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A Good Idea

October 7, 2008

Back when Kelly first told me she needed to get out, that this living arrangement was just not working for her, I took it pretty hard. I put on a brave face of course, after all she isn’t leaving me, and I knew that if she stayed, the situation would likely force us apart.

So we’ve solved it. It took some time, but she’s found a place. More on that in a bit.

It was kinda funny to me reading some of the replies to Kelly’s last post. Not funny “ha ha” but ironic. Olivia mentioned that she had her dream home, and so did Patti, and both mentioned how much time and money it takes to keep it up. That was interesting because it’s exactly where I’m at now.

This is my dream home. At least it was my dream. At some point.

When I bought this vacant land, just one block north of my parents home where I lived at the time, I started to fantasize about what I could build here. I was in love with the idea of a two story home, and vaulted ceilings, and a full basement. I bought books and magazines and ordered house plans from the internet. I read everything I could about accessible homes and all the latest equipment to make them even more accessible.

Then, just for fun, because I had a good job and could afford it, I hired an architect. We worked together for three or four months, back and fourth, and he designed the interior exactly the way I wanted it. Angled hallways with no 90 degree turns, wide doorways, proper turning radiuses and a large accessible ensuite off the master bedroom.  It was what I had always wanted. Near the end of it all, he said “ok, now what about the exterior elevations?”  I looked at him blankly. “the what?” I hadn’t even given that any thought. So I told him I trusted him. I really should have gotten more involved; it would look way more “cape cod” and would have a large front porch.

Anyway, at some point my parents got interested. Keep in mind this had been just for fun. I never intended to build it just yet. I could wait. But they got excited about it too, and together we could do it right away. It meant we would all have so much more room to not be in each others faces all the time. It meant having more privacy and comfort and space to spread out in. It meant I could be more independent, with the ability to do more for myself.

It seemed to make sense. I was single. I thought I probably would continue to be. It really seemed to make sense. Then I lost my job. The phone company was downsizing and I took a large buyout rather than move to Toronto. Much to my surprise, the bank still signed off on the house idea.

The shovel went in the ground in October of 1997.

Having no job, and living one block away meant that I was on site every single day of the construction. I watched the digging, the pouring of the foundation, the framing, everything. I was here for every nail and every brick. I was here more than my general contractor was. The sub trades asked ME for direction. If something goes wrong in this house, I will be able to tell you why.

In March of 1998, me, my parents and one of my sisters moved in.

Fast forward ten years. I am with Kelly now. The house is ten years old and starting to need some work. My parents are getting older which means hiring cleaning ladies and grounds keeping crews to keep up with the daily chores of a large home. It’s starting to not seem like it was such a good idea. And now Kelly is moving out.

I love this house. I really do. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. In the winter, when I am trapped indoors, this house is big enough that I don’t feel as confined. I can be upstairs, or in the den, or in the basement. Lots of space. It has tons of windows with lots of natural light. But I can’t be here and be with Kelly.

You would think this would upset me, and it sometimes does. But lately there is something else brewing. Excitement.

I know that Kelly’s place is hers, and not mine of course, but in some respects it will be ours. It will be somewhere where we can be together, just her and I, where we can read, or talk or stare out the window or whatever, but do it without even the remote possibility of being interrupted. There is nobody there to interrupt us.

Something else I thought of today is that we can have dinner guests over, something that really isn’t doable when you share a house with your parents. There’s just a lot of things about this that I am realising are very exciting. But most importantly, Kelly will be happier in her own place. She will make it her own and she will be at peace there. And if I behave and wipe my wheels, she’ll probably let me come over for a piece of that peace, every now and again.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2008 10:56 pm

    And now we know the rest of the story.
    I admire you Syl for shifting gears, your thinking, and making room for and space for Kelly to be….Kelly. Isn’t it interesting when we let go we can often find we have more than less and we even get invited IN.

    My best wishes for both of you, independantly and together.

  2. October 9, 2008 9:28 pm

    Sounds exciting and expansive for both of you.

  3. October 10, 2008 8:53 pm

    I, too, like hearing the rest of the story. What a fantastic arrangement this will be!! I am excited for you both. Love, O

  4. October 11, 2008 6:04 am

    absolutely it will be yours together-the new place. and I totally understand that a transition like this takes time and adjustment and feelings that aren’t comfortable. if there is one thing I have figured out with you guys though, it’s that you’ll figure it out together. 🙂

  5. October 13, 2008 2:34 pm

    It is no surprise to me that you are looking at the very real benefits of Kelly moving out. You are a smart guy, Syl, and I’m glad you did not get stuck in that emotional place we would all visit under the same circumstances: “She doesn’t want to be here, poor little me!”

    It is impossible to imagine all the new adventures and great happiness you and Kelly have opened yourselves up for!

  6. October 21, 2008 2:14 pm

    I haven’t heard from you in a while…just checking in. Hope all is well.


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