Last Monday when I went into the kitchen to make breakfast I was greeted by Henri bearing a brightly-wrapped gift.
I had completely forgotten that today marked my 5th year of being a bona fide homeowner. How time flies when one is constantly performing home-maintenance chores! Of course, technically the bank still owns most of the house. However, I must admit it is much more satisfying to pay a mortgage than rent.
I have learned quite a bit about living in the country.
Acquiring new skills: I can shovel snow (without injury), weed the garden (a losing game), plant bulbs (the only flowers that bloomed), paint woodwork inside and out (never-ending chore) and shift heavy furniture from room to room on my own.
Survival: The Great Mildew Debacle of 2016 in which I lost almost all 30 pair of my beautiful shoes, boots and half of my clothes was devastating. (Yes, I know. A first-world problem; but still!) If only someone had warned me that a dehumidifier is essential in an unfinished basement!
Facing Wild Animals: I have dealt with rude, unfriendly neighbours and barking dogs. My most praise-worthy achievement has been sending spiders and other bugly intruders on one-way ocean voyages with great alacrity all by myself. Ultimately triumphant in the Great Mouse Invasion of 2018.
Disaster Prevention: I have been victorious in combating plumbing mishaps. I can unclog a sink, toilet and bathtub in record time. (This is no surprise as Mermaids are rather adept at watery chores.)
All in all, not a bad record for a novice homeowner who has spent her entire adult life in city apartments.
I opened Henri’s gift. He had painted a lovely plaque. (I wondered why my paints had been rearranged in the cabinet.)
I thanked Henri for his thoughtful gift. It was too early for champagne so I made his favourite breakfast (pancakes, walnuts, blueberries with plenty of maple syrup). Then Henri reminded me that the bathroom floor and walls must be replaced and the kitchen floor is ugly. My never-ending chores await!