Heading to the lake . . . forever?

By Joanna Loney

Welcome to the Times’ new column about cabin life.
Writing this column is a dream come true. It means many years of nagging my husband to move out of the city finally has paid off, and I get to experience and write about Sunset Country without eight hours of driving every weekend.
Of course, there are a lot of people who think we’re crazy to quit the jobs we love, sell most of our belongings, and move to a place where you can’t run out anytime–day or night—for a Slurpee.
For those who do know us, however . . . well, they already know we’re wing-nuts.
Everything we do is somehow impacted by our cabin obsession. Today, for instance, my lunch in the city consisted of a leftover McDonald’s hamburger (picked up on the way back from the lake the night before), some shrivelled grapes, and the last of some moldy cheese.
Who has time to keep the fridge full of fresh foods when you need to make time for the weekend?
Also, I’m wearing clothes that are 10 years out of date because my paycheque goes to “the cabin,” like some people’s paycheques go to the demanding needs of their children.
There’s snowmobile and boat maintenance, replacing the rusted-out barbecue, fixing the ice-thieved dock (again), the bill for getting the cabin jacked up, and that new chainsaw.
All this and I’m afraid my limbs are going to fall off from hauling gravel all weekend—a job I thought about leaving to my husband, but I’d better do my part (especially since everything we haul is by boat or snowmobile).
So what am I looking forward to? Falling into bed exhausted but knowing what I’ve achieved at the end of the day, the ancient scent of pine, exploring, warm towels after a cold swim, our two-billion-year-old perch of bedrock, and taking the time to experience that fuzzy kindling of light which sets the sky ablaze.
In fact, even the most mundane of nature provides me with comfort. It’s good to know that, no matter what, the moon will still rise, the flowers will bloom, and that old ant hill in our yard will keep getting bigger. My screaming alarm clock and loud thoughts about a to-do list are meaningless compared to the quiet rhythms of our cabin place.
But it’s not just about looking at nature. The best part is sharing the place we love with others (by some wild coincidence, the people we like most all have recreational vehicles).
We’re made by what we love–canoeing, fishing, snowmobiling, hiking and camaraderie. I’m especially looking forward to my nephews teaching me how to hunt (they are sensitive-hearted young men even though they use pictures of slain deer as their screensavers).
Will my romanticized vision of home last? I can’t be sure, but I do know that over the next 39 days left in the city that every pulse of my heart tells me it will.
At this point, as my darling husband states, it’s just a matter of finding out.
P.S. I hope to hear from you. Please report about your own cabin and outdoor lifestyle experiences by clicking onto the Times’ website.
Whether it’s an unusual bird sighting, some quirky cabin ritual, or a new trail you’ve just discovered, it’s all exciting to me.

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