Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Goodbye to Ravenhill

Ravenhill (sometimes known as the Last Homely House South of the Mattawa (River)) was the name we gave to our 95 acre rural property in Bonfield Ontario. We sold the place about two weeks ago. It is the home that I have lived in longest.
I am sad to be leaving. It really is very nice to have a huge piece of property, where you can take your dogs for a walk, raise sheep, allow medieval reenactors to camp (every year for 20 years), ride your horses. Never again.

On the other hand, as we got older, the disadvantages became more and more obvious. It is a lot of work to manage a property and a house in the Canadian countryside. Eventually it got away from us. My health is not what it once was, and my very healthy and energetic wife has limits, too, though our friends  may doubt that.

It also became increasingly expensive and inconvenient to be a half-hour to 45 minutes from about anywhere. (Even when you get to North Bay, you are basically in the no shopping zone.)

On top of that, the Bonfield environment has been turning sour. Most people in the village are perfectly nice people, but even working with our neighbors we were not able to stop someone bringing in a horrifically noisy dragstrip, or our Township Council from launching an experiment in unionbusting.

And then… There is winter. I’ve been proud of being able to deal with winter and even enjoy it, but the idea that I might never need to own snow tires again pleases me mightily.

Some of my friends reading this will think that they have lost something too. Well, I rather hope you feel that way. We put a lot of effort into making the last homely house the welcoming place it was for you. And we were very glad to have you there.


  1. Thank you for your years of hospitality, I learned many good things at your homestead. I enjoyed my horse with you both, I learned about wool and sheep up close and personal, and I will forever remember coming in from -10 ride slide or whatever and smelling the aroma of mulling wine on the wood stove. Your generosity and interesting conversations are some of the treasures in my memories. May this next chapter see you enjoying new horizons winters that are more gentle and just as many good times telling stories. <3 M.

  2. Valizan11:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing it with us for so long. It has been appreciated. I've learned things and made wonderful friends at Ravenhill.

  3. Anonymous10:33 pm

    One little corner of the world will be the sadder for your moving away, but for much of the world you'll now be closer, which is something to be thankful for; we'll miss Ravenhill, but hope to be recompensed by seeing you both more often.