I’m up early. Everyone else is still asleep and the house is quiet. There are birds outside, warning each other to seek cover; the heavy rain is coming. If I concentrate I can make out the early traffic thrumming over the causeway, and the garbage truck up by now on Montreal St. It’s a set of noises I’m familiar with. They’re comforting and make it more than okay to have woken up while daybreak is still just a rumour.
Nicholson Baker wrote a wonderful book a few years ago titled A Box of Matches, in which nothing much happens; it’s just a guy getting up early to stoke the fire, or ruminate on what it means that there’s a duck living in his yard, or just simply take a good hard look at his own life. If you're reading this piece of mine and thinking it’s got its moments, then you should take a big step up afterwards and search out that lovely little book.
But I digress. Before I came downstairs this morning I was wondering what it would be like to wake up somewhere else, and more specifically what it would be like to live at 448 Main St in Bath, which lists today, and which you should take a look at, mostly because it’s beautiful, a preserved and restored house over 150 years old, but perhaps also because you’ll be able to imagine yourself living an entirely different sort of life, and there’s nothing wrong with that sort of mental drift.
The sounds would be different, I decided, out there in Lennox and Addington. I don’t suppose you’d hear much of anything if you were up early. The birds again, sure, and the not-so-distant lapping of Lake Ontario against the shore, maybe. But that’s about it. And the light, once the sun comes up - I imagine something sharper, somehow more crystalline, down there.
Bath is a small and pretty town, rich with antique stores, set on the shores of Lake Ontario, and just a 30-minute scenic drive from downtown Kingston. There’s a golf course (the house backs onto golf course property, actually - not the 18th fairway, but a much more attractive wilderness instead, one never visited by duffers and Trump wannabes), and a waterfront park, and the ferry to Picton isn’t far down the road either. It’s at the very centre of its own attractive universe, Bath is.
The house itself is a heritage building, more than 150 years old and yet as fresh to my eye as this morning’s milk. We realtors talk a lot about “original charm” and how it’s mixed with “modern conveniences”, but those terms fit this house so well there really ought to be a law against using them elsewhere. Four charming bedrooms are arranged up top, if you need them, and there are a couple of bathrooms in the house too (one on each floor). But it’s the main living spaces, so open and bright, with their hand-hewn beams and their long wide planks, their far-off ceilings and distant horizons, that will you have you searching for superlatives.
A modern kitchen’s been established up front too, just so you know, next to a sweet porch built for watching both the gathering cumulus and and the passing neighbours. And all this on a wonderful big lot with a workshop set at the back, big enough inside, I reckon, to improvise a mighty fine rocket ship, or to house some adorable kids playing spies, or plotting some minor coup.
You really should check this out, I think. Or call us. At the very least you’ll want to take a quick spin through the virtual tour, or the check out the more prosaic details available to the buying public on Realtor.ca.