Friday, October 16, 2009

The To-Do List

In the weeks between having our offer accepted and arriving to take possession, the not-so-fun task of arranging insurance fell to me. One company flat-out refused us coverage, which didn't bode well. But then PEI Mutual, who apparently covers most of the old farms on the Island, came through. But they had a list of demands to be met, the first of which was to get rid of the old oil tank attached to the outside of the house, and the other to remove the old wood-burning stove from the back room. So those were tops on our list, but our absolute number one priority was to have the roof replaced.

And as we drove up to the house for the first time since it had become ours, it became apparent that some lawn care was in order. This is what we were met with:

The house was now sitting in what looked like an overgrown hayfield, with long grasses and wildflowers rippling in the breeze. Mosquitos were rampant. In the second photo, the old oil tank is visible sitting on its rickety wood platform.

The pictures don't really show just how long the grass was, but Cameron could barely walk through it and it was probably up to the tops of my legs. Here's a view along the fenceline to the west:

Seems there will also be some tree work and fence repair in our future, although the new property line was extended a good 20 yards past this fence, giving us about three-quarters of an acre. The roof was still looking pretty desperate too:

Inside, things were exactly as they'd been when we'd seen the place in April. Not a stick of furniture had been removed, and it was clear that it was all now ours. Of course, none of it was very appealing, but it would be handy to have the large dining table and chairs to use while we renovated. In one corner of the living room were two boxes filled with old photos, yearbooks, dishes and other odds and ends. The kids had fun exploring the boxes. Cameron uncovered this ceramic treasure:

Amongst the family photos, there were a few treasures too, in some old pictures taken in and around the house a long time ago. It was clear that the photos were from the '70s and '80s, and the house looked to have been in pretty good shape then. Seemed like that was probably the last time it might have been lived in full-time. One character kept popping up in a lot of the photos, and he looked like the father of his young family and that he'd been a bit of a good-time kinda guy, if you know what I mean. It was quite fascinating to pore through the pictures.

After exploring the house for quite a while, we left for that day, headed back to my inlaws' cottage with a slew of calls to make the following day.


  1. First of all, I love love love Cameron's new little doggie. They look like they will be fast friends! Secondly, we here at the office just looked up where your closest IKEA is -- looks like you'll be stopping in Boucherville Quebec to load up a trailer next time you're on your way down east! I love your new house -- it totally rocks -- and it looks so cute with the grass all long and shaggy -- then again, you know I'm a fan of the slightly-unkempt look!
    XOXO Katie H

  2. Hi Jen,
    I just popped in to see of you had written a new post, and you had! It sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but the journey will be exciting, too. I look forward to following along and seeing what you do with your new island cottage.