I get a nostalgic feeling every time I walk into a hardware store. It’s although I am ten again, helping my father collect supplies for his home improvement company. I could never forget the size of the room, and how small I felt underneath that enormous ceiling. The aisles could go on forever, it seemed, and there was never enough time to explore them all.
I’ve seen my dad build some amazing things as a child; a tree house, a deck, a family room, a basement… And each time he created something, it always came down to that hardware store. I guess the great thing about hardware stores, is that it’s like having the world at your feet. They provide you with everything you could possibly need to build the room or the house of your dreams, and all that’s left for you to do is put it all together.
A few years after we had sold our family cottage, we were staying at a nearby lodge up north, in a small town called Lions Head. There weren’t many shops up there but before long, dad and I found ourselves wandering around in a little hardware store. He reminded me that he still owned some land near our old cottage, and we could always build on it. The thought got both of our minds turning, and we quickly grabbed building plans, floor, wood and paint samples before we had even realized what we got ourselves into.
We never did end up building on that lot, but it’s still there. I visited it a couple years ago, just a few months before I moved to Australia. It was very unkempt and hardly desirable as far as first impressions go, but I quickly saw past all the unruly bushes and uncut grass, to the beautiful family cottage that was yet to be.
Sometimes when I’m feeling homesick, I go into a hardware store, like I did today, and everything returns to me… I’m awestruck underneath the gigantic ceiling, and there’s this feeling of hope that I first tasted as a child, like I can build my wildest dreams.