A community in Canada recently proved that they may be small, but they are mighty when they work together.
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Growing up in McIvers, Newfoundland, Daniele Penney always dreamed of owning the two-story “biscuit box” house located across the Bay of Islands from her town.
“It was the little green house on the point that I loved,” Daniele explained. “I talked about it to my friends, my family. Everybody knew that my heart always belonged to this house.”
When Daniele and her boyfriend, Kirk Lovell, heard that the house was going to be demolished, they were determined to save it. They couldn’t move the home on trucks due to power lines and other road structures, but maybe there was another way.
Daniele recalled that houses used to be moved by water in Newfoundland and Labrador coastal communities back in the ’60s and ’70s. Her own father even experienced using water to move structures.
While many people tried to talk them out of the risky venture, the couple decided to move the entire house across the bay.
“We just said, ‘We’ll take it and make the best of it. See if it can withstand the water, and if it’s meant to be over there, it’s meant to be,'” Daniele said.
It was a nice, sunny day when Daniele’s dream was set in motion. Giant barrels were moved under the house and attached to a metal frame lined with rubber tires. Holes were drilled in the floorboards to let the water out and reduce water damage, and the inside of the home was stripped bare.
Then a fleet of boats was dispatched to both pull and push the massive structure across the 1-kilometer (.62-mile) expanse of water.
“It was pretty nail-biting, I got to say. I was pretty nervous,” Daniele said.
It took about eight hours to make the move, and at one point, they very nearly lost everything. A corner of the home began to sink, submerging the house almost all the way to the second-floor windows.
“I really thought she was gone. I really did, when she started to tip,” she continued.
Just as the family’s dreams seemed poised to sink before their very eyes, help arrived. Neighbors who had been watching the operation saw what was happening, jumped in their boats, and raced to help buoy the house.
“All of a sudden, there was dories coming from everywhere,” the relieved owner said. “The community definitely stepped up to help us get this house over.”
Some extra motor power was all it took to get their mission back on track! The home reached the McIvers shore by dusk and is now perched on dry land. It will take some time for everything to dry out, but they’re hoping to move in by Christmas!
Daniele, Kirk, and their 6-month-old baby Harper couldn’t be more grateful for the people who stepped in to save their home from a watery fate.
“To say that we would never have been able to do this without the help of so many amazing people would be an understatement,” Daniele wrote on Facebook. “Today this tiny community we call home showed us an outpouring of love, support & kindness like no other!”
Share this story to wish this family the very best in their new home.
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