And so, onwards . . .

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Twenty years ago when I bought a block of land and built a house with my then-husband I knew it wasn’t the house of my dreams: an old house with verandahs, tin roof and rainwater tanks, like a nanna’s house.

Au contraire, it was a modern off-the-plan, brick veneer, tile roofed house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, double garage and a deck, set in a native bush yard in subdivision situated an urban area of the Central Coast of NSW, overlooking glimpses of a lake and the ocean in the far distance.

I lived in that house for nine years with then-husband, two cats and a dog. I gardened, worked, commuted to the city, hosted dinners, barbeques, parties and Christmases. Family & friends came to visit or stay almost every weekend.

All the while my dream house waited.

The cats and dog spent their last years there as I promised them they would. However, when they were gone I set myself free and moved back to the city where I worked. After a while the G.O. came to live with me in a tiny apartment where we had not much space nor time for those other things that make a life. Except a dream staked on the old house we bought together ten years ago in a village in the hinterland of the Nambucca Valley.

The G.O. had originally purchased our house with his then-wife several years before I set eyes on it. Despite being told it was a ‘knock-down’ he stripped, rebuilt, painted and gave the old house a new life. I visited it once, briefly, during the early stages, a couple of years before he nearly had to let it go along with the life he’d had there.

But as fate unfolded its enigmatic plans by the time I’d sold my still-new house the opportunity presented itself for the G.O.’s lovely old lady of a house with wide verandahs, tin roof and rainwater tanks to become mine too.

When I saw it with fresh eyes on my second visit, I knew it was the nanna’s house of my dreams; the house where there’d be homemade biscuits in a tin, loose tea leaves in a jar, teapots with woolly covers, cups & saucers & floral pattern plates, shelves of books read but undusted, scattered bibs & bobs from various times & places, well-loved comfy furniture, geraniums in the front garden, veges & a hills hoist in the back, family pictures in the china cabinet, a cat sleeping on a chair, creeping sunshine, quiet afternoons and elastic time.

“And so, onwards… along a path of wisdom, with a hearty tread, a hearty confidence.. however you may be, be your own source of experience. Throw off your discontent about your nature. Forgive yourself your own self. You have it in your power to merge everything you have lived through- false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your loves and your hopes- into your goal, with nothing left over.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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48 thoughts on “And so, onwards . . .

    Lori said:
    November 20, 2015 at 7:05 am

    How wonderful to see dreams come true.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      It’s reassuring it does happen in real life as well as fairy-tale books 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    ardysez said:
    November 20, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I agree with Lori, and I am so enjoying getting to go with you as your dream comes true. Gave me goosebumps reading how it has all come together. And I love the words in the Nietzsche quote ‘however you may be, be your own source of experience’. Big hugs to you both as you step over the edge and into your dream.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you. I’m glad to have the company 🙂
      I find the Nietzsche quote reassuring… we are who we are meant to be by the process of becoming that person by the experiences we have.

      Liked by 1 person

    Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said:
    November 20, 2015 at 7:17 am

    It looks wonderful, ED. xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you. It’s home 🙂

      Like

    Francesca said:
    November 20, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Oh EllaDee what a beautiful description of your house-
    ‘When I saw it with fresh eyes on my second visit, I knew it was the nanna’s house of my dreams; the house where there’d be homemade biscuits in a tin, loose tea leaves in a jar, teapots with woolly covers, cups & saucers & floral pattern plates, shelves of books read but undusted, scattered bibs & bobs from various times & places, well-loved comfy furniture, geraniums in the front garden, veges & a hills hoist in the back, family pictures in the china cabinet, a cat sleeping on a chair, creeping sunshine, quiet afternoons and elastic time.’
    I had to slow down and read that paragraph nice and slowly which is what I always do when I come ecross something so evocative. I think life there will be just right, and reading on that shady verandah with a cuppa- how lovely- along with yout planned forays around the country.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but it suits the G.O. & I, as to be happy we need a home not a house; a home that connects us with the past… and a verandah. We spend a lot of time on that verandah 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    katechiconi said:
    November 20, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Having actually seen and visited the Old Lady, I can confirm she truly is as you describe. If I had to use one word to describe her, it would Comfort, not in terms of plushy beds and every mod con, but in reassurance, peace, welcome and the best and widest verandahs for lounging on to contemplate the universe. I truly envied those… We’ll be down again in February, and hope to see you then!

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you. Our old lady house has had a good life I think, and lots of people living within her walls that have enjoyed their time there. We love the verandah… sometimes wondering if the rest of the house isn’t somewhat superfluous.

      Like

        katechiconi said:
        November 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

        I’ll remind you of that on a chilly winter’s night!

        Liked by 1 person

    acflory said:
    November 20, 2015 at 8:39 am

    My Warrandyte is a little like your Nanna house, and harks back to the first year my family spent in Australia, in country NSW. A great deal has changed since then, but the feel of home is still the same. -hugs-

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      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      For some of us our early homes shape what we look on as home forever more… and we find ourselves living still, much later with those influences.

      Like

        acflory said:
        November 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm

        Yup. I guess it’s because those houses are associated with such happy memories. The neighbourhood kids didn’t care that I was this funny looking wog kid who couldn’t speak English. They accepted me into their 4 year olds ‘gang’ and we had a wonderful time. Golden, all of it was golden. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          EllaDee responded:
          November 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

          Good memories… I was part of a similar country town pre-school neighborhood gang:)

          Like

          acflory said:
          November 21, 2015 at 9:03 am

          lol – I think mine turned me into an aussie, well and truly. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    Gerlinde said:
    November 20, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I congratulate you on your courage and determination. I’m not familiar with the Australian landscape but the house looks cozy and inviting. You will have a wonderful time . I love the Nietzche quote.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you. The landscape around us is hills, we’re in a green rural valley just in from the coast. The house is old but homey and unfussy – it’s seen a lot of life since the 1930’s.

      Like

    diannegray said:
    November 20, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Your verandah looks a lot like mine at the RUC – beautiful!!! 😀

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      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      I loved watching you pull the RUC together transforming it into a beautiful new – old home. I think we’re fortunate in Australia to have the climate for verandahs 🙂

      Like

    davidprosser said:
    November 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I can’t recall seeing pictures of T.A. before now but the place looks wonderful. I have no idea if you’ve actually finished turning it into the ‘home’ you want yet but I’m more than confident you’ll do just that. Not a house, a HOME. You’re both going to be very happy there and just bear in mind will you please, two sugars in my tea and I like it weak.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      I like weak tea and the G.O takes sugar, so you’ll be right 🙂
      It’s pretty much the house-home we want but with just enough DIY projects to keep us going and keep it interesting.

      Like

    sara said:
    November 20, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Are you all moved in now? It looks wonderful 🙂
    I love this: …shelves of books read but undusted, scattered bibs & bobs from various times & places, well-loved comfy furniture, geraniums in the front garden, veges & a hills hoist in the back, family pictures in the china cabinet, a cat sleeping on a chair, creeping sunshine, quiet afternoons and elastic time.
    So beautiful…❤️

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 20, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Haha… looks like that but no, a few more weeks, one birthday, one quick trip up & back, and 25 boxes to be packed… then.
      Thank you, I’m pleased you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        sara said:
        November 20, 2015 at 8:58 pm

        Good – I won’t be offended that you haven’t invited me in for a cuppa and a cookie then 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          EllaDee responded:
          November 21, 2015 at 9:05 am

          Consider yourself invited 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    Glenda said:
    November 22, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Ella, It looks fab, I wish you much happiness on your new journey.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 22, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Thank you. I’m looking forward to using your inspiration to add some roses to the garden.

      Like

    Richard Guest said:
    November 22, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Congrats, EllaDee! It looks lovely.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 22, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Thank you. We’ve been fortunate to be able to pursue our dreams.

      Like

    Kourtney Heintz said:
    November 22, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Love how you found your dream house. It really sounds like it was waiting for you. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 22, 2015 at 9:53 am

      That’s how it felt to me too, the old house in the country/coast just waiting for the right time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Kourtney Heintz said:
        November 26, 2015 at 6:58 am

        You did a great job conveying it in words and images. I definitely saw the years unfolding. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    fergie51 said:
    November 24, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Are those ‘glenda’ letters in the bickies? Love these stories of how after taking the long road you get to where you should be. Similar to our new, old house. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      November 24, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Thank you. I enjoy seeing the progress with your house, and have been inspired with many ideas from your garden.
      The cookie stamps are similar to Glenda’s but from the supermarket.

      Liked by 1 person

    ChgoJohn said:
    November 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve a young cousin looking for his first home. He’s getting a bit discouraged. The few that he has liked have been purchased before he could make a bid. I’ve reassured him, telling him none of those houses were meant for him. His house is out there, waiting for him, and he will find and live in it. This post is proof of that. I am very happy for you and the G.O., EllaDee.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 25, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Thank you. My brother is in the same position as your nephew. Dad would like him to hurry up but I think when things are meant to be they fall into place… it might take one or two steps and some time but it happens. I always get a sort of knowing-telling feeling when something is right for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    memoirsofahusk said:
    November 24, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Que sera, sera, proved, in the nicest possible way. But I think you might now need an addition to your tea cosy collection as you will be having more time to drink tea 😉 I have just received some beautiful soap in the post,on top of that the rain has just stopped and a patch of blue has appeared in the sky. The world is a better place, for now, in my little corner of the world. Thank you. 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 25, 2015 at 6:36 am

      I’m so pleased the memento of TA made its way successfully across the seas 🙂
      Another tea cosy found its way in the door… somehow… but it’s buried in a box, of course! They along with numerous teapots will surely amass into a collection.

      Liked by 1 person

    Cecile said:
    November 27, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I haven’t been seeing your posts in my ‘reader’ but I just saw your name at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial and thought, “I’ve gotta go check out how she’s doing!”. They say there is no such thing as coincidence, that things come about for a reason. My small coincidence is finding this wonderful post about finding the house of your dreams, along with the quote from Nietzsche – which turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed to read right now! ++ I went through a lot when my husband was ill and even more after he died….and things haven’t turned out as I had thought when I returned to the place I was from here in my wonderful old Yellow Farmhouse. Sometimes we have to gather all that we’ve learned, both the good and the bad, and take a chance by leaving what we know so we can head out for new adventures. I’ve been very seriously thinking of selling this wonderful place, with it’s gardens, barn and warm & cozy house simply because my soul is craving new adventures. I won’t do anything right now, but come spring of 2017 – that’s the plan, sell my home and travel, travel, travel. After a while, I will buy a new place. But not until it’s the right time for me. ++ What Nietzsche wrote touched me so much – it said what is in my heart at this time in my life. And it’s probably no coincidence that I ‘found’ this today. Thank you !!!

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      Cecile said:
      November 27, 2015 at 12:13 am

      I just printed out the quote & I’m going to stick it on my fridge! ; o )

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        EllaDee responded:
        November 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm

        Excellent… words have much power 🙂

        Like

      EllaDee responded:
      November 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I love meaningful coincidences. I’m very happy that the Nietzsche quote resonated with you. For me it’s the shiny version of my life that might otherwise be ascribed “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning”!
      Change that we plan and instigate is far more workable that that which is foisted upon us by circumstances. When I sold the ‘new’ house the process required also self-administering 2 bottles of Bach flower remedy for letting go, not just of the house but the life and the beliefs that went with it.
      The space & time I gave myself to find and get to know who I was after that was the most important and valuable time of my life.
      Bonne chance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Cecile said:
        November 27, 2015 at 11:56 pm

        I agree – change which is foisted upon us is often very, very difficult. My husband died, at 57, eight years ago – and with his death so much changed. He had been an international banker and our lives had been full of travel and adventure. We also had a lovely farm near Quebec City that I sold two years after his death… and that was like in some ways, another death. And divorce is the loss of a certain lifestyle. You lose a person who had been a big part of your life, plus that person’s family and friends etc. etc. etc. – plus the home you’d put your heart into. I’m happy for you that you found someone else and have a new life. And that you gave yourself that space and time to grow and know yourself. It’s a necessary part of life; getting to know oneself – and not everyone takes that time.

        Liked by 1 person

          EllaDee responded:
          November 28, 2015 at 3:31 pm

          Thank you. Your words are very kind.
          The divorce itself was a good thing for me but you’re right about the collateral damage.
          The rest was a combo of good instinct and good luck 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    December 3, 2015 at 11:13 am

    ” stripped, rebuilt, painted and gave the old house a new life”…the brave ones do that not only with buildings, but with lives. Congrats! I am so thrilled for you both
    (And thanks for the Kookaburra image – sang that song about them sitting in a tree for so long, yet never knew what they looked like)

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      EllaDee responded:
      December 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you. I hadn’t thought of it like that… but you’re right we both did various stripping back and rebuilding over those years, that has served us well since.
      Those kookas are part of the feathered local contingent and make themselves quit at home.

      Like

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