Thursday, January 15, 2009

CMHC's Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread House Contest 2008

I love making gingerbread houses. I make one every year for display in my home. Sometimes they last until after Christmas. Sometimes they are (lovingly) destroyed on Christmas day by family & friends. Sometimes it is the sneak attack of daily dismantling of one candy at a time...."Wasn't me! Must have been dad!"

During the Christmas season of 2008 I participated in a gingerbread house contest that raises funds for Habitat for Humanity. A lot of planning went into the house. What house to do? What candy to use? How big? I chose to model my house after the Millisle Bed and Breakfast in Merrickville, Ontario. I don't know how many times I have driven by that house admiring the fabulous architecture thinking, "I love that porch." So I set off to Merrickville to ask the owners Hugh and Debra MacLennan if I could take pictures of their magnificent house. They graciously agreed to pictures. Thank you!

I set about planning on detailing the house inside and out. But alas all the best-laid plans in the world can't get around father time. I was delivered some very sad news that cut short my time to be able to accomplish all that I wanted on this miniature Victorian beauty.

In 3 days, 3 1/2 hours of sleep, a gingerbread house was standing. Not completed by any means, but a fabulous house nonetheless. I had to pick and choose what I would be able to finish, that beautiful porch would suffer the consequences. 60 hours was just not enough time. 300 hours would have been needed to accomplish all the glory of this beautiful bed and breakfast.

So off I trotted to CMHC for the final day 2:00pm entry deadline, the last one through the doors on the dot. Yaaah I made it on time! It would have been such a shame to do all that work and be disqualified!!!

Did I win? No not the contest. But I was able to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and to me that is a win win situation. I hope whom ever did win my house at silent auction really enjoyed having it in their home.

For me the journey of building a gingerbread home will forever have bittersweet memories attached.

Dedicated to the memory of my mother, Rita C. Holtom 1924-2008

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