The blue house on Doll’s Corner Farm is around 100 years old. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

Jocelyn’s Jottings: What makes a home a home?

I grew up on farm in northern Alberta, in a house that has been 100 years old my whole life.

It is, and always has been, robin’s egg blue. One summer my dad paid me to strip and repaint the siding.

Because I am afraid of heights I did as high as I could reach while standing on a makeshift scaffolding. The rest of the house wasn’t repainted till years later. It remained half fresh, half faded blue for quite some time.

Despite the advanced age of the house, I wouldn’t call it a heritage home.

The interior has been renovated several times and there is nothing original left. However, my dad thinks it is the oldest inhabited home in the area.

I can remember when the porch was renovated, when the gas fireplace was installed and the walls repainted.

I fell down those stairs and ran circles around the kitchen table. My two siblings and I made forts and played hide and seek. We played many a board game and had many a dance party.

My dad grew up in that house. When we complained about how cold it was he would tell us stories of breaking ice on water in the morning and how he and his siblings slept three in a bed to keep warm.

The house is not only part of my family history but part of my hundreds of cousins as well.

It was the gathering place of the neighbourhood and all of those families had kids who went on to have kids and moved all across Canada, but everyone knows the blue house.

This year my parents are finally building a new farm house. The designs have been chosen, the site has been mapped. Shovels aren’t in the ground yet, but any time now.

However, due to zoning in the area, the blue house will have to be closed off and eventually knocked down.

I don’t envy my dad for having to make that decision.There are so many people with a vested interest.

However, with a leaking roof that needs to be replaced, a basement that floods every spring and mold that has to constantly be scrubbed away, it is time for my parents to move on.

I believe my grandparents would be supportive of the move, in the name of progress and all of that. Maybe some of my aunts and uncles would disagree with me but I don’t think they were the sentimental type.

Dad laughed when I suggested donating the house to the museum. It would be nearly impossible to move.

So this summer, I will go home and make a video of this part of my family history.

I will say it is for everyone else, to celebrate and remember, but really it will be for me. Just because we are moving forward doesn’t mean we have to leave the past behind.

It will be weird to go back to the farm when that house is no longer there. Is it still home if I have never lived in the house?

Is it still the family farm house if my grandparents never lived there? Yes, I think so.

Home is where my family is. If you sell a house and move to a different city do you refer to that old house with strangers living in it as home?

Probably not.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Revelstoke RCMP food bank drive raises 4,000 pounds of grub

Demand at the food bank has roughly tripled since the start of the pandemic

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision by Golden

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Revelstoke cancer support group in need of support

The group provides funds for people undergoing cancer treatments

Two dead after weekend crash on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

The driver and passenger of one vehicle died at the scene

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read