Monday, July 30, 2012
This past weekend I was free. No previous engagements, no games, cons, or other pre-scheduled activity. So I called up my Aunt, and asked if she'd mind if I came over to her cottage to hang out for the weekend. And she said yes.
My parents came up on Sunday, but I went down on Saturday, to have the whole weekend to hang out lake-side. And it was a very, very good idea. On Saturday, I actually ended up showing up before my Aunt by a good two hours. She is notoriously late for everything, but even factoring that in, she was late. That was fine, though. I am a woman who is very, very good at entertaining herself.
I made myself lunch with items scrounged from the cooler I brought - bun, ham spread, cheese, a peach - and my ever-present multi-purpose knife. I went for a nice walk around the lake - not all the way around the lake, the roads just don't work that way, but a good chunk of it any way. I rolled up my pants and went for a walk along the shore. I pulled out my foldable chair that I always keep in the trunk, and the e-book that I always keep in my purse, and set up in the lawn facing the lake, and read for a bit. I may have dozed. The only thing I lacked was access to a bathroom.
Fortunately my Aunt showed up before that became a problem, and I helped her unpack for the weekend. I went for another walk before supper, which we cooked together - chicken stuffed ravioli with a garlic-tomato sauce stuffed with sauted veggies. Both lunch and dinner were outside on the picnic table. Food always tastes better eaten outside. The evening was spent dozing, and writing, and relaxing.
The next day I got up early and went for another walk around the lake. I got much further this time, waving to people walking their dogs, or fishing, or hanging out in their deck chairs on a beautiful sunny day. My parents showed up after I got back from my walk, and it was lunch time. I made an egg scramble with a ton of veggies, with peameal bacon on the side, and, of course, fruit.
Then we hauled out the canoe and went canoeing - I had not been in years and years, but I got into the rythm fairly easily. My mom steered and I was the 'powerhouse'. We went into the 'back' part of the lake, which has no cottages and no boats are allowed to create a wake. Its a nature-lover's paradise. We saw turtles sunning themselves, a family of swans, a kingfisher, and either a bittern or a lesser heron (we're not expert bird identifiers), not to mention watching a ton of fish swim by in the super-clear waters.
We lounged for a bit, reading, then decided to go for another walk. There was a road in to the lake that unfortunately collapsed, and has since been allowed to go 'back to nature', with reforestation of cedar trees. There is a sort of hiking trail along where the road used to be, and my mom and I went on that trail. We hopped over the soggy, wet spots, explored a not-very-well-constructed tree fort of found materials, pushed through cedar saplings grown rather close to the trail, and smelled the sheep farm at the end of the trail long before we reached it. We were also assailed by a very loud barking dog, who seemed far more interested in barking at us than anything else. Loud but harmless, ultimately.
When we got back we were hot and sweaty, so we got out some inner tubes to go floating in the lake. The bottom of the lake is very soft, squishy, and full of weeds. Not the best to step on until you can get deep enough to swim. We floated out until it was deep, however, and then I deliberately tipped myself into the lake. I swam for a bit, towing my mom in her inner tube. Eventually we had to come in, and I couldn't lever back into the inner tube. Nothing to push against but water. So I did my best to float in over the squishy, weedy bottom until there was enough sand to stand upright. I only got slightly mucky. :)
When we got back, my dad, who had been snoozing while we were hiking, decided he wanted to go canoeing. So, while my mom and Aunt prepared dinner, the two of us got in the canoe. Once again I was the 'power', and this time my dad steered. We went along the populated edges of the lake this time, waving at people getting ready for dinner. We didn't see much wildlife, but we did see one woman with wild silver hair (she was wearing a silver foil wig, for some reason).
Dinner was sausage and chicken on the barbeque, and corn. I had two cobs. Oops. But it was so sweet and so good! Watermelon for dessert, and some special pastries (lemon/blueberry and mango/peach). Not too sweet. It all tasted wonderful, probably because I was so hungry and we were outside!
Sadly, after we cleaned up after dinner, I had to head home. It was sad to say goodbye to my Aunt (who is staying for another few days), and to leave the lake behind.
I hope that I can find time to go again soon. The last time I was there was almost a decade ago. Too long.