Story 01


The starting point of my journey

“For the two of you”

Parcours sans vibrance-9.jpg

What were they thinking?

I was 10 years old when my parents told us that after a few years of searching and several moves, they had finally found what would become our home; our forever home... Like my brother and two sisters, when I visited it, I was horrified! To the point of crying. It was yellow with a red roof and dark green shutters (!!!). Inside, it was dark, cold and humid. The walls were upholstered in some beginning of the century style (that is, the 20th century), so they were dark brown or perhaps even black. There was water in the basement, cobwebs everywhere and, worst of all, ... a dead mouse in the toilet!!!

Obviously, my parents hadn't thought enough, or they weren't well....

Nonetheless, our protests had no effect whatsoever, it would be our new home...

Then began a series of trips after school when we made a detour along the river to "admire" the progress of the work being done on the house. I was not impressed. I was even skeptical, very skeptical...

And then…

One day, a first miracle happened: there was finally light in the house thanks to a coat of light paint and beautiful new large windows (the European cremone type!). I then began to notice the high ceilings, the decorative moldings, the wooden doors and their old handles, the beautiful staircase that welcomed us, the three fireplaces with each its unique style... After all, there was perhaps reason to have some hope...

A few weeks passed, and a second miracle happened: spring arrived and, with it, a succession of wonderful discoveries, each one more exiting than the next. First, imagine this, we realized we were going to have a stream, our stream! On top of that, all those trees weren't just branches in a jumble! They were lilacs, crabapples, oaks, birches... There were also magnificent peonies on the grounds, lots of birds to brighten up our mornings, a duck and its lady waddling slowly, and charming little hares champions at hide and seek...

In short, a paradise... Not huge, but more then big enough. Not chic, but warm, charming, authentic and full of life…

That’s when I realized that my parents were actually visionaries!

Parcours sans vibrance-11.jpg

A gem in the rough to feed a child’s soul

This "old house" hidden at the end of a small path was in fact a real hidden treasure. A treasure simply abandoned and neglected for a few years, after having been inhabited for too long only on the ground floor, by its former elderly owner, unable to go upstairs or maintain the premises. In short, a treasure that just needed to be found, renovated, inhabited and loved.  

Parcours sans vibrance-4.jpg
Parcours sans vibrance-8.jpg
Parcours sans vibrance-2.jpg

And it has been. Today, as you might imagine, it’s a magnificent home where my parents still live, for our greatest delight and that of their eleven grandchildren.

It’s where I learned to love cooking, following the seasons, gardening, creating bouquets of flowers or gift wrappings, enjoying the song of birds and the sound of rain, with a book on the balcony or losing yet another game of Monopoly in the attic. It was also there that I learned the meaning of celebration, the pleasure of a beautiful table and of beauty in general.

Parcours sans vibrance-14.jpg

 When I close my eyes, I can still smell the scent of lilac, of cheekbone jelly or of that famous fruit ketchup. Also comes to mind all of those Christmases and in particular that one when a power outage forced us to cook the turkey in the fireplace; the long afternoons spent picking leaves followed by the joy of eating a warm soup and delicious apple crustard; the visit of a duck on the basements’ workbench, or that of a squirrel that found its way to the attic in the middle of the night and, more scared than us, finally came out the front door after a slide on the staircase railing and a flight worthy of Chip and Dale !!! I could go on and on…

This house will have been my anchor, the beginning of all that followed... It is it and those who lived there who nourished my imagination and creativity and have been at the root of everything that is to come here...

“To both of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing her, in spite of us, and for thereafter and still today making her such a lively place...”

Parcours sans vibrance-6.jpg


Marie Florence




Let’s Stay in Touch

Receive regular blog & story updates.

Marie Rodrigue