Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Redefining home...

My husband and I are finally on the road to picking ourselves back up and are ready to move forward. But that didn't come in one day, or even two days, it came with lots of reflection, grieving, arguing and a total revamp in our way of thinking.

Our dream of moving to High River was a long and methodical one. We had already welcomed one perfect little babe into our family and knew that eventually we would like to grow our family. The biggest problem was that we lived in a small, 2 bedroom townhouse with no yard and little breathing room. Although we became very efficient at organizing and finding a place for almost everything, we knew it wouldn`t last long.

But more than the foundation and walls, we were looking for a feeling. An experience that we could give our family for years to come. And so began our hunt.

Despite his initial reaction to my idea about moving to High River, it slowly grew on him. We would spend afternoons driving through the little town on the hunt for our favorite lunch and coffee spots. We are both history junkies and quickly fell in love with the historic character of the town. We knew that we felt right in the community and so began our hunt for the perfect home.

                                               Evelyn`s, our favorite lunch and ice cream stop!

                                          Colossi`s Coffee House--Our favorite coffee stop!

Both Levi and I LOVE old things and old homes--The great thing about High River is that many of it`s streets are lined with old trees and old homes. After at least a year of waiting (with no success)  for the perfect home to come on the market, we decided to take things into our own hands.  We made a list of all of the homes we were going to `door knock`. We were going to plead our case to these strangers about if they were wanting to sell their home, and why they should consider selling to us! It was a risky move but we were becoming desperate!

Nearly less than 2 weeks later, we got an email about a house that had just come on the market. I recognized the address and knew it was on our list of door knockers! The first sentence I read was that it was originally owned by Levi Bradley, owner of the first saddlery shop in High River nearly 100 years ago. As if this house wasn`t perfect already! It didn`t take long for us to move forward in purchasing the home.

All of our dreams about the perfect house in the perfect community  had come true and we were beyond excited. The countdown was on.

In literally minutes, our dream home went from picture perfect, to basically condemned. Our dream community was ravaged by flood water and was best described as looking like a war zone.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Although it may not be clear yet, little lessons are coming up through the loss of our dream home and dream community. We are amidst another search for a new home in a different community and I am realizing that, we don`t need a house that has the perfect layout, or the perfect finishings, or the perfect yard. We don`t need a house that is on the perfect street in the perfect community with the perfect neighbors. What we need is a house that we can call our own. The rest is up to us.

Edward Sharpes song Home is wherever I`m with you has completely new meaning to me.

We`re moving forward and are feeling excited about the new chapter that is being written... stay tuned and thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out of your day to read my story!

photo credit:

Thursday, 4 July 2013

One chapter...

This post has nothing to do with DIY and everything to do with one of the scariest days of my life. How this all fits into my DIY obsession will come in a separate post. 

As many of you reading this know, my husband and I were days away from moving into what seemed like our dream home. As previously described, we had found our little piece of heaven in High River Alberta on two lots, in the form of a home built in 1908. We were to take possession on June 21, 2013. 

June 20, started out like any other day. I was taking my little girl to her dayhome in High River and getting prepared to wrap up one of my last weeks at school. As I drove out of town I crossed a bridge and noticed that the water was extremely high. I thought to myself that I shouldn't have even been on the bridge. 

High River floods often enough that people know which houses are on the flood plain,  and to not be alarmed by flood warnings if your home is clear of those plains. 

At 11:00 I read a tweet that the NW side of High River was being evacuated. That was where my little girls dayhome was. I promptly left my school(located in a community south of High River)  and went to pick her up. My husband was meeting me to take her home to Calgary. At about 12:00, I was on my way back to school, and my husband and little girl were safely on their way home.

At about 12:40 I got the frantic call from my husban that while he was attempting to get lunch for our little girl at the local Co-Op, roads washed out and he and she were now stranded in the town that was amidst the worst floods ever seen in its history. 

Unable to call due to phone lines that were down, I sat and waited for any communication that the two most important people in my life were ok. I received a phone call from my husband that the RCMP were going to attempt to rescue them by boat. I was later informed that those rescues were too dangerous in the raging waters. 

I have never felt so helpless in my life. I felt lost and stranded myself. Frozen in a world that I knew was drastically changing. 

Nearly 9 hours later I received a phone call that my husband and daughter were safe. Rescued by combine and left in town to wait for me. 

Words can't express how I truly felt that day. The problem was, that day continued to unfold and has since altered everything that we as a family were looking forward to. 

So here we are, nearly 3 weeks after the historic High River flood, and we, among thousands of others, find ourselves grieving, an without a home. 

However, our story is still being written, and that day is just one chapter. Stay tuned....there's more to come...