January to March 1963

Our new house in the summer of 1963.

From January until March of 1963, the Costains were preparing to move to their new house, while leading their ordinary lives. Since the house was literally down the hill and around a corner, overseeing the renovations was not a hard job, but imagining living there was another matter. They would be living in a neighbourhood not on the highway, so it would be a different perspective, even though they already knew many families around. The school was closer, as the crow flies, but getting to it in a Canadian winter would have meant wading through snow over two untrodden fields, so the children left that idea until spring. Selling the Montreal Road duplex they lived in was an important part of the financing plan, so an ad was put in the newspaper. And packing began.

Cec and Cyn had planned the overall structural changes already, and Cyn had sent her mother the diagrams showing how the reversal of the orientation of the stairs made for better floor plans on all levels, but the renovation of the kitchen was Cyn’s pet project, and she was meticulous in designing it to suit her exactly- counters low enough to work at, enough cupboard space, efficient placement of equipment, pale blue paint, and a phone corner, making it her office!

Doors and old cabinets removed, wallpaper gone, new dining room wall added!

The living room already had a big window looking out on the road, and Cyn’s beloved stone fireplace with chimney was added on to the outside wall. The children were quite taken with the novelty but having always lived with central heating, it did not have the same associations for them that it had for their mother!

The children each had a bedroom upstairs, with the roof and the gable windows making the walls slope inside, and they were promised that they would be allowed to choose the colour of the paint to cover up the hideous wallpaper.
The basement was unfinished, with a concrete floor, a sump pump in one corner to deal with spring flooding threats, the furnace under the stairs, the washing machine and dryer that kind Dorothy Scott had included in the house price close by, and a remnant of the farmhouse origin- a cold room in one corner, insulated from the heated house, with wooden shelving for the jams and jellies and bins below with earth in, to bury the root vegetables for winter storage. Cec had his tools down there, (and added to them more farm remnants as they appeared from overgrown mounds in the neglected garden). There was lots of room for storage, a permanent table for Charlie’s train set, and all the boxes and extras that come with moving.

Grandparents and family out west approved!

Moving Day was March 1st, and the children’s Spring Break came a few weeks later so they could help more with the settling in and learn to climb the old apple tree in the back garden. They would miss the hollow down behind that flooded in spring, and the wide fields they had played in, but as the years passed the hollow was filled in, and the fields became covered with houses. Ottawa was expanding, and the move was an excellent choice. Altogether, an exciting time!

Our teachers were always confusing Janet and Linda- just because we both had glasses and braids?

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