Heather and Jerry

The other day, JF and I were puttering when he said “I hope when we get older we can afford to leave a bunch of nice stuff for the people who buy our house.”

I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was installing the last doorknob and lock left to us by Heather and Jerry, the kindest couple you could ever buy a home from.

Cast your mind way back to a time before slush and sleet (that’s another story, winter has already hit Elmvale): late summer. At about 9 p.m. on a Friday night, after many hours spent moving my sister Alicia’s stuff, we finally pulled a giant truck filled with our junk into our new, Elmvale driveway.

We were exhausted, but when JF put the key in the back door lock we practically fell into the mudroom, we were so excited. Well, at least I almost fell in. I guess the rest of them were pretty graceful about the whole thing.

Anyway, a great many gifts were waiting for us a little further inside, in the kitchen: spare keys, a fresh loaf of bread from the Elmvale bakery, some new smoke detectors, fly swatters, and several brand new locks. I figure that last one was H&J’s way of saying “this is your home now.” Either that or “There is a lot of crime in Elmvale, we changed our locks a lot.” So far all signs point to option A.

Heather had hired a cleaner to scrub the house from top to bottom.  It was beautiful. The kitchen cupboards were immaculate, which meant my organized (read: anal retentive) soul got the satisfaction of putting things away as quickly as they could be unpacked.

But the best thing they left was a great big note, with phone numbers for local services, information on where to find things in the house, their email address with an invitation to “contact us any time with questions!” and and a suggestion to keep David.

I kept a piece of the note and pinned it to my kitchen bulletin board

I kept a piece of the note and pinned it to my kitchen bulletin board

David lives in the garden, along with other treasures from Heather: birdhouses, dragonflies and angels. He is not a gnome. Some people say he’s creepy, but I love him.

Admittedly this photo is slightly creepy. David is far lovelier in the daytime.

Admittedly this photo is slightly creepy. David is far lovelier in the daytime.

And that’s not all they did. They finished the back deck, gave us a free fridge, left us a few pieces of furniture, and kindly donated basic gardening implements. I’ve been using the shears daily.

Much as I see work to do in this home, it really is in stellar condition. A brand new roof and furnace, fantastic appliances, updated (mostly) electrical and good plumbing. And as cheesy as it sounds, a wonderful feeling about it. This is a friendly house because good, happy people lived here.

So to Heather and Jerry, thank you. Hopefully we can pass along the good karma.

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We bought a house on Queen West

Holy f&*@, we did it! I never thought we would get there, but we just bought a house on Queen St. West.

Oooooooo, aaaaaaaah

Oooooooo, aaaaaaaah

With hipster mainstays such as New Golden City Chinese Restaurant, Steelers Restaurant & Pub, The Elmvale Bakery, and the Springwater Library, we think it’s the best Queen St. West around. It even has a weekly farmer’s market.

Queen Street West, Elmvale

Queen Street West, Elmvale

For those of you who have been waiting for the gory details, here is the most important stuff from the listing:

  • 1900 sq ft
  • 3 bedrooms + a finished attic/loft
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • Massive yard
  • Big, eat-in kitchen
  • New roof, furnace and electrical

Here’s the stuff that wasn’t on the listing but should have been:

  • Acres of wallpaper
  • Windows that don’t open
  • Creaky floors
  • Exposed pipes in two of the bathrooms
  • A leaky basement
  • A yard that must recently have served as an angry rhino’s enclosure

Hits and misses aside, we are very excited. A tiny bit terrified, but mostly excited. Let’s say 95% excited. Because at its core, this is a beautiful home that has a good, happy feeling about it. And it’s really nice to know that before us, a family grew up in it.

The closing date is August 16 — four days before my birthday. Thank you, Jean-François, for the best birthday present in the history of the universe.

Happy

Happy