving out beyond the city limits, so there’s an increase in traffic noise.  And they expanded a road to become a 4 lane highway a few kilometers away, so I often hear ‘highway noise’ when the wind blows from the north.  All in all, though, I have accepted the changes to my environment since I love my home.

This house will always be my home:  I’ve raised 7 children, 2 husbands, and now 4+ grandchildren here.  My home has the first breath of my newborn babies and the last breath of my late husband wrapped within its walls.  I’m here for the long haul.




4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maureen Sinclair
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 09:36:18

    Just so nice to read about your home life.Wish I could see it all,
    Love ya: Maureen


  2. Marty
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 13:17:01

    great post! So much history!


  3. Iona
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 21:31:08

    Awesome sista!!…. So many great memories in that little ole’ house!!… I’m just sad that you got rid of my old couch!!…LOL..


  4. Jacklyn Szabo
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:20:06

    Aunt Linda! Your place looks and sounds beautiful! Maybe we can come someday?


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