This Christmas has been different that all the others...I'm in Guelph, Ontario, spending time with my son, in his new home! This is the guy who was free-floating, moving around the country wherever his career took him...and here he is, a happy homeowner! It's rather nice to see...
It's a very old 2 storey house, with an attached sunroom and a solarium kitchen. This house has "wow" written all over it! The gentleman who built it was a coal merchant, and this was the home he built for his mother...he called it a "stone cottage." Cottage it's not, but maybe back then, it was small by the standards of the day. Exquisite gingerbread trim on the front of the home, great stone walls holding up the gabled roof...and inside, original oak hardwood floors, 14 foot ceilings and acres of potential. I'd love to have $500,000 to spend and a few days with the Designer Guys!
I've been given the sun-room at the front of the home for my bedroom...wall-to-wall windows and a tiny closet with a hasp to hold the closet door shut. I sleep like a baby here...funny, because it is on a busy street, but there isn't a sound inside my room. There is an oleander blooming on one side of the room, and hot-water-heated radiators on 2 walls to keep me toasty warm.
Just outside of my bedroom door is a wonderful bathroom...high ceilings, an original claw-foot tub, and an exquisite emerald green globed wall light from some other time. The toilet takes forever to flush, and it was 4 days before I figured out the peculiarities of this piece of plumbing! First, press the square chrome knob on the side of the tank in firmly...firmly, I said! No wimpy little pushes here...lean all your weight on the little sucker and PRESS! Then, hold it until you hear the sucking sound from the bottom of the tank... only then can you take the pressure off the chrome knob, knowing that all will be well.
The dining room has bookshelves right to the ceiling...that's a book lover's delight! Bookcases 14 feet high...wall-to-wall no less, and they are full of every conceivable genre. I could be locked inside this room for days and not mind at all!
There is a gorgeous bay window in the living room...not your ordinary small bay window, but one 6 feet deep, with 5 angles to the glass, not the ordinary 3 panes that usually make up a bay window. This has been the perfect place for the Christmas tree this year.
What can I say...I love this house. There are more nooks and crannies than I've seen in a long time...hidey-holes for lots of treasures. And, let it be said here, there are lots of treasures in these little hidey-holes. Seems like he's collected a lifetime of treasures and now there's finally room to showcase them.
Two of the most interesting cats I've ever known share this home with him. Phoenix, a great orange male, is ever-so-slightly mad, or else he's hung over from all the catnip in his new Christmas toys. He spends the day sleeping, then after dinner, when the lights are on throughout the house, he runs frantically, chasing the shadows of his ears on the hardwood floor ahead of him as he races. He hasn't yet figured out that as fast as he can run, his ear-shadows are always just a short step ahead of him...
Then there's the delectable Rosebud...a small, delicate little lady...she's a year old, and still has the undeniable urges to sproing tippy-toed through the house...lurching slightly sideways when we rattle a spoon against a tea cup. She mews so quietly that it's almost non-existant. Working at the computer is a challenge with Rosie present, 'cause she needs...no, is compelled... to creep onto my lap, and then ever so carefully raise one dainty paw and press whatever key is available. This makes for some interesting typos!
So, the house is home to my son, now...he loves it and it fits him. I'm delighted to see him at home in his own place, after his years of wandering from apartment to apartment. He's worried about the leaking boiler that provides the hot water heat for the house, he takes care to recycle his fruit and veggie leftovers, as well as the paper and cardboard that is present after grocery shopping...it suits him somehow, and that warms my heart. In all ways, he's more peaceful and settled within than I've ever seen him. It's funny, I no longer worry about him and his happiness...this home is filled with good people, good energy...and a couple of good cats for an extra measure of comfort!