An Ode To 888 Douglas Avenue

33 odd years stockpiles a plethora of  many wonderful memories.  Some before my time, but special none the less.

With the sale of our home  at 888, we are eagerly anticipating the next chapter of our lives in our forever-together home.  But first, lets reminice……

888 was purchased by Mikey and Sandra (previous administration) as their first home purchase.  Mikey tells me that the budget was strict, as the numbers were  tight, like with most young and first time homeowners.  We can all relate to this scenario – especially the youth of today who need double incomes and sometimes multiple jobs to make ends meet.

The new buyers of 888 are a young British couple who are looking forward to starting their family here…which brings me to my first memory 16 odd years ago….Family…..

Mum, AKA Gwennie, “The Queen Mother”,  Nannie Wilks…one amazing woman.  And Ellie, Gwennie’s best friend and partner in crime, another facinating lady.  Which brings me to my first meeting of my then potential mother-in-law.  BUT!  First let’s step back just a couple of days before that meeting….

In the months prior, I met the MOST wonderful man in the entire world.  No seiously.  I’m sorry folks, but he’s all mine.   Our first “date”, which wasn’t really a date, Mikey spoke fondly about his mother and the love he had for her.   I was hooked from the start.  I always told my children:-

“marry a person who treats their mother with respect and love, as that’s how they will treat you”.  

In the coming months, Mikey prepared for his mother and Ellie’s annual visit.  The flag is flying to indicate the queen in residence!  They have arrived!  They are all settled in the back yard with their favorite drinks; the weather is warm, gardens in full bloom, the pool inviting.  Mikey tells them he’s coming to see me that night – the new lady in his life. They are delighted and looking forward to meeting me the next day.  As we had shared a bottle of wine that night, Mikey stays over (on the couch!) with the thought that Gwennie and Ellie will be fast asleep by the time he sneaks in at 6am to get ready for work. Fast forward to the next morning.  BIG MISTAKE.  He finds the two English beauties sitting at the diningroom table, in their nighties, with the telephone book open in search of the number for the police to report a missing person!

The call would have gone something like this….

“911 what is your emergency?”.  (Gwennie) “I’d like to report a missing person.  My son, Michael.  He’s 5’10, medium build and very handsome.  I should tell you that he’s met a new lady friend, went over there last night and hasn’t returned.  Oh yes, he’s 51 years old”

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Beautiful EllieDSCN2168

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After Mike sheepishly told me the tale of the ladies sleepless night, I felt a wee bit of pressure entering the backyard for my meeting with my future mother in law and her most protective best friend.  I needn’t worry, the visit was wonderful and thus the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

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And so, we became family……in 2004, Mike and I made it official.  We married in our backyard with our family and close friends witnessing our love and committment to one another.  It was a very casual wedding…the invitation requested that you come in your shorts, bathingsuits or whatever you felt the most comfortable.  My Fred Dad (I have two), Justice of the Peace was the officiant (how special is that?!).

0017a Gwennie, Ellie, Elise (Ellie’s daughter), Oliver(nephew)…AND Mike’s father, Les, all flew across the pond and attended.  What made our wedding so very special is that, for most of Les’ life he was plauged with agrophobia – the fear of the outdoors…so let’s delve into this story a bit more…

When we were in England that previous year, we announced our plans to marry.  Les had suffered minor strokes that year however, aquiring a form of dimensia diminished the Agrophobia!  YES!!  So, I asked Les if he would like to come to our wedding.  He was delighted.  I whipped him downstairs to the photography shop and we got his passport pics, ordered his birth certificate and booked his ticket!  When Mike saw his father being wheeled through the arrivals lounge at Pearson, the tears in my soon to be husband’s eyes told the story of a fairytale come true.  In all the years Mike was in Canada, never did he even remotely envision his father being able to visit, let alone attend his wedding..

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Our Godson and two Grandsons provided me with a special delivery of trinkets attached to flowers..each was a christmas ornament with pictures of our new family…they have gracefully adorn our Christmas tree every year since.

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Our daughter sang, while our son played the guitar…

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04 Michelle & Joey

My sister was my Maid of Honour

0015We became family that day…The happiest day of my life

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Our favorite day of the year, the first Sunday in December is our Gingerbread House building party.  Mike and I celebrated our 15th year of hand making gingerbread houses for our family and special friends to decorate.

WE CALL OUR HOUSE THE “BREAD AND FISHES” HOUSE.  NO MATTER HOW MANY FRIENDS AND FAMILY GRACE OUR DOOR, THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM AND PLENTY OF FOOD

Photo ShootDecember 13, 20152015_DSC74852015 Gingerbread

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Gingerbread 2014-39

Then there’s Blue Sants…a tradition born long before our children…

There is no one that is too old to sit on the knee of Blue Santa…

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T’was the night before Christmas….Blue Santa 2015 (26 of 128)

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ahhh…and who could possibly forget our Secret Santa Hedge?

It all began about 7 Christmas’ ago.  We returned from a trip South in the early days of December and low and behold, our hedge at the front of our home was garnished in the most beautiful decorations.  Someone had gone to great lengths decorating our hedge.  But who?  First person to come to mind is our little Disney Princess, Tina.

Gingerbread! (70 of 117) But no; she swore on our friendship it wasn’t her.  But who?  Neighbours?  They all pleaded not guilty.  But who?  The mailman, family?  But who?  We will never know.  So every year, we put the decorations back on the hedge and EVERY year, more magically appear!  Whomever you are Secret Santa, you have made our Christmases that much more special.  We have left a bag with the special decorations for the new owners of 888 who have promised to carry on the tradition.

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I love my birdies..as 888 backs onto a ravine, we have many, many visitors in our backyard

One thought on “An Ode To 888 Douglas Avenue

  1. Pingback: An Ode To 888 Douglas Avenue | AHA Moments Photography's Blog

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