A chance to move


We had a chance to pack up and move yesterday but my wife wouldn’t even discuss it. Jaimie and I were out walking so we didn’t have a say in the matter.

A random individual pulled into our driveway and indicated that a friend of theirs had just purchased the place next door and were wondering if we’d sell ours to them. My wife gave an immediate no.

We’re the stable occupants around here. Since we moved in, next door has had four owners, the other neighbour three, and the place across the road two. Who would have ever thought that I’d proudly wear the label “stable”.

My first teaching job was in Essex County and we took my dad’s advice not to buy a house but to rent in order to get the lay of the land. It was great advice and so we rented this small two bedroom house a couple of blocks from the Chrysler Plant in Windsor in the seemingly hottest summer of all time – without air conditioning. That summer and fall was a heyday for the Chrysler Minivan and all three shifts were working as hard as they could. Of course, we left the windows open at night and enjoyed the sounds of vehicle construction! I had to be in Windsor last week and, as per usual, I was early and so drove by the old place. It had just sold for $249,000. That’s in this market and after a number of upgrades plus a new garage so picture it back then.

We actually moved four or five months later on New Years’ Eve to prestigious Boardwalk Avenue in Amherstburg. This would be the “last house” ever. We paid something like $50,000 for it. It was great and our first two kids called it their first home. It was modern when built with electric baseboard heating and no air conditioning. During pregnant times, we bought a window air conditioner to make things bearable. Still, we were in the Monopoly subdivision and I counted 24 backyards that I could see into from the back. Included in this was a yappy dog next door that cried all day when its owners went to work. Soon, it was off getting packing boxes again.

This time, we vowed that we’d never live in a subdivision again. We moved to the little village of Gesto. It was a restored farmhouse and we loved it. Bedrooms for everyone; no doubling up here. There was an omen the first Saturday. You see, we lived next door to the township office and next to them was the fire station. As it turns out and our realtor neglected to tell us, they blow the fire siren at 1pm every Saturday afternoon. Our newborn jumped out of his skin! We quickly learned to adjust nap time accordingly. Not present at the time of purchase was the smell of sulfur. You see, the township hadn’t provided water to houses and we had our own well just full of sulfur in the water. Our theory is that the sellers bathed elsewhere once it was put up for sale! We moved in and it was so strong. We quickly learned what an aerator was and had one installed. That still didn’t stop the sulfur from wrecking havoc on all the plumbing and eventually we decided to move. I was on the cusp of a new job location that would be five minutes away. Had I known that I would have got the job…

Finally, we moved here to our forever home. We had learned so much about what was important to us and did a great deal of searching before we bought the last house ever. It seemed to be perfect but never say never. We added an addition with another bedroom, bathroom, and workspace so that all kids could have their own room. Why stop at two afterall? We do take pride wandering around the house. I’m quick to remind my wife that we’ve pretty much rebuilt or at least refurnished every room at least once. We’re not moving again! She agrees.

And yet, this offer just pulled into the driveway and wanted to know if we would sell. But this is our forever house, my wife reminded me in the same way she explained it to Jaimie. Now, I don’t know how much our neighbours got for their farm but it’s a small house, external garage, and a beautiful barn with three or four horse stalls.

For the longest time, I was ready to move in a heartbeat. Just because of internet access! Nothing other than an over the air service was available when getting connected became important. Of course, when we bought, who would have ever thought that internet access would be a deciding point? For the longest time, I’d drive halfway across the county to work to use the internet there. But we now have high speed fibre and it’s awesome. I’m listening to a Wings concert on YouTube right now. I used to envy how the other half lived; now we’re part of the other half with decent internet.

And yet, there’s this nagging voice in the back of my head just wondering what we could have got from those drivers-by in this market. It appears to be going down now so this might have been the last chance. My initial though was that I enjoy country life but I know that everybody has their price. Did I miss the chance to see what mine was?

OTR Links 06/07/2022


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