As of today my Granny and Grandpa’s house and property belongs to someone new. From what I hear, that someone, who is nameless to me, is going to “renovate” the house. That might mean anything, but I suspect the bottom line is that renovating will not require a building permit, while building a new building would, and the city-cottager dominated government in the township has very high ideals when it comes to new buildings… in my opinion the area is now a Disney Land in the bush for the affluent. So renovating an old building is permitted, for the less affluent, while new build costs and regulations are more than prohibitive.
It was 90 years ago that my Great Grandfather bought the property. It was originally built by the railway, then it was purchased by a local family, and they sold it to my Great Grandfather at the very beginning of the Depression.
My Grandparents had married just months before the Depression began. My Grandfather, at that time, worked in Toronto, and my Grandmother was thrilled to be moving to the city. But that did not last long, and soon my Granny and Grandpa were back home again in the country, living in a small clapboard cabin, where my Grandfather worked at my Great Grandfather’s saw mill. It was a very basic cabin. I have seen one picture of my Grandparents at that time, and they both look very, very happy.
Within the year, 1930, my Great Grandfather purchased the General Store and Post Office, and my Grandparents moved into the attached house and became local merchants and postmaster. Well, although my Grandpa’s name was on all of the official documents, he was busy with his hauling road material business, and the store and post office responsibilities fell to my Granny. My Mom and Aunts and Uncle were born and brought home from the hospital to this house. They grew up there. I, and my siblings and cousins, spent blissful days, and sometimes weeks, visiting there.
The store and post office closed in the late 60s, and Granny and Grandpa continued to live in the house and on the property. We played for hours in the old store. What great memories.
Granny passed away in 1976. Grandpa continued living in the house until he passed in 1985. Since then it belonged to their three daughters, then two daughters, then one daughter, my Mom. My Mom sold the property this autumn, and the deal closed today.
It is a day of allowing the sad feelings to come, then allowing them to go, moving on to grateful memories of my beautiful Grandparents, and accepting that nothing lasts forever.
There are no solids in time.
Date: 10:42 AM EST Wednesday 18 December 2019
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Dew point: -6.3°C
Wind: NW 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 16 km
BY WALTER DE LA MARE
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.