Frannie's Blog

My photo
Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
I look for beauty and truth in everything. It's not always there of course but I try to find it or make it happen. I love people who make me laugh.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Farm

My parents' mid-life adventure began in the early 70's when it became a popular trend to leave the suburbs and move to the country. When they purchased this place it was in dire need of improvement. Such as plumbing. And electricity. My grandmother was living with them and prayed that the deal wouldn't go through but it did and she gradually learned to love the place as did everyone else in the family. We all called it 'the farm' but was no longer a working farm. But much work was lavished on it over the years. I think my parents were happiest during these years.

Soon after all the major work was done this sign was put up to welcome browsers. I didn't know that groundhogs could climb that high.

The shed became an antique shop specializing in Victoriana. Dad was still working in the city so Mom looked after the shop. There were a lot of clocks and they would all go off at once.

Mom worked all summer in the garden so that all winter they could enjoy its harvest. I believe that's a gooseberry bush in the right foreground.

This is an early watercolour I painted from the same vantage point.

Dad spent a lot of time on the tractor, especially in winter keeping the long driveway clear. I think he quit smoking soon after this photo was taken. Anyway he's still with us at age 93.

My sister Lynne enjoys the company of Jake and Bert while sitting in the sun on the front steps. Our Mom is at the door holding Lynne's daughter Melissa.

My boys. Andrew, ever the fisherman, sits with Jon and the dogs, Cornelia and Victor.

Here are the boys at the back door in one of my early watercolours.

This window on the upstairs landing is one of my favourite spots, especially when it's frosted and decorated for Christmas.

Many family meals were enjoyed in this dining room. Dad appears to be saying grace but I doubt it. Mom is perhaps glaring at him. My sons have a conspiratorial look while my grandmother, Mamoe, seems to be waiting for a glass of wine.

Dad, the patriarch, kneels in front of a gang of us in the kitchen. I'm standing behind him.

In 1981 VIA ran its last train behind the house. Soon after that the tracks were pulled up. I think that was a very foolish move. It's now a long, straight biking and walking trail which I find quite boring.

Victoria House as it looked after many years of TLC. You can just make out the image of Bert the dog in the shadows.

Victoria House, the watercolour.


Ronna said...

Great shots Fran! My parents, too, bought a country property in the '70s. I guess it was the thing to do.

frannie said...

And you're still enjoying that's so cool!

Lynne said...

Well....what a trip down Memory Lane! (Is Green Lane next ?) Loved that Victoria House, though. Quite the undertaking for Mom and Dad...and they weren't spring chicks when they bought it either. I still love to think of "Italian Scrabble" and the rendition of "When I'm Sixty-Four", and all that that entailed. xxxSis

frannie said...

Right, Italian scrabble...ziti, ziti!

Knatolee said...

THis is fabulous. I love the photos and paintings and the history. Thank you for sharing all this!

My parents moved to suburban Toronto in the 70s... blech!

frannie said...

So did mine, Knat, but in the 60's. Agincourt too! (Bridlewood, actually)

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

I so enjoyed this personal look into your past family life. You were so lucky growing up here. Beautiful
watercolors as usual.

Kim said...

Wow, this brings back so many memories to me! I remember the Manager's office (the outhouse) and the Elephant Crossing sign at the creek. And when your dad tried to get the new car out of the ditch using the tractor and pierced the gas tank! And to think we shared the "Bridlewood" experience too! Remember everyone had convertibles?

廖佳怡 said...
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alternativeavenues said...

I like this on too