The drive always seemed to take forever, in reality it was only four and a half hours from the city. I could tell by the look on my husband face and the tension in his body, that he needed this weekend. My body was already going into relaxation mode as we entered the Northern part of the province, the scenery changing from cement and pavement, to rocks, trees and lakes, oh how I loved this feeling; so completely opposite to city life hustle and bustle, rush, rush, rush and noise. Only forty-five minutes to go and we would be there. Dobbie our Bernese Collie cross fur baby was getting excited, he had spent the trip frosting the backseat window while getting air from the partial opening. He could smell the change in the air, triggering a quiet whine of anticipation.
As we pulled into the laneway, Dobbie’s whine turned into full blown barking and pacing in the back seat. The car stopped, we got out and of course opened the back door, immediately he leapt out and raced around the yard, weaving in and out of the trees stopping occasionally to look at us, as if to say “The bear was here” and then “That raccoon is back” “Squirrel !!!” he took his perimeter duties very seriously, and I am sure he felt as we did that relocating here permanently and leaving the city behind, would be the perfect life.
We unpacked the car while Dobbie continued to investigate what went on since our last visit. Taking the final item into the cabin, we called him, and he bound through the door and jumped up on his loveseat, that sat in front of the huge picture window, the perfect spot to continue his watch. My husband walked around opening all the windows allowing the cross breeze of fresh air to fill the cabin. I looked around, I missed the warmth of the square log home, exterior of dark honey colored and the interior faintly whitewashed logs to brighten the rooms as the sun shone in. Through the front door entry, you were greeted with the central staircase, practicing my feng shui theory, the stairs were entered from both sides at the bottom, if you looked at it from above, it would be the shape of an upside down capital T. The walkways on the main floor circled completely around it. To the left of the staircase was the living room, a bathroom, back door, circling the stairs laundry, pantry, connecting to the kitchen. If you went right from the front door, was the dining room table, open to the kitchen with indigo blue cabinets, butcherblock counters and a large farmers sink, which was placed in front of a large window that looked out into large flagstone patio and beyond it, acres of forest that had amazing trails through it, some led to ponds and one to the small lake that connected to a larger lake, each scene as peaceful as the last. Off the side of the cabin between the kitchen and dining areas, were French doors that led out onto the screened in porch, I couldn’t wait to have coffee out there later.
Unpacking didn’t take long, we were only here for the long weekend to get the place opened for the summer. We did the usual routine of turning the water and hydro back on, checking for leaks, checking the stove pipe of the woodstove for nests or build up, searching for and any remains of small creatures that may not have survived the winter, a full list of thing to do. I took the cast iron pans out of the cupboard, washed and re-seasoned them for use, washed the few dishes we needed for the weekend and of course put out Dobbie’s bowls of kibble and water, the sound of the kibble bag caused him to take a break from his watch.
With all the duties finished, we made coffee and headed out the screened porch. Dobbie followed and took his spot on the dog bed, us relaxing in the Adirondack chairs, taking a sip of coffee my husband leaned back “This is living” he said, “It feels great to be back here”. I joined him in his comment “How right you are, it feels like we have been gone forever” we smiled at each other and sat quiet for the next fifteen minutes, enjoying the sounds of nature, the rustling of the breeze in the trees, the cicada’s humming, squirrels jumping from limb to limb. We remained there enjoying a mixture of small talk and silence until we got hungry and went in to eat. After dinner we headed back out. The sun was setting, crickets chirping and off in the distance the loons could be heard calling to each other as they did every night, “I don’t want to leave.” my husband said,
“Me either " “Then we won't "
“Ya right” I laughed, he sat up a little straighter and looked at me “Seriously, why haven’t we moved here permanently?” I looked at him “You say this every time we come up here”
“Yes and every time we go back, and continue the same futile, stressful life, wishing we were here” he grumbled
“What else are we suppose to do? We have jobs, responsibilities…” Interrupting me “And stress, bills, we never see each other, Dobbie is alone half the day, what’s the point?” “The point? The point is jobs and responsibilities.” He leaned forward “But think about it, we work just to pay bills on a house we are hardly ever in and don’t like as much as we love this one.” I realized he was serious “Are you saying drop everything and move here.” He leaned even closer “I know it sounds crazy, but you know we would be happier here” pausing and turning “Right Dobbie, you agree with me don’t you boy?” Dobbie looked up and wagged his tail “See he agrees” he laughed then continued “If we sold everything down there, would that give us enough to do it, technically this place is included in our mortgage/loan, so it would be paid for?” “I’m not sure?” “Lets figure it out” he chimed
“Alright we can chat about it, do the math and see where we stand” He smiled and stood up “I’ll grab a pen and paper” I stood up “I’ll make more coffee, this could take awhile” We spent the rest of the night going over present debts and assets.
“So, here’s the list so far” He began to read “Under debt we have what’s left on the mortgage, 2 car payments, credit cards, to pay it all off we need approximately $495,000.” Then I read the asset list “Equity on the house, all the contents, the few stocks, and the savings account, we only have about $425,000.” I said disappointed. He took a sip of coffee then almost choking, blurted out “Wait, what if we sold both cars and buy one used one outright, no payments. We can share, we don’t need 2, unless we both find work up here.” he said. “Ya and the insurance would be a lot cheaper, only one used vehicle up here instead of 2 new ones in the city.” I smiled. “You’re right I wasn’t thinking about the cost of living difference, you are brilliant, lets figure that out” his excitement grew again. After hours of working and re-working the figures, comparing the differences of cost of living and lifestyle, we had a plan. By selling everything, downsizing, utilities for this house being half of what the city house is and no longer having monthly payments to everything, we were close to breaking even, and the monthly income needed to survive dropped by a little more than $2500.00. He looked at me and calmly said “Well what do you think?” I looked at the figures once more and then at him, “You know what, I think with a few compromises and sacrifices, we can do it” “YESSSSSSSS” he exclaimed jumping up and dancing around, Dobbie joining in even though I’m sure he didn’t know why all the excitement. Then he stopped, looked at me seriously “Are you sure, I know it’s a big change, are you really, really sure you want to do this?” I stood up “Well we can either look at it as a bit scary, a little challenging, or as an adventure we are on together.”
We spent the rest of the week end in constant conversations about our new adventure, leaving the cabin that weekend was not hard like it was every other time, because we knew the next time we came back it would be forever, grounded in peace.