the last day of winter


In the process of all the house planning, Chadd and I would often talk about our first winter in the new house. We’d talk about paint colours, and light and why I didn’t want white walls with all the large windows and all the white snow outside. Too depressing, I would say, too much white. I like warm colours.

But we painted the walls grey, anyway. Cornforth white, for all of you Farrow and Ball fans.

It’s funny how when fears and plans colide; the fears can be amazingly groundless. Sure, I like warm colours, but the grey/white has only made all the rest of the colours in my house more beautiful, just as Chadd thought. And when I go out for a walk with the dog, I don’t get all upset about the white snow, I look for the colour in the tree bark, the whithered leaves, the berries, the rosehips left on the rosebushes. I should have realized, after almost 40 years of white winters, that this would be the case.

I can’t believe the winter is almost over. It’s been a lovely few months, filled with a jumble of sunshine, dog antics, appointments with tradesmen, visits and dinners with friends, lots of snow shovelling, and some important furniture purchases to functionally complete the rooms.

That’s not to say that the first couple of weeks weren’t utter chaos and a bittersweet hell of sorts. I never did show you the photo I took, right after we moved in, from my vantage point upstairs in the loft area, looking over the living room.


We moved in on a Monday (Monday, November 25th) with the movers and the trucks, and still no water hooked up at the house. The fireplace showed up on the Tuesday, and each brick was carefully laid out in my living room. The installation ended up getting spread over a little more than a week. My living room was unusable, but my kitchen was too…because the appliances showed up that same Tuesday, but wouldn’t end up being installed before Friday. The interior doors wouldn’t arrive for another month. The dog would howl (for hours) from his kennel on the second floor while the tradesmen came and went.

We found out that our old house was still vacant a month after we had moved out. Sweet, sweet insanity.

It’s funny for me to think ahead now to spring, and remember where I was this time last year. Instead of being in the middle of finding contractors to dig our basement, I’m thinking about the deck and trees, grass and flower gardens for the honey bees. I’ve never planted a garden from a blank slate, but here comes the new challenge. Just as soon as I’m not sinking knee-deep in the snow!

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