"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Elizabeth Bishop House Resolution

2014  is waning and it is time to reflect on another busy year. I often have people ask me what is happening with the EB House, have we had any offers? We have had some interest in the house since announcing early in the spring that we intended to sell, but no firm offers yet. When we decided to put the house on the market, we recognized that there were many factors involved in this process, factors affecting the outcome we want, many beyond our control. So, our modus operandi has been patience. Most good things take time.
EB House, December 2014 (photo by Brenda Barry)
The primary outcome is to sell the house to the right person(s), someone who will love and take care of the house as we have endeavoured to do for the past decade. The EB House, as an artist retreat, emerged organically out of our desire to share this dear old place with as many people as we could, in a manageable way. Its next chapter will emerge, I believe, equally organically, whether it remains a retreat or becomes a private home again. The house will decide.

So, as the turn of the year rapidly approaches, the EB House resolution for the coming year is to continue to be as attentive and thoughtful as we can in our efforts to find this “right person.” We will certainly let you know when that happens.
 Elizabeth Bishop House dining room with photo of EB on the wall (photograph by Brenda Barry)

(Note: Check out the link at the top of the News section for a recent article about the house written by Robert Everett Green and published in the Globe & Mail.)

Elizabeth Bishop knew well enough that life was an “untidy activity” – and there is always surprise, the unexpected. For example, the exceptional equinoctial flood in September – a deeply distressing event, yet, in the end, the EB House came through it just fine, and in some ways in better shape as a result of the repairs.

The EB House has always been the centre of a real community: the owners, our family and friends, the artists who have stayed, the people of Great Village who have supported it steadfastly. This community, the “EB network,” rallied in September and helped with the post-flood restoration in a remarkable way. The link below, an earlier post from November, gives a list of the contributors to the EB House Yard Restoration effort.

I want thank these people, again, for their tremendous support. So many have given so much in many ways over the years. Whoever buys the EB House will learn quickly what wonderful a place Great Village is and how much good will surrounds this dear old place.

My final visit to Great Village and the house for 2014 happened yesterday. Below are two photos of that visit, taken by my sister Brenda Barry.
When I saw this photograph, I immediately thought of Bishop’s description in “In the Village,” “…the church is dazzling. It is high-shouldered and secretive; it leans back a little.” I am looking forward to the opening of "In the Village Cafe" in the spring.
Layton’s store, now an antique shop. Note the "Esso" sign in the window! Windows like mirrors!

Stay tuned, I will be posting some exciting Bishop news and further updates about my Bishop book as 2015 begins to roll along. Happy New Year.

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