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The Great Plan pt 1

Updated: Mar 9

A Good Start

I haven’t known where to start with this. I think I just kept waiting for the resolution, the grand finale. I’ve been waiting until the lesson of the story is obvious so I can parlay it from my new lofty outlook of what I’ve learned. Look how smart I am! I figured it all out! But weeks and months (years?) have gone by and it just doesn’t seem to end, doesn’t wrap up beautifully, all packaged up with a ribbon. I just have all the messy bits, a handful of loose ends, the painful anecdotes and bizarre twists and turns, trying to make sense of the patterns. So I hand you this, an overflowing metaphorical box of blunders, disjointed timelines and decided-upon blessings, take as you will.

To say things haven’t gone as I expected the last few years would be an understatement, I suppose I’m not alone in that sentiment. I was always a person who unequivocally knew that things always work out, the best case scenario isn’t just possible but likely, things go in my favour. I will say this has been tested.

The real beginning to this story is too far back to bring up to the surface so instead we’ll start here. The summer of 2023, we were homeless in the sense that we had left our beloved Barriefield rental and hadn’t yet found where we would next go. Who does this? We do. More than once actually. So here we are in July, finding ourselves staying with incredible friends at their spacious country home complete with pool (really not a bad place to be homeless). In fact, over the summer we stayed at several places, with or without our friends who owned them, and each one had a pool. Each one had comfortable space. Each one had beautiful surroundings. So we knew that even in our frustration and disappointment we were held so well. We decided that the theme for the summer would be ‘organized chaos’, having gone through a very similar situation before, we just had to choose it as our own making. We used the summery weather to hit up beaches, swim in pools, go for country drives, read books in the sunshine. All three of my girls have summer birthdays, one for each month, so June, July and August had their high points, a pinnacle to look forward to. There was a week of summer camp, a first for our family, and truly so much easy fun to access along the way.

Yet in the background there was the looming of ‘what’s next’, humming loudly for Steve and I to hear. We knew we couldn’t buy a house, nor could we find anything we would want to, and so we set our sights on a short term rental. Again. We felt certain that in the time of the lease we would absolutely sort out all these loose threads we’ve been tangled up in. When we found this short term rental, a sweet little cottage on the river, a throw back with its coloured carpet, faded wallpaper, honey coloured wood, 60 year old furniture, we knew it could work for a time. It could be just the thing for us, a combo of the most beautiful waterfront setting (swoon!) and not so homey that we couldn’t imagine leaving.

It all came together, this cottage for just enough time and some brilliant projects that Steve struck upon. School was starting, the first time for Edie Plum, we adopted two puppies, my little holistic beauty and wellness business was moving along at a slow pace online. We even lucked out with an amazing late summer, into October we still laid down at the dock, the kids and Steve fished in the evenings, boated along the river from island to island, we swam in the cooling water. For a brief moment it felt like it was all on the up and up.

It just didn’t last.

The worst part is that I felt I already knew that would happen. Was that my intuition speaking or my doubt? Was this going to happen all along or was it self-fulfilled prophecy?

As I write this I feel like, why am I being so dramatic? There is devastation in such huge ways happening worldwide right now, this story is such small potatoes in comparison. Yet it’s my life and it’s the only lived experience I have to share, so I do. I’ve set out on a mission to find HOME, to put down roots and begin what feels like the next phase of life, to find not just a house but a place to create a legacy from. It feels like I tripped over something and four (or maybe it’s 5?) years later I haven’t righted myself, I’ve been stumbling forward. The worst part is it feels so silly, so immature, I’m a 41 year old married mother of 3, how haven’t I figured this out yet? Sure some people aren’t solid in their work, or don’t fully know if they’re aligned with their passions, or are still trying to sort out their finances, or are on the lookout for their forever home. I’m doing all of it, I feel like I don’t have any of these ‘adult life skills’ sorted out. I’ve always hated being vulnerable with people, I’d prefer people think I’ve got this. And it’s not a front, I have so much good in my life, it feels whiny to focus on these hard parts. I’m acknowledging it’s all just part of my story.

From July to October, the projects Steve poured himself into were all in action simultaneously which was dizzying and exciting. He had signed on as the developer of some land, other partners were the landholders and investors. It felt like the culmination of his fifteen years of house building, where we had just made ends meet for over a decade we could finally be in the position to generate enough income to get ourselves back into the housing market and feel secure. The process was anything but smooth, from the plans that took months longer than anticipated to permit setbacks, it felt like, even though on paper this seemed like a foolproof plan, the universe was trying to slow it all down for a reason.

In 2020 both of our businesses took massive nosedives and it seemed as though we had finally hit upon a solution, a way to truly put one foot before the other and walk with intention to the life we wanted. So much energy, commitment, stretching into the unknown and trust was required for Steve to go head first towards what he believed would be life changing for us. What’s that saying about risk and reward?We’re risk takers, we found people who could loan us what we needed to roll the project forward. Each part of these projects hinged on the one before, like dominoes everything was poised to fall perfectly into place once the trigger was pulled.

But there was a hitch. By late November, with the property development project already in the works, permitting happening, plans paid for, materials ordered, we hit a major problem. We had entered into a transaction with a family friend, this was part of our investment strategy and that was going to give us the resources to pay back the loans and further the developments, but it became painfully clear that the deal was actually not as it had seemed.

Suddenly everything we’d been working towards was at a standstill.

Stay tuned for part 2

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