A Home Like No Other

jocko barnjocko and the jam

A barn, covered in overgrown vegetation. Overgrown, yet perfectly placed. Behind it, a garden that has seen thousands of strawberries, beans, and other great things. Grown by my Grandparents.

The home on the property has some age to it. With all the work it needed it still was a great place with a great amount of room. You would walk into the front doors and end up right into the kitchen. Most of the time when I walked in as a kid, there was something cooking, baking or a fresh pot of tea was made. There really was always something.

Most times I found my Grandparents in the adjoining dining room. Other times, in the nearby living room. The dining room was literally the central meeting place for friends and visitors to meet. In the photo you see here of my Grandfather and myself, we are in that room. It was a spacious place. It was not a kitchen but you could host a kitchen party in there that would attract the whole town and country.

In the year or so leading up to my departure from Nova Scotia in 99, that place became a regular lunch-time meeting place for myself and the Grandparents. There, we jointly presided over my studies, my writing, politics and tv shows. Among other things. I was in college classes for half mornings leading up to my leaving, so I usually stopped in there on the way home because they were always around.  Those discussions were grand and glorious. Full of spirited debate and great exchanges of humour. I’ve rarely written about what a master improviser my Grandfather was. He did not even realize how brilliant he was until hours or even days after he delivered the goods with his humour.

If I ever showed up later in the day or in the early evening, we always convened our discussions to the living room. The high ceilings and spacious seating made it a great lounging area. My Grandfather kept his stereo in there and if he did not have the television on, there was music in the air. Usually that music was accompanied by his singing voice.

I miss his singing voice. I miss his humorous cracks which were delivered in his fog thick Scottish accent.

The top floor of the home looked cramped from the hallways. Many were always surprised to see how large the bedrooms were as they headed the short distance to the washroom. It contained a decent amount of storage space for the things that piled up over the years.

The basement was home to a unique workshop that my Grandfather proudly retreated to when moved to do so. As a kid and even into my adult years, I found a constant collection of small radios in various states of repair. These were nestled in between pictures of old cars and other mementos of the past.

Somewhere I have more photos. Somewhere I have enough pictures to justify my narrative descriptions. After this house was my Grandfather’s, it was my Dad’s. For too short a time, it was his.

I will never see the interior of this house again and happily accept that. The incredible memories are worth millions. It was a home sitting in the grand central of a small-town built on industry. It was a home of memories, merriment and humorous mayhem.

It was a home like no other.



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