Sitting by the woodstove, cat curled up beside me enjoying that I don't have to work tomorrow. I do have to go into the city on Tuesday to work but it is glorious to have Monday to do more of what I want to do. Spent the weekend on ....guess what....renovations!!!! My partner PJ is a carpenter, thank the lord, otherwise we would not be doing this. He works so hard during the week and then more on the weekend, he's such a good man.
This whole thing about moving to the island was his idea, he has strong connections to this island and has for many, many years so when we got together and decided to buy a place, he of course wanted to buy here. I, on the other hand, was not entirely convinced as I am not from this coast, as I mentioned I am from the east coast, so I wanted to look around a little first. So we began our assignment by going to many wonderful places (Northern Vancouver Island, the Sunshine coast of BC) to look for a place to buy that wasn't too expensive and offered an environment where we thought we would like to settle. Both of us kept coming back to the gulf islands, it was drawing us in and while we loved some of the places we saw, this was it.
So we started looking for a place. Our real estate agent said that he was sorry that there were so few places on the market as our island had just been 'discovered' (this was 2004) and suddenly there were very few properties on the market and they were being snapped up extemely quickly. In fact one of the places he showed us was bought by the time we got back to the real estate office, so we knew we had to act fast.
This place was one of the few within our modest budget as we had to pay rent in the city and also pay the mortgage on our new place. It was a wonderful west coast cabin and had all the functions we needed to use it straight away. A bathroom (70's lavender is not all that bad) two bedrooms, a deck, a good kitchen with electric range & a basic non-frostfree 'cottage' fridge and the people who owned it would throw in almost everything with the place for the right price. So we put in a good offer and it was accepted. After it was officially ours and we got the keys, we opened the door and realized that we could start using it right away without having to buy a thing. Beds, bedding (preserved in plastic storage containers and in terrific shape) chairs, tables, lamps, dressers, dishes, pots and pans.....everything we needed to start our weekends on the island. What a wonderful feeling.
Within six months the value of our place doubled. Go figure. The first financially smart thing I have done in my whole life. Just luck but this time I was following my heart and it paid off in many ways. We spent many many weekends at our place, taking the ferry on Friday and coming back on Sunday or if we were lucky, Monday. Spending every long weekend, Easter, Christmas, and vacation at our place. It began to take shape even though we were not able to just get everything done at once. We tried to pace it so that we had weekends of rest and other weekends of progress. I have fond memories of those years. So many of our friends and family got to join us in the enjoyment of our island getaway.
As 2012 comes to an end, I find myself thinking back and appreciating how much that little cabin added to our lives, getting us through some of the most difficult challenges of our lives, providing us with perspective that there is more to life than just work and accumulating 'stuff'. Our place is all about simplicity and how little you really need to live a really meaningful life. We are improving our place with renovations but we are careful to keep the integrity of our purpose. To live fully, honouring our need to be close to nature while enjoying the comforts of a cozy home.