Back in January when we first decided to sell the Gothic Mansion, we assumed our next move would be to another old but much smaller house in dire need of renovation - just like every other home we've ever lived in. We tossed around ideas of including what is now commonly referred to as Aging in Place features - grab bars in the bathroom, a walk-in shower, no stairs to aggravate the spouse's rheumatism, and with plenty of room for Cane Dueling - in short, everything needed to age safely and enjoyably in one's own home rather than being forced to relocate to a Sunny Retirement Condo in Palm Springs. Because that thought can strike terror into anyone's heart, no matter what their age.
But other than the Little Gothic Church, months went by with nothing suitable listed for sale. And so the insomniac retreated to a fantasy world known as Pinterest, and started gathering images of the fairy-tale cottages she wished she could live in.
Chapter I - The Home
After a particularly grim week of listings, the insomniac idly started searching for Victorian Cottage Plans on Google, which turned into Gothic Cottage Plans, and then somehow morphed into Victorian Gothic Witch's Cottage in a Spooky Forest Plans. Or something along those lines. And through that rather circuitous search, she stumbled across the Storybook Homes website. As she was looking through their plans online, she figured it couldn't possibly do any harm to order the Truly Tiny Collection Booklet, which would give her something to occupy herself with besides trying to downsize her Book Collection or looking for seemingly non-existent character homes on MLS. And since it wasn't a book but rather a booklet, it couldn't really be considered an addition to the Collection and was therefore acceptable.
Although every plan in the booklet was wondrous, the Buckleberry was the one we returned to repeatedly because of the two spare bedrooms. As much as the insomniac cracks wise about not allowing the offspring to get too comfortable in their old rooms in the Gothic Mansion, she is looking forward to them visiting after we move. Since they consider the lack of cell phone reception a drawback, we thought offering them somewhere to sleep besides the kitchen floor might make up for that.
|It has dormer windows, so when someone's feeling nostalgic|
she can go sit in one.
One evening while discussing the plans, it was offhandedly referred to as the Little Gothic Cottage in the Forest which elicited the comment, “It's not a Gothic Cottage!” from the spouse. The insomniac spun around in her chair, looked at him and thought, “Huh. Surely he doesn't think it could end up looking any other way. Does he? Huh.” Then swiveled back to the computer and resumed her search for Gothic Exterior Lighting Fixtures on Google.
Once that tiny booklet arrived in the mail, every other possible choice for our new home paled in comparison. The only problem was whether we could afford to build it.
Chapter II - The Builder
A week or so later, she decided it couldn't possibly do any harm to contact a builder and get a rough idea of how much it would actually cost to build the Buckleberry. In her usual analytical manner, she eliminated all but one from her Google search; her criteria for rejection based solely on the company name. The one remaining was Wolf Construction.
Once again, intuition has served us well. We feel blessed to have found a wonderful couple who have promised to guide us through this undertaking, who are committed to helping us stay within our budget, and who are just as excited as we are about the uniqueness of the project. The insomniac has even offered to provide sweat equity whenever necessary, but since her experience with power tools is limited, it might be safer for all concerned to shove a coffee cup into her hand, point her towards the lawn-chair by the creek, and assure her they'll give her a shout should they require her assistance. And if they ever have need of a helping hand from the spouse, he will be easily locatable by following the sound of a chainsaw cutting up deadfall in the forest.
Chapter III - The Land
The first week of May, we compiled a list of vacant land for sale. Halfway down the list we got lost trying to locate Township Road 5432 whatever, and while turning around to head back in the direction from whence we had just come, noticed a For Sale sign. Which, oddly enough, hadn't been noticed the other five times we'd driven past it. It didn't feel right to drive in without permission, so the insomniac jumped out of the truck and walked down the road for a quick look. As is normal for May, a blizzard was imminent and it was snowing heavily, creating an eerie silence on the forest floor while overhead the wind howled through the treetops. The insomniac stopped and listened and thought to herself, “This is awesome.” followed by, “But kinda creepy.” and finally, “Oh my, would you look at the time.” She then walked swiftly back to the truck to inform the spouse she'd just found the perfect spot for their new home.
|This is where she stopped to listen to the wind. Right before she noticed the |
sinister-looking abandoned building on the neighbouring property.
We officially took possession of the land on May 31st. Just this week, the insomniac drove out all by herself for the very first time to take pictures for this post, and when she returned was asked, “Did you even get out of the car?” A perfectly reasonable question really, since she's lived in a city her entire life. And it is unnaturally quiet out there. And she has watched an awful lot of horror movies over the years. Which she's going to stop doing immediately.
|We have a bog, which we'll happily share with the moose. |
Because who in their right mind is going to argue with a moose ...
|We have a treehouse to live in until the house is ready ...|
|We have a picnic table to eat on until the house is ready ...|
|We have an outhouse to use until the house is ...|
Oh, ha ha. As if.
|A creek runs through the property ...|
To close, a photo of the Extremely Happy insomniac and her Extremely Happy spouse, with captioning provided by our youngest; exactly as written and lacking proper capitalization or punctuation of any kind.
|damn dad sure wears his pants high|
In the spouse's defense, the elastic is shot on his joggers and someone hasn't gotten around to fixing them yet. She's been far too busy on Pinterest.
Twenty-six years later to the month, we find ourselves in exactly the same situation once more - our current home listed for sale, unable to move into our new one for at least seven months, and the probability we'll be living in a trailer until then. We did live in a trailer for six months while the Gothic Mansion was being made habitable and it wasn't too bad. Except this time there might not be internet access available for eighteen months. Now that's going to be difficult.
And so it is with great excitement we embark on our new adventure ... the tale of a chronic insomniac with an overactive imagination and a tendency to hoard who moves to a trailer in a spooky forest in the middle of nowhere with her chainsaw-wielding spouse without internet access while waiting for their Little Gothic Cottage to be built. This should be good.
To be continued ...
The insomniac would like to take this opportunity to thank all her faithful readers. Without your comments of little Victorian Cottages and discussions on your blogs about Gothic Cottage Style, she might never have ended up on this path that now seems as though it were fated. And the long-suffering spouse sends his thanks, too - he thought he'd NEVER get her to leave the city.
As a small gesture, she would like to offer her readers a $100 Gift Certificate redeemable in the Attic. Because it's looking more and more likely the Attic will have to be temporarily closed - not only would it be difficult to fit the inventory into a 26 foot trailer and still have enough room to sleep, but it's practically impossible to run an internet-based business without the internet. And besides, if you take $100 worth of stock off her hands, it's just that much less to pay storage fees on. So you're doing her a favour, really.
To enter, simply comment on this post with your suggestion of a name for our Little Victorian Gothic Witch's Cottage in the Spooky Forest. Preferably something a little shorter that fits on a driveway marker. Comments will be assigned a number in the order received, and the winner chosen using a random number generator and announced in next Sunday's post.
Until next time, the insomniac wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams - preferably nothing involving creepy forests or sinister-looking abandoned buildings. Goodnight, my pretties.