This old house

7
The front of the house.

The front of the house.

Two weekends ago (that is, not this past weekend, but the one before) I went home to Nova Scotia for four days. It’s always nice to go home, but this time there was an actual occasion: this year marks the 250th anniversary/birthday of the house I grew up in. Yes. My parents’ wooden house is (at least) 250 years old. Obviously, this is not usual, but it is especially impressive when you consider that the town it’s build next to burnt down twice.

The house was brought up on a barge from Connecticut in 1763. After the British expelled the Acadians from the Annapolis Valley they wanted to ensure that they couldn’t return, so in addition to burning their homes and fields, they brought Loyalist Americans north to settle the land.

My parents bought the house (which sits on five acres of land) in 1991 and have basically spent all the years since restoring historical details (such as exposing all the beams downstairs) and creating gardens. When I went home, it was to help them host a tour of the house and gardens, in support of the local historical society. I took a bunch of pictures, so I thought I’d share some.

Looking in – you can see the original height of the meadow on the left.

Looking in – you can see the original height of the meadow on the left.

The walled garden is the newest edition and still a work in progress. It was excavated four years ago, at which point the walls were built, and every year since then something as been added. This is the first year that it has been fully planted, so a lot of the ground cover and whatnot hasn’t spread.

The view across the garden from the entrance.

The view across the garden from the entrance. We ate dinner up here almost every night I was home (there’s a big stone table in the shelter).

The view from the far back corner, diagonally across from the entrance.

The view from the far back corner, diagonally across from the entrance.

There are lots of flower beds and gardens, and a whole fenced in yard where we played as kids, but besides the new walled garden, the other sort of spectacular part of the property is the ravine. When we moved in, and for most of my childhood, it was a wild and overgrown swamp, but in the late nineties my dad had it excavated and turned it into two beautiful big ponds, which are now home to muskrats, many frogs, and a ton of water lilies.

Looking down toward the bottom pond, from the bend in the little stream that connects them.

Looking down toward the bottom pond, from the bend in the little stream that connects them.

Stone steps that lead down to the patio by the ponds/back up toward the house.

Stone steps that lead down to the patio by the ponds/back up toward the house.

Of course my trip home wasn’t entirely about the house and gardens. My dad took my sister Connie and I to the south shore for lunch one day and, as luck would have it, there was a lovely new-to-me yarn shop. I was very good and didn’t go crazy, but I did walk away with this beauty:

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in what I'm guessing is her Autumn colourway (she doesn't write the names on the tags because they are hard to repeat exactly and people get mad about it, or so I've been told.)

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in what I’m guessing is her Autumn colourway (she doesn’t write the names on the tags because they are hard to repeat exactly and people get mad about it, or so I’ve been told.)

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty excellent trip.

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7 thoughts on “This old house

  1. Meghan

    We went to Nova Scotia for our honeymoon in 1990. Absolutely loved it there. Meet a lovely older couple while we were there. Kept telling us their family had been there since the 1700s. It wasn’t clicking with me until my husband whispered “Torries”. Would love to go back and visit again. Just a fantastic place.

  2. Pingback: On the road | Pans & Needles

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