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Faces of the Valley: Pat and Pete
By Stephanie Park

Over fourteen years ago, Pat and Pete were faced with the choice of embarking on a week long ski trip with their family of six or joining a private ski club for the entire season. In describing their final decision to become members of the Georgian Peaks, Pat stated that "it is better for them to ski every weekend on a semi mountain than to go out for a whole week once a year." What started as a single decision to introduce their children to recreational skiing has quickly become a gateway to planning their retirement in a tranquil area.

After spending a great deal of time searching for the perfect property and renting for three seasons, the family found immense support from Karen Cox of Sea and Ski Realty Ltd. Brokerage and finally found their ideal home. Pat describes their beautiful white house perched on top of the hill as "my dream house… I never thought I would live in a place like this."

It is easy to see that Pat truly appreciates and takes in all of the momentous elements that this property has to offer all year long. In the summer months, Pat enjoys being "in my own little world" as her house is shaded by the overwhelming forest in front. During the winter months, she explains that "the tree leaves are gone and I can see the bay and the beautiful sunsets." They truly have the best of both worlds as Pat and Pete have created a cozy home in a breathtaking location.

The importance of experiencing all four seasons is certainly not lost on the family as they utilize their second home during every month of the year. It is evident that the winter season was the initial draw for purchasing a property in this area. Pat explains that "if we didn't ski, we wouldn't be here." During the snowy months of the year, all six members of the family travel from Dundas to Meaford for weekend getaways.

They also venture to their home in Meaford during the summer months to take a break from the city. During some summers, Pat and Pete's children have lived in their house on Highway 26 as they had better luck obtaining a summer job in Meaford than in the Dundas area. This year, Pat has decided that she will be spending the duration of her summer in Meaford. She looks forward to Saturday morning garage sales and visiting the Net Shed along the Meaford harbour.

When they are not busy zooming down the powdery slopes at the Georgian Peaks in Craigleth, they enjoy numerous other activities. All six of them thoroughly enjoy filling their vast kitchen with delightful smells and positive energy when they cook together. Pat and Pete spend a great deal of time working on projects within the house. Pat also enjoys reading, puttering in the garden and traveling.

For Pat and Pete's family, creating a home in Meaford is about more than gaining an opportunity to experience the slopes every weekend, it is about building a connection with family. After spending many weekends at their second home, Pete quickly recognized that "I've seen more of my children and their friends on the weekends than I have over the years." Pat and Pete have also encouraged their children to bring friends to the cottage and have dubbed these guests as their "non-biologicals." They were both very impressed with the amount of quality family time that they experienced after beginning their weekend ski trips.

After many years and precious memories in their home in Meaford, Pat and Pete truly cherish their life here and how this experience has enhanced their overall lifestyle. Pat notes the drastic change in Pete's stress level as a consultant since moving here. She describes the difference as a matter of Pete leaving his baggage at the door when he is up for the weekend and that even when he works from Meaford, "he works in a better place." Their stress level is about to diminish even more as they are preparing for their retirement within the next five years. Pat states that this home has "given Peter and I a place to plan for our retirement."

When asked what they love most about living in Meaford, Pat commented on how much they enjoy the rural lifestyle and peaceful atmosphere. "We fell in love with Meaford because it reminds us of Dundas," she said. After moving to Meaford, they were able to create a perfect weekend getaway for their family all year round and to prepare for their upcoming years of relaxing retirement.

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