Christmas card welcomes hobbit house occupants to Thornhill

Hobbit house made out of the stump of an old cedar that was cut down by Fortis B.C. in December last year for public safety reasons. (Contributed)Hobbit house made out of the stump of an old cedar that was cut down by Fortis B.C. in December last year for public safety reasons. (Contributed)
Hobbit house made out of the stump of an old cedar that was cut down by Fortis B.C. in December last year for public safety reasons. (Contributed)Hobbit house made out of the stump of an old cedar that was cut down by Fortis B.C. in December last year for public safety reasons. (Contributed)
Hobbit house made out of the stump of an old cedar that was cut down by Fortis B.C. in December last year for public safety reasons. (Contributed)Hobbit house made out of the stump of an old cedar that was cut down by Fortis B.C. in December last year for public safety reasons. (Contributed)

The Christmas card pinned to the front door was addressed to the hobbit house at the big cedar tree.

The house stands just three metres high, with a circumference of five.

It is made from a stump and trees Fortis B.C. cut down on Thornhill earlier this year.

The Christmas card was attached to the front door on Sunday, welcoming the new residents to the neighbourhood.

The hobbit house is the vision of Rob Purcell as he tried to make the best of a bad situation after Fortis took down 12 trees in front of his property last Dec. 10.

One, an old cedar, was about 100 years old, according to his wife, Michelle.

READ MORE: Rustic trees soon to fall for safety.

Rob decided to create a hobbit house out of the old cedar stump with encouragement from his wife who collected pictures from the internet to give him inspiration.

“He was so devastated over that tree. And he had surgery right around that time and he was just at the lowest point I’d ever seen him,” said Michelle.

At first, he could’t do too much because of the surgery he had in March, so Rob started with the front door.

He hollowed out the shape of a door adding a handle and hinges.

It’s not deep, said Michelle, because they didn’t want the city feeling they had to worry about children getting trapped inside.

“Even the back door looks like you could go in, but you can’t,” she said.

The roof of the house is made from rounds that Fortis left behind that Rob then chopped himself.

Michelle says that this project has been the best therapy for her husband as more and more people in the neighbourhood stopped to talk with him and drop off supplies and items to decorate the outside.

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle said, somebody dropped off a gnome which now sits at the front door of the house.

She is amazed at how many people they have met since Rob started the hobbit house project, noting that they have lived in the house since 1974 and have hardly met anybody until now.

READ MORE: Big Whonnock trees coming down for safety

They even met the neighbour kitty-corner to their property for the first time as he has been bringing by plants for their front yard to make it less bare.

Rob stopped working on the house about two weeks ago. But, said Michelle, he is into the project now. He is still thinking of fun things to add to it, like a chimney.

Just the other day, he hung icicle lights off the roof, “to give the neighbourhood a little Christmas cheer, too.

“I was mad, but he was hurt,” said Michelle about the Fortis episode.

“That was his tree.”

But, Michelle added, moving on is part of life.

As for the Christmas card, titled ‘Tis the Season to Sparkle, it read: “Dear ‘hobbitors,’ welcome to our neighbourhood. We’ve been admiring your new home and send you glad tidings for a Merry and bright season.”

It was signed “the Grant Hill Faeries.”

Michelle has a feeling the ladies at the post office might have something to do with it since the envelope was postmarked.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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