Winter Wonderland

December 18th, 2007 Comments Off on Winter Wonderland

Our week at the cabin was the quintessential Canadian winter experience: spending a week in the snowy woods with nothing but a wood stove and a propane lantern to keep us warm.

After hauling all our things up the lane in our special sled, we settled in and lit the fire. The snow began to fall as we prepared supper and talked about the week ahead. What would we try to accomplish?

Obviously, we couldn’t build the mud room as we had planned. There was no snow in the city, but here we were up to our knees in it. So we decided to gather wood – deadfall trees that would otherwise rot. We never gather all the deadfall. Just what we need to keep us warm in the winter. The rest we leave to the earth and the animals that depend on them for housing and food.

When we weren’t gathering wood, we were snowshoeing or gazing at the night sky, searching for falling stars. There were so many, in fact, that we planted our garden chairs in the snow one night and watched the show for nearly an hour. Nature’s fireworks. It was spectacular!

Inside the cabin, sitting by the fire, it was hard to motivate ourselves beyond a rousing game of Scrabble. Even then, things got silly, with words like “Ewok Dinner” forming as our interest and game integrity waned.

Half-way through the week, we ran out of water.

Down to the pond with the axe. We chopped a hole in the eight-inch thick ice and watched as the water gushed up to fill the void. Peering into the hole, we were surprised by the sudden appearance of a bullfrog tadpole, wriggling up from the darkness in search of the sun.

It was with great reluctance that we packed to return home. Thankfully, a big storm hit the night we arrived back, transforming the sombre city into a winter wonderland.

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