"Holstead Farms" began in the fall of 2019 in Niagara Falls- (you can read more about that in 'Our Story')- In September 2020, we purchased our new home in Aulac, moving our belongings in October and moving ourselves here in December. As I am sure others can tell you, moving in a pandemic, house sight unseen can be a little unnerving, but thankfully we had a great agent and people we trusted who could check out our home before we arrived. The process of buying, selling and moving in a pandemic will be a post saved for another day. This series is about our year here, starting when we arrived in December.
We left Ontario and drove through the night to New Brunswick. Travelling with five kids and a dog we wanted to make as little stops as possible. Due to the provincial rules at that time, we were required to Self Isolate for the duration of 14 days upon arrival into New Brunswick. We were checked into the province early morning and arrived at our home just after lunch to begin our countdown to New Years Day- the end of our Self Isolation.
Each Day we were called by a recording to see if we were isolating and still healthy. Admittedly, every time I was answering the questions I was afraid I'd press the wrong button. Thankfully that didn't happen and although it was annoying to be called twice a day, it just became part of the routine.
The first week was spent rearranging the many boxes and unpacking the ones we could. We also put up the Christmas Tree. We rested, bonded and explored the property, trying to get out at least once a day. We began painting with the paint we moved with us in the bedrooms. Matt, being a licensed electrician, upgraded the electrical outlets, light switches and thermostats. We had groceries delivered to us, and some more paint to finish up painting the main floor. We set up temporary rooms and spaces and began to arrange the basement to be livable.
We bought a 3 bedroom house, with an empty basement full of possibilities. We knew we wanted a room for the boys and a guest room for extra sleeping when
family and friends came to visit. We also needed to replace the wood furnace and dreamed of a family room with a wood stove. The house came with a lot of fire wood, and although it is best kept inside, we needed the room it was being stored in for the boys. Thus began the clearing out of the firewood. Firewood that has since been moved a couple of times, added to, and is now being used in our wood stove. We got a dusting of snow and the kids made the most of it. Matt also began the preparations for Spring planting- buying seeds! The first week was busy, ending with abnormal high temperatures (15 degrees Celsius!). We finished by celebrating a quiet Christmas, together.
The second week was as full as the first. The kids enjoyed the Christmas Break and spent their days reading, watching movies, doing puzzles, playing Lego and enjoying our new property. Matt and I continued painting the main floor and dreaming of what was to come. The days were full, and there was a lot of much needed time to grow together as a family, making this house into our home, and to work through some of the hards that comes with moving across the country.
New Years came and we celebrated by staying up until midnight, counting down to 2021, and looking forward to our Self Isolation countdown being completed New Years Day. We were so
excited when we were able to finally leave our property! Our first stop was Big Stop for gas and then we headed for a belated Christmas Dinner with family whom we hadn't been able to hug since August. Driving along the Trans Canada we each spent time pointing out different things we were seeing. Some sights we had seen before, when visiting in years past, but somehow it felt different driving it as New Brunswickers. We were so thankful to be able to officially explore our new home Province.
Although during those two weeks we felt extremely limited coupled with a few moments of stir crazy, and wanting to just be able to go and get something when we needed it- those two weeks of Isolation are two weeks I will treasure. We were given the gift of time, and togetherness. We were able to accomplish so much, in such a short amount of time. We were blessed with family and an amazing local community that reached out during those two weeks as well. We had opportunity to dream and not feel rushed to do things. We spent our days, making the most of them together, while looking forward to what was to come. Although it was certainly not ideal, we made the most of it, and in doing so, we received the best from it. Time. Time together, time to dream, time to work, time to play, time to rest, and time to just be.