Heritage Homes and Missing People You Love

Yesterday, I was employed as a house hunting agent for my friend, Rogy, who is living in Toronto. He wanted to find a two bedroom place, but needed someone to take a look around them for him. So he set up three appointments for myself and another fella to go take a look

Let me preface by saying that every year that I have been fortunate enough to live in this gorgeous city, I have house hunted. I’ve lived with a total of ten different people, and was quite looking forward to the thought of not having to spend any more time perusing ads or walking through stranger’s houses. But helping friend’s out when they need it is one of life’s greatest joys, I hear, so off we went.

Two of the houses were a bit iffy. I’m convinced that one of them was quite illegal. Also, to any one putting up house rental ads, having a “Full kitchen,” generally means that there is an oven, not a George Forman sitting on top of a box on the counter.  Also, offering your personal set of cups and plates from your apartment upstairs for use is a nice effort, but doesn’t really replace the lack of oven. Regardless, I’m not really meaning to talk about the dirty houses that we nixed for Rogy.  

Because the third house was a GEM. The kind that is super rare. The kind that I would have jumped on had I not been planning to move across the country in two months.  I couldn’t help but think that if I had found this house four years ago, I wouldn’t have been house hunting every year afterwards. It was built around 1830 and was one of the first homes built in the city. Had a river rock foundation and – get this – an unfinished ceiling in the basement that revealed the HAND HEWN logs that ran beneath the main floor.

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I’m not sure the owner really understood how worked up I got. Probably any one who would have seen me standing on the stairs so that I could stretch out to touch these massive, two-hundred year old logs, would have thought I was a crazy person. I don’t know what it was, but I felt pricks in the back of my eyes when I ran my hands across the uneven surface of the cracked and ageing wood.  (Probably just because I’ve gotten all emotional  lately from really, really, missing my special someone) I am quite possibly the lamest person on the planet, but all I could think about was how long these logs, crafted so well by hand, have held up this sturdy little house.

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Maybe the fact that I understand the work that must have gone into those logs was why I felt so overwhelmed . I literally stood there in awe. There was still bark attached to many of them, and you could see where the drawknife had stuck a few times on the wood. We ended up being at the house for around half an hour, the majority of which was spent with me staring, mouth agape, at the beautiful architecture.  The rest of the time consisted of actually taking a look through the house and swapping zucchini recipes with the owner. Also, me gushing on about the amazing piece of history that she has in her hands.

So house hunting turned out to be a little hidden treasure of an experience and one that I am really glad that I undertook.

This last little paragraph I have set aside for lamenting over how shitty it is to have someone you love far away from you. It’s as though every moment is spent trying to trick your mind into believing that they are much closer than they are. That they only popped out to Wal-mart to return that “rental” tent you used over the weekend, or are out getting groceries for dinner, or are around the corner long boarding. Everything reminds you of them. Your bike home from work over the bridge reminds you of the time you meandered along the river in a canoe and got caught in the rain. Every lunch break from work reminds you of your picnic lunches in the Arboretum. Every day reminds you of every day you spent together, every night, every night, every moment reminds you of every moment.

It is the most frustrating feeling being unable to fully enjoy any moment without thinking about how much more enjoyable it would be with your special someone there to enjoy it with you.  Thank goodness for only two more weeks, because I need a break from constantly missing!

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