House Up.

It’s on the market. The photo on the real estate web page doesn’t do it justice. For some reason the Montana Rubens clematis didn’t come out this year. The roses are transplanted and waiting to go to Dad’s new house in Cowichan Bay. The clear, clinical description sounds like, well, anybody’s house. Not my home.

And the ‘nanny suite’ described on the website? That was where my grandmother stayed when she visited, helping out my mother and having pyrotechnic battles with my brother. I would pad down there early in the mornings and cuddle my grandmother, just the two of us, with no outside interruptions. We’d get up and make tea and toast, the morning light coming into the kitchen slowly.

Even now, there’s such a thing as a perfect cup of tea for me. Only about one in five have the exact chemistry needed to make perfect tea, the way my grandmother did, every time.

In time ‘Gramma Mom’s room’ became an illegal suite for kids going to UBC. My mother was sometimes paranoid and often told us to call those kids our “Cousins”, so we wouldn’t get busted for the suite. I’ve had “Cousins” from England, Ontario, and Barnston Island, to name a few.

Oh, and the price of the damned house? I let Dad buy me dinner tonight, thank you very much. He can afford it.

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