Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Letting Go...or Home is Where the Heart Is

the family farm home, prettified by later owners
Not long ago, I noticed a for sale announcement in a local magazine. The property in question was the family farm. For sale again, the most recent shift in a series of changes of ownership since our dad reluctantly sold the five-generation farm in 1970.

It made me think of a delightful man I recently interviewed, two days before the sale of his farm, a rare 1830's Scottish stone mill and adjacent house. Allan was  letting go of his beloved Fogorig, to younger folk who can carry the restoration vision further.

Centre Street Picton, where Dad applied 28 gallons of paint
It's what you do.

It's what our Mom and Dad did, after that first sale. In subsequent decades they bought, improved or built, and sold, a number of homes and gardens - always ensuring there would be trees and  yard work for Dad. The homes became smaller and easier to care for, then eventually home became an apartment (granted even then Dad quickly became the resident custodian and yardman.)

King Street Picton, with apartments for my brother
 and for the paternal grandparents

Recently, I had a few hours on a sunny day in Picton, while I waiting for a dear friend having a medical procedure. Had a visit round to all the homes.

Today I'm thinking of all the Thanksgivings we spent together in each of them. The size, the heritage value, the neighbourhood - nothing mattered but that they were home. And we were together making memories, keeping family.

"the house that Ralph built", Glenora Road
because every man should build a house, once
the Bridge Street bungalow purchased while Mom and Dad
were visiting with us in B.C.

Morris Yarrow's fine new apartment building, c.1990


  1. Aww...I'd like to buy that family farm home and have you as a frequent house guest and make lots and lots of tea.