For those of you who don’t already know, the bunkie on my Resilient Barn property is self-sufficient. It relies on wood heat for warmth as well as for cooking food. This is the story of my restored cookstove.

Last year I happened upon a Kijiji ad for an old cookstove. It’s an antique Storia cookstove, originally from Italy. The stove belonged to a woman in Mount Uniacke; it had been her grandparents’ stove, brought here to Nova Scotia. My friend Jade Burgess arrived at my home for a visit one day, as I was just about to go look at the stove. Jade offered to come with me… the handy person she is with an eye for reparations, and seeing the beauty under the rust, knew the work was doable, and absolutely worth it, especially with her Father’s skillful guidance and help.

The owner knew it needed love, and her physical body wasn’t capable of the work, and she was juggling a new home build. She didn’t want to see it rust or get damaged anymore so made the difficult decision to post it for sale, in hopes of it being cared for and appreciated. Jade and I saw the stove’s potential right away, and could see through the rough exterior. The owner had a great sadness about the condition it had become, and was grateful it would be restored and used in such a unique way. I felt like she was gifting me a part of her own family history, and her story. 

The trade and offer both from the stove owner and between Jade and her father to make the stove sing again felt like magic, because it was an exchange of gifts about relationship and the sharing of story and memories. To me this is what is at the heart of Resilience.  The magic of relationships unfolding in ways that can’t be purchased, commodified or measured; but result in the strengthening of the individual which impacts and connects a community through shared stories, resources and sharing our gifts of abundance.

Jade made this wonderful video to showcase the transformation of this wonderful, resilient cookstove. Please take a few minutes to watch! You can find Jade at her website jadeburgess.com (under construction at the time of this writing), or on her YouTube channel here.

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