Sunday, April 23, 2006

Welcome to Sparrow Haven

Sparrow Haven is the name we have given to the tiny piece of heaven that we call home.

We moved here two years ago when PeterC applied on, and obviously won, a nice promotion within the company where we both work. One of the conditions I imposed, when I was told that we were moving across the country, was that the house we bought had to have acreage. Little did I realize that in Ontario, just as it was in Alberta where we had moved from, large pieces of property were either prime farmland or premium retirement homes and therefore commanded top dollar.

One of the advantages of the company we work for is the relocation assistance. The assistance includes seven days, all expenses paid, for house hunting. By phone, we hired a local real estate agent who agreed to begin collecting listings for properties that met our criteria. This would allow us to maximize the seven days and look at as many houses as possible.

He did a beautiful job and had over 100 listings that fit within the list we had given him but, as I already mentioned, my idea of our new home was well above our limited funds and so we edited our wish list. Of the original 100 on his list, only 30 still fit within the new price requirement. I'm sure Chris was very diappointed that we were not able to buy the $250,000 hobby farm he just KNEW we would fall in love with. In fact, we refused to look at it because we knew we would fall in love. Chris spent alot of overtime trying to fill out our week in town but in the end he found us Sparrow Haven.

We are located in eastern Ontario, very near the Quebec border. The house sits in the southeastern most corner of a 90 ft x 110 ft lot. Quite a bit smaller than my original dreams and expectations. It is an old house built around 1920, though some of the architecture suggests it was built pre-1900. The half log joists with four foot centre spacing being one of the key features that come to mind. Post and pin construction of the roof supports being another.

In fact, the whole community, just a small hamlet really, is old. There is a cemetary from the 1700s for the original settlement of Faulkner, a large stone church built in 1800s, and several of our neighbours live in homes that are well over 100 years old. The gallery down the road occupies a home that was built in 1787.

The history was one of the deciding factors in our decision to scale down our visions of home. Another was the house which was charming, solid wood construction, and sturdy; though in need of some serious TLC. But, the most important deciding factor, was the yard. There were trees everywhere. At least half the property was treed, the other half being taken up by lawn, house, and The Hedge.

In Sparrow Haven we have found a suburban refuge for the rural at heart. After all, that is why we are here; our rural hearts.

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