After I left Pasadena I dreamed of some day owning a house or cabin in the area. I got the opportunity in the mid 80s to do just that. I bought an A-Frame dwelling built by my good friends Alvin and Linda. I was the person who ended up living next to the Sparrow family and Canadian Helicopters. Thank you, Linda and Alvin! It was truly a dream come true when I was able to purchase the cabin.
I loved the location, and who wouldn’t want to have cabin right on the beach? But with three sons to look after each time I visited, it was not easy. The daylight hours were good but once night fell I didn’t like to stay there most of the time alone, meaning I was the only adult. I didn`t even have a cell phone back then. My husband was a fisherman and couldn’t come with me. So being with the children 24-7 wasn’t easy. I had to plan out each day from breakfast to bedtime, with not much to do after the strawberry farm was closed for the season.
I should point out that one of the last summers we stayed in the cabin I didn’t wash the big windows until the third day we were there and then I discovered that one of the windows had been forced open and the piece of plastic on the lock had been put back in place. We had been sleeping with a very easy entrance for some criminal. I quickly put pieces of wood in the windows but didn’t feel very safe there after that.
Living next to the Sparrows was very interesting, as their three children played with my three and my sons enjoyed visiting their cabin. One time we were invited to their home in Corner Brook and Ann bought an ice cream cake and celebrated my three sons’ birthdays all at the same time. She had a large toy wrapped for them besides lots of other treats. I loved visiting and chatting with all of them and had many cups of coffee at their cabin. When my brother Albert died, the Sparrows offered their cabin to my siblings so that they could shower and sleep there. They were great neighbours.
Being beach bums all the time was not bad at all. We could jump in the water at any time of the day for a swim and there was a lot of beach combing. We found a lot of special rocks, coins, and other items on the beach. The weekends were a little crazy because the teenagers rode around on trikes and made a lot of noise going to have some fun with their friends. In the mornings we often collected beer bottles and loose change!
It was not as peaceful as I had hoped when I purchased the cabin. The helicopters a few doors down were always taking off or landing. Plus there was traffic going into the property on the other side of us as it was a camp for children. Others might not have minded it very much but I have extra good hearing and as my husband is fond of saying I can hear the grass grow!
When I was not in the A-Frame I worried about it. I would be gone back to St.Shotts and I’d be worried that all the windows were going to be broken out in the cabin. Or someone was going to break in and destroy it from the inside. So I was a real worrywart, even the year I taught in Petite Forte! So it was getting that we were not spending much time there and I didn’t want to be there alone without my husband. So we decided to sell.
The cabin changed hands a couple times after us and the last people built a beautiful house on the property. I have no idea what they did with the cabin. I have gone down the beach and admired the comfortable looking house.
Looking back I’d have to say that it was a win-win situation. Alvin and Linda got what they wanted for the cabin and then when we sold it we got a lovely bungalow in St. John’s, which was a rental property until our oldest son went to college.
The best part of the whole experience was all the learning that took place. I realized that having a cabin has its good points and bad ones too. Having a cabin too far from home can be troublesome and gives you lots of worries. If one spouse works during the summer months, the other one can find it very lonely staying in the cabin for weeks alone. Handling all the things that go wrong-like burnt out hot water tank(thanks, Brian), broken window lock, and so on-are not fun alone. Hindsight is 20-20 and I have to say now that I should have tried to rent someone’s house for a two or three weeks and it might have been a whole lot easier. On the other hand my children had a lot of worthwhile experiences in that cabin and we got a big downpayment for a house in the city. Our children were the winners in the end, because they got to live rent-free!