Welcome to Part I of Lockdown Living, a blog series exploring how three different families experienced home life during COVID-19. These are real stories from real people that each have one thing in common: I was the Real Estate Sales Representative that they used to buy their current house. The one they would end up being quarantined in during a global pandemic.
Only a bit of pressure as I checked in to see how it went…
Meet Cathy & Randy. Business owners and dog lovers living lakefront in Orillia.
Front porch photography became the new normal during the lockdown
It is just the two of them living daily in their household, along with their two four-legged furbabies. However, their grown children come home for visits on a regular basis, with their children and numerous pets in tow. They wanted a house that would allow them space to come together as a family, but also have individual areas to retreat to for quiet time. They also both work from home, running their successful business Industrial Safety Trainers. So they needed space that allowed for two work areas. When we started our search, they had no idea just how important that work from home space would become!
You would never guess these two worked from home together during the pandemic
When we first started looking for property, Cathy and Randy were leaning to a cottage that they could renovate and turn into their eventual retirement home. Between a lack of inventory and my own note that maintenance and repairs could end up being costly, we began to look more at lakefront homes. We even put an offer in on a property that they decided to walk away from, as the district was too restrictive for the changes they wanted to make. I never wanted them to feel like they would be “making do”. They even temporarily suspended their search before stumbling upon their dream home in Orillia. Or rather, the place that had the potential to be perfect for them.
Cathy & Randy in front of their giant Canada flag from Canada Day 2020
During a memorable snowstorm in January 2015, Cathy and Randy moved into their “has-the-potential-to-be our dream” home. Fast-forward a few years and they have invested the time, money and energy into making the changes they wanted. Which meant that when isolation hit, they were able to transition to staying at home fairly easily. “For the first few months we worked from home so being on the lake was definitely a plus; having easy access to walking trails was definitely a bonus. The view from our "office" was breathtaking and it was exciting to be able to see the seasons change,” says Cathy. These two were even able to get out for more after-dinner kayak rides as well. It was being on the water that really made lockdown more tolerable.
With their daughter and son-in-law coming by to work, they were also thankful that they had additional space that could comfortably accommodate four adults all working from home with two dogs and three cats.
“We were fortunate to get lots of family quality time snuggling by the fire at the end of the work day. We have spent more time in the moment, enjoying the lake and our neighbourhood than we have in past years”
Hearing people talk about spending more time in the moment seems to be a theme during the pandemic. Hopefully we can all hold on to that practice as times continue to change.
C&R with their babies, Mojo Jojo and Harley Quinn
Getting to see Cathy and Randy, and hear about their lakeshore enjoyment and how they thrived with their work from home life gave me a thrill. When we were in the midst of buying and selling, COVID-19 was obviously not something that was on our radar. But, perservering until they found that potential-turned-dream house was the right call. Lockdown living wasn’t easy on anyone, but the space you were in often made all the difference.
Lockdown Living Pt. 2 and Lockdown Living Pt. 3 coming soon to provide more perspectives on being confined to home in Barrie and area during the Coronavirus.
Photography: Digerati Media