Reading Neil’s post To the Deck!, I’m reminded of our first home which was purchased on the merit of its backyard deck. It spanned the full length of the house, stretching from the living room walk-out to the sliding glass doors of the adjacent rec room. It was south-facing and sunshine streamed in for all the seasons. Secluded and tranquil it was a perfect place for sipping morning coffee and reading a book. Aside from one day of the year, our backyard was serene and our neighbors dead quiet.
We should have guessed something was up when the realtor asked if we were superstitious.
It’s a great house he said, perfect for a young couple (who we were) and ideal for anyone who values their privacy (we do.) The only thing is … it backs on to a cemetery. But, he hastened to add, it’s not really visible because of all the shrubbery (which was in full bloom in summer.)
Priding ourselves as modern-day, non-superstitious types, we viewed the house. It satisfied all the requirements for affordability, location and affordability. Plus, there was that fabulous deck.
We closed the sale, took possession and enjoyed our first summer in our very first house. Before long it was Labor Day, Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween. In Fall, my favorite time of year, the temperature got a little cooler, the weather a little damper and the covered part of the deck was a treat. Inside or out, the autumn colors were a visual kaleidescope of reds, yellows and orange. It was marvelous.
The first day of November came on a week-end that year. I remember because whereas my backyard had been blissfully quiet for weeks, suddenly there was block party in the graveyard. Cars were streaming and out, double parked and blocking pathways while crowds of people walked to and fro amongst the headstones.
Eventually, I found out that November 1st was All Saints Day and for Catholics the day was marked by visiting the graves of loved ones. Some folks even lit candles and left them glowing through the night. Truth be told, it was a little spooky, especially on that first night.
The good news was that the November 1st pandemonium only lasted for the day. For the rest of the year, the graveyard was peaceful and quiet.
Except for that one time when … but that’s another story.
What about you? Are you superstitous? Would you live beside a graveyard? Do tell!