The name, “The Hollyhock Door” comes from my memories of grandmother’s house in England where I grew up. Her garden was always a riot of flowers — hydrangeas, honeysuckle and, my favourite, hollyhocks. We have planted many of these glorious flowers in our various houses in the hope that despite the cooler Canadian climate, they will grace our own front door as well.
As working parents of three small boys, life is busy and often whole weeks go by without having time to stop and smell those flowers. All too often days and weeks go by and the hubs and I realize milestones have been reached, tasks completed, and the boys are suddenly that much more grown up. The blog is my way of taking notice of the little things, keeping writing regularly, and sharing a little bit about our lives.
In the last three years, we have moved house and completed major renovations not once, but twice. The first move to our acreage was a big learning curve: we took over a foreclosure and attempted to transform it into our country dream home. While we loved living out of the city, we quickly realized that home isn’t a place, it’s where your loved ones are. Those of us who are members of the “sandwich” generation know the struggle to care for elderly or aging parents at the same time as raising children all too well. For us, achieving some balance between the needs of our parents and children necessitated a move back into the city.
We began renovating again — this time a mid-century bungalow. We worked through collapsed roofs, wonky plumbing, and 3-inch thick architectural stucco to make a new home, all while running a business, working on a graduate degree, and looking after two small humans! It’s been busy, crazy and sometimes intensely frustrating, but because we’re together, it’s always fun.
We recently added a new puppy and a new baby to the (already chaotic) mix of two pre-schoolers and two corgis. While the late-night feedings and early-morning walks have been tiring, it’s wonderful to watch our family grow.
Now that we’re settled (for the time being) we try to view our home and our lives together as a big, messy, glorious adventure –we hope you join us !