Have you ever had a day where the minutes crept by so slowly, they felt like hours? Our condo reveal was scheduled for late in the day and I kept checking my watch to ensure it hadn’t stopped. Longest. Afternoon. Ever. We arrived a little early and parked nearby while we waited for the text to say they were ready for us. “You can come now,” the text said and we quickly made our way to the building. The elevator opened and two of our granddaughters were waiting to escort us down the hall. The third was waiting near our door with her parents. I did my best to remain calm as approach was filmed. We had mentioned earlier that this was like a HGTV show and in that moment, it certainly felt like we were starring in an episode! “Are you ready to see your new home?” we were asked. Chris and Jackie stepped aside to reveal the entire door covered with a banner showing Extreme Home Makeover. All we had to do to move that bus was to open the door! We walked through and caught the first glimpse of our home. It was beautiful! We’d seen a small sample of the flooring but the full effect was stunning. Then I turned towards the kitchen and saw the white cabinets, quartz countertops and gleaming stainless-steel appliances. There were so many details to take in that it took a few minutes to realize the slanted half wall I’d been asked about had been reconfigured to give more space for cabinetry. What a dramatic transformation! We were led through the remainder of the condo and admired a fresh paint colour, new baseboards and casings, updated light fixtures, custom closets, a knockdown ceiling and all the modern finishing we’d seen in new buildings. They did an amazing job of creating a beautiful home for us. I look around at the attention to little details I wouldn’t have thought of and see the love that was poured into this project. This was one surprise that was definitely worth waiting. I’m sure you’ve read enough of my words now and are ready for some pictures. Enjoy the transformation, we certainly did!
Our belongings were in storage and the stress of packing was behind us. A full-service campground about forty minutes away was to be our home for the next month. We settled into our RV and prepared to relax. The following week we got possession of our condo. It seemed strange to know this would be our new home but instead of moving in, we were handing over the keys and walking away for an undetermined amount of time. “Are we doing the right thing?” we wondered. Work could not commence until approval was received from the condo board. It would have been easy to just move in as it was. That day I returned to our RV feeling unsettled and homeless. Our son soon started work and we were not allowed access. A couple of times a week we would stop by for the mail. I would go into the lobby, check the mailbox and leave the building. Yes, I was curious about what was happening behind closed doors. Like a child at Christmas, I was tempted to peek. Instead, I honoured the request to stay away and not spoil the surprise. One day I got a text asking if we had anything planned for a slanted half-wall in the living area. “It’s an awkward wall for furniture and we’re playing with ideas for use of the space.” We didn’t, and I asked what he had in mind. “We wanted to make sure you don’t have anything planned for that area. Other than that, it’s a surprise,” came the response. He then thanked me for playing along! Now we were really curious! As happy as we were with our RV vacation, the anticipation for the reveal was growing stronger every day.