Wednesday, January 17, 2024

A Guest in my own House

Back In NS for Christmas

When we undertook this adventure in Toronto we rented our house in Dartmouth to our daughter Alisha & her husband Derek. She was moving back to Nova Scotia and needed a place to live while she settled back into an East Coast lifestyle and we needed someone to look after our house while we tried out big-city-condo-life in Toronto, so this was a win/win arrangement for all of us. We spent the month of August sharing the house as we packed up to move and she unpacked so, as we emptied drawers, she filled them with her “stuff”. As we progressed through this we made it very clear to her that we wanted her to treat the house as her’s and she was welcome to make changes as she saw fit to make the house their own. As we settled into the rented condo in Toronto, we were comfortable that our house in Dartmouth was in good hands, although I did compose a handy document with suggestions of how to deal with procedures I had developed over the 30 plus years we lived in the house. 

Now, over the years since the children moved out and left us in a house too big for just Regis and I, we decided that Christmas would be alternated between “home” for Christmas in Dartmouth and Christmas with the children in their cities. This worked well and we spent many pleasant holidays in the children’s apartments and houses in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. This year however was scheduled for a Dartmouth Christmas, so Ryan & Ben and Regis & I were flying “home” to spend Christmas with Alisha and Derek in our old house in Dartmouth. When planning this trip, we made it very clear to Alisha that we did not expect her to give us back our bedroom and our nice adjustable king sized bed, we expected to be “guests” and would live in the guest suite downstairs. 

The sleeping arrangements were just fine, but it really was a bit odd to be a guest

Apparently it is now "Bob's Chair

in your own house. Alisha and Derek really have made themselves at home in the house and we had to adapt to their lifestyle. Bob the cat had claimed my favourite chair by the wood stove, and Mochi the dog has taken over the loveseat we left behind. We were there for three weeks and I still looked for the corkscrew in the drawer in the kitchen island every time a new bottle had to be opened. I know I left my big stock pot there, but I never found it; it must be down in the storage room somewhere among the boxes of our stuff and boxes of their stuff so soup stock had to be made in Alisha’s pot. They did not adjust to all of my suggested procedures, and Derek has his own way of lighting and feeding the wood stove that works just fine,  and they haven’t had enough snow to realize that my suggestion of always scraping the driveway clean prevents it getting icy really does work . . . .

Working together 

So, although it was odd being a guest in my own house, it all worked out fine and we spent an enjoyable three week Holiday visit back in Nova Scotia with Alisha and Derek, and Ryan and Ben joined us for a few days over Christmas. 

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