It has been two weeks since I last posted, and once again, I'm trying to redress my absence.
If any of you follow me on FB - yes, I am intermittently there, more so since I retired, and I only rarely want to poke my eyes out with sharp sticks - you'll have seen a post or two on my feed about the moving of my childhood home from one section of the property on which it stands in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, to another, by the latest owner.
The man who undertook the project is a Toronto architect who is willing to put in the money necessary to save the place, for which I thank him with all my heart. Other owners who had it after my Nana sold it in 1978 or so were a motley lot apparently, and the last owner let the place deteriorate horribly. Not to mention maintaining a paint job using the color that I've come to think of as Nova Scotia Puke Yellow, which I hope he'll eventually replace with the proper white with green trim. I also hope he'll rebuild the large front screened-in verandah the house once had,. I spent so many summer afternoons on that verandah. reading and watching the world go by ....
ANY how ...shortly past New Year's Day, a CBC Nova Scotia reporter got in touch with me, because he'd tracked me down as the granddaughter of Ronald Keirstead. WW1 ace and owner of the house that is even now (to my delight) known as The Keirstead House. We had a lovely conversation, wherein I was able to confirm that it was indeed that Ronald Keirstead.
I didn't expect much of anything in the way being quoted (I know how putting a story goes together), but I wasn't surprised at the one quote he used. It's the type of quote I would have used as well. In fact, the young man's reportage impressed me, and I told him so. The only change I asked him to make was to not ID me as a Tribune reporter - my weekly chain was owned by the Trib, and my stories would occasionally land on the Trib front page or on its online site. but I was not a reporter there. I apologized for not clarifying, and he quickly changed it.
The only thing he didn't include was my assurance that the house was older than 1867; an official historian, and an old sign in the basement argued for something later than that. However. when I was 11, historians at the time determined that at least one section of the house. the original farmhouse, was pre-1867. Those historians are apparently no longer around.
Ah, well; it doesn't matter. Seeing pictures of the house, reading the story, and watching the drone footage of the move. was wonderful. The property has long since lost the trees that used to front the street the lilac tree (yes, tree) in which I used to sit after climbing into it was only a memory, and Nana's three gardens were also gone. It didn't matter; I could look at each window and know where they were; I could remember each room, including the now forever-gone original basement with the coal room and the wooden fruit cellar.
As I said in my FB post, I hardly know where memory ends and dreams begin with regard to this house. I do know that I am so glad someone saved it.