Our little house by the ferry has come a long way since the move, and my favourite part of the journey thus far is our new covered porch.
Truth be told, Tom and I wrestled with the decision to add a porch. Throughout the restoration process, we’ve tried not to alter Pa Herman’s original structure any more than necessary. And a porch is a substantial change.
Eventually though, we concluded that Pa Herman and Ma May would approve. After all, their original, pre-1932 house had quite a similar porch. And, had they not been constrained by limited time and resources after the 1932 hurricane, we feel certain they’d have added one to Fish Hooks as well.
Originally, our plans called for a six-foot porch. But once the house was moved and we realized how spacious our new front yard was, we splurged and added two more feet.
Given the sentimental value of Pa Herman’s old cellar, we’re preserving the deepest part of it beneath the new porch. Ultimately, we’ll enclose it in privacy lattice and perhaps use it for storage.
In my (admittedly biased) opinion, Oral and Jason have built us the most beautiful porch in town. It’s a lovely space to read, write, visit with friends or just enjoy a delightful sea breeze. Practically speaking, it keeps the house cooler and increases our living area. Aesthetically, it changes the entire look of Fish Hooks, making the cottage seem larger and more welcoming.
Even more wonderful than the view of the porch, however, is the view from the porch. We now have a front-row seat from which to watch each morning’s vivid sunrise and the daily comings and goings of New Plymouth.
Being able to chat with passersby has helped us get to know our neighbours and feel more involved with the community. And we’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few Little House by the Ferry readers who dropped by to say hello.
Though we didn’t know it then, this project would be our last opportunity to work with Oral. Not long after the porch was completed, he and his family received some difficult news.
The cancer he’d bravely battled for the past several years had spread and was not responding to treatment. He lost weight and tired easily. And while you’d never know it from his quiet demeanor, his pain level was increasing.
Sadly, on July 13, Oral passed away. Tom and I will miss him greatly, both personally and as we continue our restoration journey. But he’ll forever be a part of Fish Hooks. And with every delicate breeze or magnificent sunrise we enjoy from our porch, we’ll remember his gentle smile and gracious spirit.