A Good Home

Blind Trust

My friend Kaye gave me a shock.

We were in the middle of a conversation some years ago when I casually said something about “being a black woman” and Kaye asked:

“You’re black?”

“Of course!” I replied. Then: “Wait …. You didn’t know that I’m black, Kaye? How is that possible? We’ve known each other for years!”

“Well,” Kaye promptly replied. “How would I know?”

“But how could you not know that I’m black?”

“Cynthia…. I’m blind, remember?”

Right. Of course.

But once I get a bee in my bonnet, Lord help us. So I kept going:

“Well,  what about all the talks we’ve had about life and diversity, and social injustice and ….”

“Yes… It’s one of the reasons we get along so well. We care about many of the same things. But I still didn’t know you were black, Cynthia.”

Shock. Realization. Awe. Followed by peals of laughter from both of us.

“I think we can now conclude that I am a total idiot…” I finally said. 

Of course, I’ve not captured the dialogue word-for-word here, but close enough for truth.

Diversity is a wondrous thing. In humans, nature and even ways of thinking. But after that conversation, I wondered what the world would be like if we couldn’t see each other’s colour, body shape and such things. If we could only “see” people through their character.

I thought about it again this morning when blogger David Prosser shared this link to a video of one man’s experiment.  Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=ZnfAYBgs948

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Good Home, Canadian Gardens, The Garden in Early June, Tree Peonies

Garden Porn – ish

Well, it would be garden porn but we’re at that in-between stage right now.

Flowering plants are still budding up…

Blog Photo - Garden Peony about to bloom

Vines are twining up…

Blog Photo - Garden Clematis vine in June

And if it weren’t for the Jack In The Pulpits, cuddling up to an overwhelmingly tall hosta…

Blog Photo - Garden Jacks

Blog Photo - Garden Light Green large hosta

And these sweet little wild anemone flowers cozying up against the stone wall ….

Blog Photo - Garden Whtie flowers against wall

And the vegetable garden, with tomato plants and eggplants and peppers and herbs shooting up in the hot sun….

Blog Photo - Garden Tomatoes and eggplant plants

Or the annuals in pots, under the guardian’s unwavering gaze…. 

Blog Photo - Garden Face and flowers

Or the empty coffee mug forgotten on the Muskoka chair….

Blog Photo - Garden Mug on Chair

Blog Photo - Garden and pot and chair

Blog Photo - Garden Blue pots CU

And green stuff on the ground or climbing up the walls….

Blog Photo - Garden Path and Greenery

And this one and only bloom on this most reluctant tree peony…

Blog Photo - garden Peony in bloom

Overseen by a multitude of ferns and other shrubs not yet blooming…

Blog Photo - Garden peony shrubs and walls

I’d have nothing to show you at all!

A Good Home, Doors Open Clarington, Heritage Homes, Lakeside living, March Cottage in Port Granby, March Hotel in Port Granby

Port Granby’s March Cottage

On Saturday, June 9, it will be Doors Open in Port Granby and Newtonville, east of Toronto. 

If you’ve never heard of Port Granby, you’re not alone. Once a thriving village and busy port, Port Granby is now a quiet hamlet on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s home to several families.

Blog Photo - Doors Open - Hilltop farm
Hilltop Farm

Three of those homes, built during Port Granby’s heyday (between the late 1850’s and early 1880’s) are on the Doors Open Clarington tour this year: Hilltop Farm, the March Hotel and March Cottage. 

David March owned the latter two.

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington March Hotel old

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March Hotel today

The records from that time usually showed only men as owners and proprietors of homes and businesses. So while there were certainly women in Port Granby, and David March probably had a wife, I haven’t found her name.

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington Port Granby boat load of people

March, like many others of his time, was clearly a multi-tasker: between the late 1850’s to the early 1880’s, he was the local innkeeper, carpenter, builder, postmaster, grain dealer, elevator operator and “general merchant” (shopkeeper). 

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington March Hotel2
March Hotel today

I’m told he bought March Cottage for his mother.  

Blog Photo - Doors Open Clarington March Cottage (2)

Blog Photo - Doors Open clarington March cottage exterior
March Cottage today

Today, both the old March Hotel and March Cottage are residences — owned by families who cherish their history.

Paul Sahota’s parents bought March Cottage in 1993: 

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of snowy cottage by Paul Sahota

“They saw it in the dead of winter and brought me to come see it on their second viewing. My mother sat looking out at the lake over the snow as my father and I tromped down over the bridge to the shore. As we drove away I asked my parents when they were putting an offer in, being so sure that it was the right place for them.”

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of Cottage and Gate Posts by Paul Sahota

 

Paul and his wife Susan took over the cottage nine years ago.   It was a daunting task at first, but the family has enjoyed many happy times there.

“We love that it is spacious enough to host gatherings with family and friends in all seasons. 

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March Cottage Interior

“We love the soft shaded lawn for playing croquet, frisbee, baseball and cartwheeling.”

March Cottage includes original features ( e.g. the family-room’s fireplace),  and modern additions.

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of Cottage Garage by Paul Sahota

The family also loves the lake.

“We all spend hours watching the lake. We watch the waves (small and huge), the storms roll in, the many, many different shades of blue that the lake turns, the birds, ducks, loons, swans and heron come and go, the giant lakers, speed boats and sailboats move through the water and we watch for the calm when we can grab our kayaks and canoe and go for a paddle along the shore.

“The shore is a place to relax and get wet in the summer and, at times, an arctic adventure in the winter.”

Blog Photo - Doors Open Photo of Children in snow by Paul Sahota

The family will offer a warm welcome to visitors this Saturday:

“We have previously enjoyed other Doors Open experiences and are happy to share our little piece of Port Granby with the community.  We hope people get a sense of the history and the beauty of our community.”

For more information:

https://doorsopenclarington.wordpress.com/

Photo Credits: Paul Sahota; Bernice Norton & Christine McSorley (Doors Open Clarington) and Newcastle Village and District Historical Society.

A Good Home, Canadian Village Life, Villages

Two Days in Creemore

I’m a country girl. Born in the country, raised in the country, I love country villages and rural areas.

So I was glad to visit the village of Creemore, northwest of Toronto, last weekend. My husband, younger daughter, son-in-law, pet chug Julius and I stayed in a small farmhouse owned by friends of our older daughter.

Blog Photo - Creemore Luaren at the farm

Blog Photo - Creemore Julius at the farm

Blog Photo - Creemore Dan and Julius inside farmhouse kitchen

We were surrounded by farmers’ fields, woods, birdsong, flowers, crickets and spectacular views.

It was also the weekend of the vintage festival and the village was dressed up for the event.

Blog Photo - Creemore bicycle with flowers

Blog Photo - Creemore signs

Blog Photo - Creemore vintage fashion show

Blog Photo - Creemore singers and radio booth

Blog Photo - Creemore church st lukes

Blog Photo - Creemore father and son on street

Blog Photo - Creemore woman takes photo on street

We walked along Creemore’s main street, stopping to make small purchases in the stalls and stores or to eat and drink. Creemore’s beer is deservedly famous.

Blog Photo - Creemore four

Blog Photo - Creemore springs Brewery copper vat

At Chez Michel restaurant, the food was excellent and the staff attentive and friendly. 

Blog Photo - Creemore Group Photo at Chez Michel

 In fact, everyone we met was friendly. We chatted with many people and — as you can see, above, we were happily photo-bombed by some!

Blog Photo - Bakery and Cafe

Blog Photo - Creemore brakery sign about unattended children

Creemore has that homey feeling that I associate with my favourite villages and small towns. (And yes, that’s really a cup-and-saucer chandelier below.)

Blog Photo - Creemore bakery chandelier with cups

Blog Photo - Creemore friends meet in bakery

Blog Photo - Creemore sign in bakery - WIFI

But like most rural villages, Creemore needs outside support to thrive. Events like the vintage festival attract visitors and locals alike.

Blog Photo - Creemore Vintage Festival sign

Outsiders who have fallen in love with Creemore also help by building/buying houses there and spreading the word among their networks. 

Blog Photo - Creemore sign things to do

Well-known interior designer Sarah Richardson and her husband are among the influencers who are big Creemore supporters.  Sarah, one of HGTV’s stars, renovated a home in the village for her TV series, and she and her husband recently built and moved into an “off the grid” house in Creemore — also televised.

Blog Photo - Creemore girl on fountain statue

When it comes to helping our villages survive and thrive, every bit helps.

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Thanks to Hamlin Grange and Dan Leca for the beautiful photos.