I’m very excited to have Jake Chisholm on board today doing a guest post about his home in Stellarton. I like to refer to Jake as my ‘Number 1 Fan’ – he’s the first real fan Farm Fresh had that wasn’t someone I knew….or close to it, anyway! Without further ado – here’s Jake!
Hi! I’m Jake. Some of you may know me and some may not, so I’ll give you a small background history.
I moved to Stellarton about 3 years ago, on my own, at the tender age of 18. Yes, I was a baby and didn’t know a soul in Pictou County. I hail from Hamilton, Ontario (something I don’t shout from the rooftops).
I spent my summers growing up in Antigonish, more specifically North Grant and Maryvale. My grandparents were born and raised in North Grant and St. Francis Harbour, Guysborough. My Mother and I would make the great trek down the Trans Canada Highway every summer.
I fell in love with the roar of the great Atlantic, and the stillness of the highlands. There was something so magical and stately about Nova Scotia; I was hooked. As soon as we left, I began living for when we’d be back.
I bought a house online, sight unseen a year after I graduated from high school. It’s a two storey built in about the 1890’s, quite large and has a rental unit. When I arrived the house had been sitting empty for about a year and the rental unit about three. The still air and dust made the house quiet and calm. Little did it know, I would be taking out all the windows, fix the plumbing, put in some new flooring and giving it a paint job.
His name was Garry. He was the contractor my Father found to do all the necessary renovations needed to make this house my home. Garry was tall, lanky and very kind. He had a moustache and grey hair, but sparkling blue eyes. He brought his crew of 4 to assist him in the great overhaul. They came in trucks, smokes in hand and coveralls to boot.
They were very comical. Tim Hortons in hand and tin can lunches, and smoke breaks every half hour next to their beat up trucks. I’m happy to document them here, in the hopes that it’ll help me remember them longer. I wish I had filmed them then. They could have been the stars of my next great short film as they were extremely funny, good-natured and kind. Both classic construction workers and classic East Coasters
I had no friends when I arrived so these five men became family for the month while they were here. Sadly, Garry and his men had to leave to head to their next job. I was on my own again and the quest to decorate my home was on.
To describe my house I would say it’s Liberace meets 1800’s country folk farmhouse. I took my time finding all these pieces and I can officially say, three years later, I am almost done. Almost.
Most of the furniture came from antique stores and the side of the road. Some it came from family and friends and other pieces I had picked up in Ontario. I must say, Pictou County throws out a lot of treasures on the side of the road. So thanks PC!
One piece I picked up was this desk. It was rough and the drawer sticks sometimes. It was sturdy with the paint chipping off. I imagine it came from a schoolhouse, then maybe to a child’s bedroom, and now my living room. To think that just maybe, some great ideas or realizations happened at this very desk, brings me great comfort to think that it may rub off on me (fingers crossed).
Let’s explain my fireplace. This spot in my home has become quite iconic. People often get me to poise in-front of it to post on social media because well, it’s kinda funny. So yes, I have a charcoal drawing of the one and only, Shania Twain. People call it the shrine, because the sun beams off the mirror frame that my neighbour Sandi gave to me, but I don’t. It reminds me to live life fully everyday and to never let the small things get to you.
Shania once said, “I find that the very things that I get criticized for, which is usually being different and just doing my own thing and just being original, is the very thing that’s making me successful.” This was my high school yearbook quote and now one of my anthems of life. Just be yourself fully and do whatever your little drum says you should do and I’ve done just that.
My ‘Grammy’ passed away when I was only four. I have some vague memories of her. Orange creamsicles on the back porch on a glistening summer day, with my Little Tikes car not far away. When I moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia, I was gifted her kitchen table. I sit at that table often – eating my favourite meal (steak & eggs), or working on the computer. I often think about my Mom as a little girl sitting at it with her Mom, eating supper that she made for her. I’ll always wonder where she’d be today if she were here. Maybe sitting with me at her table in my little kitchen in Stellarton.
What I hope you can take away the most is that a home is more than blog post or magazine spread. It’s a safety net, a testament of ones character and a place to grow. It changes you and changes with you. It bleeds love and beauty from it’s cracks and creases. Appreciate it and love it, and it will do the same to you.
With that, I sign off with one simple thing! In the great words of Ms. Twain herself, “it can only go up from here!”.
Thank you so much for welcoming us into your home, Jake! I love the line, ‘It changes you and changes with you.’ So very true – thanks for bringing that insight to our attention. Our homes are so closely connected to who we are.
To be continued,