Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lake Tempo

Hummingbird murmured a quick hello on her way to the vintage ruby feeder that dangles from a contorted wire clothes hanger. For a millisecond I thought it was a bumble bee but the blurred wing action set me straight. Allegro.

Twenty feet away, a duo of ravens perch motionless in the remnants of a rotted elm tree. They are silent now, most likely exhausted from the relentless concert of squawks and shrieks they have been performing for the past week. Maybe the honeymoon is over and they have already entered the no talking phase of their relationship. Maybe they too are enjoying the absolute calm that presides over the lake. Calando.

The resident chipmunks scurry about the deck, recklessly dodging in front of Fritz our ferocious Schnauzer, ducking and diving between the boards at the last possible minute, narrowly escaping an untimely demise. The striped little thrill seekers derive a certain pleasure in the taunt, as they seem to laugh in the face of danger. And the dance continues all afternoon. Animato.

Life at the lake has its own rhythm and tempo - steady and quiet. Adagio.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lesson Learned

I take it back - just kidding of course. But after being so grateful for summer and the heat I jinxed myself by posting the following update on Facebook:

 "It's hot but I have relief - air conditioning. Can't help but think of those who live with this sweltering, oppressive heat and humidity every day - with no relief!"

Our trusty air conditioner gave me the cold shoulder yesterday and stopped working. The universe must have felt that I needed a little more first hand experience with the sweltering to make me truly appreciate my living conditions.

Universe, if you are listening, I get it. Lesson learned!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This Girl is On Fire

We're under an extreme heat warning which means the air conditioning is cranked up as high as we dare, I'm wearing as minimal clothing as is legal, and I have a fuzzy head of hair swollen with humidity. Ceiling fans swirl, labouring to move the heavy air; and the frigid air at my office is a welcomed respite. All chatter centres around the weather - the sweltering heat and global warming. The trickles of sweat rolling down my back are a testament to global warming -- or menopause!

What a perfectly insane day to truddle off to the gym - and truddle I did, inspired by the article I had just finished writing about the signs of heat stress. The ten minute walk to and from the Y was more grueling than the workout. But I had a lovely exchange on the corner with a lady from the east coast who said that even after two years of living here, she just can't get used to the humidity. Then there was a lady at the gym who chatted with me in between gasps on the treadmill. I tried my best not to appear winded but my purplish colouring and wheezing were dead give aways! We agreed that it was a bummer that Oprah, one of the most powerful, successful women on the planet, still seems to worry about weight. What message does that send? You can achieve everything - but if you aren't slim...

Getting back to my heat attack -- for the record, I am NOT complaining. Winter was long and summer was a long time coming so I am savouring every degree Celsius and ray of sunshine. I've got my arsenal of  iced cappuccinos, ice cream, light skirts and no sleeves cause this girl is on fire! And for that, I am truly grateful!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cottage Life

It seems as though we barely get the cottage opened and beds made up and the summer is half over. It's like a good dessert that - even though you try to eat slowly, in small bites so you can savour every ounce of goodness - disappears all too quickly.

With the construction of our new deck, we got off to a little later start this season, but we've tried our best to make up for lost time. Weekends are the pot of gold at the end of the workweek rainbow and I cherish each and every moment I get to spend at our place of peace.

The best part of cottage life - for me - is watching a carload of loved ones come rolling down our lane way, and sharing our piece of paradise with them. I want them to see the beauty for themselves; to inhale the clean, fresh air; to awaken to the songs of birds; and to feel the tranquility that seeps into your very being.

After two years of anticipation, my sisters and I snagged a few days at the lake. Devoid of any roles, responsibilities and background noise, we found the family dynamic that we grew up with and revert back to the girls that we once were. We swam; we laughed uncontrollably; reminisced; put the fire bug to work and relaxed around a blazing fire that threatened to take the cottage with it!

After a few good meals and glasses of wine, and countless stories that started with "remember when", the creases on our faces relaxed and tensions drained away. Over melting ice cream and berries we vowed to make it an annual tradition.

Last weekend my dad, Theresa and 95 year old Doris made the trip up to the cottage. My dad had lovingly built a pair of beds for our spare room and he was making the delivery! He was sweating buckets as he put them together, drilling each screw nail. When he was finished, we all crowded into the tiny room to admire his handiwork. The single beds are sixteen inches high to accommodate our storage bins and we left off the foot board so extra tall people can dangle their feet over the end and not get tangled up. The beds are just another fingerprint that my dad has left on the cottage - yet another happy reminder of his caring and thoughtful nature - of the man who is a builder.

I still have to pinch myself to believe that this precious dream that I share with hubby is a reality. And for that, I am truly grateful.


Finished product. Thanks Dad!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Proud to Be Canadian, eh?

Couldn't let Canada Day pass without mention. We Canadians are a humble bunch; we lean on the reserved side of things and are taught at an early age to be polite, gracious, and to not draw attention to ourselves. And those are the general, collective attributes of our nation.

But on July 1st. we are like kids running wild in a Toys R Us. We leave "reserved" packed and let our red and white fly. We wrap ourselves in our flag and let our deep seated national pride loose. Even at the lake almost every dock raised a flag.

Canada Day conjures up deep feelings of gratitude in me. I realize that being born in one of the greatest, safest and most liberated and caring countries was pure luck - a lottery win. Lucky, fortunate, grateful me.

I love this grand land we call Canada. I have stood on the shorelines and inhaled the salty air from the oceans on all three coasts - west, east and north. I have travelled across the country and been awestruck by the diversity and vastness of our land; majestic mountains, golden  prairie flat lands, infinite treeless tundra, lush green forests and crystal blue lakes, quaint small towns, and spicy cities. And the population is as diverse as the geography.

So today I remember those who are not as lucky as I, and who cannot lay their head on a soft pillow and sleep soundly knowing that they are safe, sufficed and free. Oh Canada - how I love thee, from sea, to sea, to shining sea.