The Cool House: Reminiscing

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Yesterday we were interviewed by a journalist writing an article about Andrew Geller who was the architect of our house. Talking to her reminded us of things we'd forgotten while we've been updating this house. Forgotten or maybe suppressed.
For example, I'd completely obliterated from my memory the large rat sized whole in the garage and the unmissable odour of rat urine that permeated the area. Steven can't remember that the first things we put in the dumpster in July 2004 were several large closets that framed the back of the garage, to try and get rid of the smell. Several buckets of bleach and hours of scrubbing did the trick, but we had to repeat that over the course of many months.
Then there was the day that first winter when we went into the city and returned home to find that the previous day's snowfall had begun to thaw and water was pouring into the house from every window onto the newly laid bamboo flooring. That continued for the next few weeks. That's when we discovered that we didn't just need to replace a few windows, we needed a new roof as well.
I'd forgotten, too, about the hole in the window frame in my office caused by termite damage that we covered in plastic and duck tape for months while we tried to get replacements for the single pane, single hung windows. I won't forget, however, the trauma of selecting the replacement windows - trying to balance code with modernism and keep it affordable. ("Of course they'll match the existing windows, madam, they are custom made"). And then having them look just a little too much like double hung windows, after all... A bad day, better forgotten.
But there were good times, too. Like when we pruned the bushes by the bridge and revealed a pond and a stream under there. Or the day Verity moved into her bedroom and discovered the secret room at the back of her closet. Or the first morning walking down the back stairs when a shaft of sunlight shone through the window in the girls' bath and illuminated the tiles on the floor. Just like walking through a cathedral, it took my breath away.

triangular window with tile

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