Monday, 10 August 2015
The house that might have been
Before the Resident Fan Boy and younger daughter arrived from Hades, I took advantage of my unfettered state and walked around the neighbourhood of this current house-sit often. My eye was often caught by this house, largely due to its eye-catching colour and oddly leaning-in shape. Friend of the Right Hand tells me it was once red and white. It stands at the foot of what is now the Dallas Waterfront Trail, on the eastern end of Ross Bay.
I told Demeter about it, because I had been considering trying to paint it for the water-colour class we've been taking together this summer. She told me that in the days when she was a single mom of two slightly-used daughters, trying to break free of rental headaches, this was a house she had briefly considered buying. It was too expensive, even for those long-ago buyer's market days, and she felt that the oddity of the house and the vast fixing up it required would make it impossible to sell later. She bought a brand-new, tiny townhouse condo in Esquimalt instead.
I gaze at this quirky quasi-castle, a short stroll from the charming bungalow I'm house-sitting. It must be worth a fortune now. What would my life have been like if we'd moved into what was then an undoubtedly rickety and crafty curiosity? Demeter would never had had the money - nor, probably, the desire - to renovate it. But we would have lived by the sea, and I would have gone to sleep lulled - or terrified - by the crashing waves.
I will go down to look again. It's not often you see the parting of the ways so clearly.