Thursday, January 8, 2015

Canadian Chronicles: Happy Holidays 2014!

II was texting a friend about the old days at the cottage in the winter.  You know the below zero kind of days where the power goes out and we were all huddled around the wood stove for warmth.  Candles were a premium then and provided much needed light to supplement the nearly dead flashlight batteries.  My grandmother's brass candelabra was a god send on those evenings--filling the room with warm wonderful light.

The outhouse was a popular place at that time.  The inside toilets couldn't be used, so all of a sudden, a place mostly avoided with dread got the appreciation and respect that it deserved.  It was a long and chilly walk, but it sure did make you think about the wonders of modern day plumbing and central heat.

That was the winter we decided to go "out" for dinner to the local restaurant.  This eatery is only 20 minutes away on a good day, but a great deal farther in the ice and snow.  Our dining experience started in a well-lit place with heat and power.  15 minutes into our visit, the power went out there, too.  We were served whatever was warm in the kitchen by the cook and waitstaff in their head lamps.

I wonder what the memories will be of this winter that endure.  The skating on the lake when it finally froze over?  Playing indoor "bags" where the rule was that you had to have a drink in one hand while you threw with the other hand?  Eating raclette and fondue and watching fireworks that almost blew up the boat house?

Which does remind me of the year that Birk set her mitten on fire with a sparkler as we watched terrified through the window.  Yes, old parents inside, young kids outside with fire AND unattended. Thankfully, we've come a long way there, too.

This winter I was on full mouse alert, and oh, bat alert, too.  I kept a wary eye out for any vermin. Miraculously, this winter was the first time I did not see a creature stirring out of the corner of my eye.  The Cot-Taj felt almost like a real house.  We had cloth napkins, lights, toilets, showers and the mice laid low.  We are happily and sadly civilized.

We also had no lack of warm food, cold drinks and holiday cheer.  Surrounded by family and friends, we really were nestled in the woods.  Sending you all warmest wishes--whether from the fireplace, wood stove, space heater or furnace-- for a jolly 2015 full of love, peace, adventure and friendship!

Nana grabbing some shut eye in the shade of the tree.

Roxy grabbing some shut eye by the warmth of the fire.

Pretzel making for German Night.

Stove covered with foil to protect is from the LYE?

Lye.  Yes, lye.  Note skull and crossbones.

Finished product.

A double batch--eaten in a few days.

Pretzel making is a family tradition.

A strange visit from captain and crew of the Enterprise.

Happiness is skating on the lake.

Ringing in the New Year 2015!

More fun on the lake--sharing the good times with friends!

Skating on the lake--a new adventure for some.

Quiet time.

Hockey games and frolic and the beautiful first days of January 2015.