When Given Lemons

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Rolling Hills, a farmhouse in Pictou County, Nova Scotia was our next property of interest. The photos online showed rolling hills off in the distance from the acreage. It was everything I dreamed a farmhouse could be. Close to a river, a lovely “carriage house” garage beside the house, a large wood stove in the kitchen, and oodles of charm. The staircase was curved with a floral detail following the railing upwards. The country would be quiet, and the property led down to a nature trail that followed along the river. I’m still a little sad that we had to pass on that.

We weren’t able to see from photos that this house had a very wet basement. The appeal for us was the size of the yard. We knew the walls would need paint, and the kitchen would need major updates, and there was only a lovely roll top bathtub in the one bathroom in the house. No problem. We knew the rooms would be small, but there wasn’t any evidence that the roof leaked, or that the highway this property was beside would be busy. We couldn’t stop the ringing in our ears from the interstate in San Diego. Anything would be better than walking alongside the freeway. We craved to call those rolling hills our home.


Our neighbour in the RV park in San Diego brought us bags of citrus fruit. He handpicked the lemons, oranges, and grapefruit from a farm close by. He knew the elderly owner wasn’t able to pick the fruit herself and if he didn’t bag it up, it would rot on the ground. Jamie and I had never tasted citrus like this. Juicy, bold, and satisfying. I knew to make lemonade when given lemons, and that’s what I did with the Rolling Hills property. I spent far too much time looking over the details and dreaming about what I could do in the space. The problem was, this lemon was almost 6,000 kms (over 3600 miles) away, and I couldn’t do a thing about it until spring when we returned to Canada.

The walking/biking trail along Interstate 5 where we measured the noise at 85 decibels

The walking/biking trail along Interstate 5 where we measured the noise at 85 decibels

We actually had the opportunity to see Rolling Hills while we were on our house hunting trip to Nova Scotia this April, and those bones that looked so good in the pictures, they were soggy after several days of rain.

Next on our list is a home we affectionately called “Quirky.” I’ll take you back to Alberta to have a look at a unique property in a town of just over 100 residents.

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  • What does your dream home look like? Are you living in it? If given a choice, would you take a lemon and make it something bold and satisfying?

  • Would you buy a property online without walking through it first? We actually considered doing this. I know, it’s a thing and it’s called FOMO (fear of missing out). Instead, we waited, and now we have the experience of seeing what the price of a dream can cost.

  • What do you fear you’re missing out on? Top of my list has always been adventure. I haven’t gone in search of it, I haven’t been called to it, and without fear, I’m discovering that adventure is my life.

Janet KittoComment