Last week, my Aunt Connie sent out an e-mail out to our whole family…it detailed an amazing plan to purchase an abandoned house in Florida, move it to the beach and fix it up together as a getaway spot for family gatherings. Connie’s fantastic plan involves everyone taking a year off work, and going south to complete the project. She calls it a “pipe dream” (the words “crazy” and “delusional” have also come up!), but several of my cousins seem quite gung-ho about doing it…she has assigned Jim and I to be in charge of the garden (I also make great homemade bread and brownies!).If anyone can pull this off, it’s Connie…she’s been playing tag (and winning) with breast cancer since 1997. She’s a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one. Connie has jumped out of an airplane, and written and published a book (which she kept secret for four years, until it was about to come out – http://bit.ly/cQ7Wt1). She rides on the back of my Uncle Neal’s motorcycle, and beside him in his classic car. Connie is now on the speakers’ circuit, delivering her powerful motivational message to groups. Her picture is beside the words “can do” in the dictionary.
I think it’s a great idea in principle…I’m excited about the idea of working together with my cousins, their mates, and their children – everyone has their own special talents. I’ve always enjoyed living in old houses – new houses are boxy and boring…
I hate to be a wet blanket, but my issue is with the LOCATION of the project – Florida:
1. I don’t like hot weather, hurricanes, mosquitoes, or snakes.
2. My kids complain about living 25 minutes away from their birthplace in West Saint John…imagine the noise if we moved 1800 miles away! It would be a long and expensive commute for Jim’s kids, who go back and forth between our house and their mom’s every week.
3. I would miss my granddaughter – her dad will never leave New Brunswick, and I’m doubting he’d let us “borrow” baby Elise for a year.
So, here’s my proposal:
Jim and I already live in a huge, old farmhouse, which we rent – we hope it may come up for sale in the next few years. It sits on two acres of land with several hundred feet of frontage on the beautiful Hammond River. Beside it, there are 20 acres of land owned by my landlord and his brother (some wooded) – lots of room to pitch tents, park motorhomes or build more houses close by. We have two full baths and two half baths…
We could all work together on fixing up our house (it’s in pretty good shape, but needs some cosmetic work – hardwood floors redone, new paint inside and out, etc.). Jim’s a good handyman, but he’s short on time – he commutes to work for two hours every day. The vegetable garden will be planted in the fenced back yard soon. I hope to plant flowers out front too, but will have to figure out how to keep the deer out of them (our resident herd numbers about 18). When we’re not working, we can read in the hammock, canoe and fish on the river, watch the birds, jump on the trampoline, or go for a walk. We can barbecue on the deck for supper in the summer time – not many bugs, and it rarely gets over 85 degrees here. The nearest town, Quispamsis, is only ten minutes away – it has everything we need: good schools for the kids, groceries, banks, drug store, dollar store, liquor store, movie theatres, and restaurants. There’s a classic car meet every Tuesday night of the summer in Saint John on the Boardwalk.
Doesn’t that make you want to pack up your car and come? New Brunswick is a great place to live – I’ve been here for 26 years, and never want to leave…I’m sending a link to this post out to my family by e-mail…we’ll see how they react to my idea…