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The shots rang out in the quiet night air sending shivers down my spine.
I knew it was coming.
For weeks now I had seen the ads for hunting equipment, guns and camouflage, for deer and moose urine for bait.
I saw them coming last weekend on their ATV's, guns strapped across the bars.
I knew that sooner or later I would hear them shooting.
I just wasn't prepared for it to be now. Tonight.
As I sit here alone watching TV, hubby away on business and the dog in a coma in front of the fireplace, there is a life and death struggle being played out just outside my front door.
I duck when I hear the shots, half expecting them to come ripping through the window.
My heart stops, wondering if the hunter or the prey won.
Hoping against hope it was the prey and they got away.
Wondering if that animal came running onto my property, would the hunter follow and shoot, caught up in the thrill of the chase? Or would his common sense take control and he would move off, letting it go and looking for another chance at his trophy.
I have never heard gunfire before, except on television, and I was not prepared for how loud and harsh it sounded. How final.
I am a carnivore, I eat meat, usually daily.
Yet, somehow, hunting just seems barbaric to me.
The deer and moose are so majestic and it seems almost criminal to hunt them down.
The people here hunt them for food, not just for sport. So that is a good thing, I suppose.
And there is always the bonding that takes place as sons and fathers hunt together. That is a good thing too.
I sigh as I realize that hunting is part of the Great Canadian lifestyle up here in Northern Ontario, and it is a part of this culture that I need to accept.
I just can't get the image of Bambi out of my head .
That movie has haunted me my whole life.
Gotta love Disney !
I wander off to bed muttering... " I will adjust, I will adjust" and another shot rings out.
When will I adjust is the question....
I live in a small, non-descript house. It isn't anything special, and wouldn't cause you to look twice or even notice it really, in the middle of nowhere. Literally.
I am 15 minutes from the town my address says I live in. You are not within walking distance to anything except the dirt road that brings you to my house.
I am alone out here, 9 months out of the year.
In the summer, we have neighbours. Transplants from the city getting away to the country for summer fun. It isn't even that big a city actually. The population is under 250,000.
My small town has a population of less than 1200. The town lines go far and wide though, as most small towns do, in order to afford conveniences like trash pick-up and such. It takes about 45 minutes to run the highway from one end of my town to the other. There isn't much in between.
It grows quiet here, after a summer of family and friends visiting, boat rides, tubing and waterski lessons,of frog hunting and tadpole catching, learning to swim and first tubing experiences. Of campfires, and ghost stories and roasting marshmallows, and wine on the deck under candlelight.
I bought an outdoor candelabra, something I have wanted forever. It isn't very practical, and the candles don't stay lit for long and I have to be careful of not getting candles that are too high or the canapy that covers the deck may go up in flames. It is heavy and awkward and poorly designed, as the arms swing. I guess they did that for packaging purposes. Stupid. The thing is always blowing in the wind and the arms move and the candles go out. But, on a dark, still night with no moon, if you are lucky, you can light the candles and sit behind the soft, warm glow, sipping wine and -just breathe-.
We moved here from Canada's capital city in May. My husband was transferred up here so, not wanting to pass up a wonderful job opportunity in these uncertain times, we sold the cottage and the house, had sleepovers with the grandkids, filled with ice cream sundaes for breakfast, long walks in the afternoon and video games until your eyes bled. I am the Memaw, I say that is ok .
We kissed the boys goodbye and packed up the U-Haul for the 6 hour trek to here.
It was a shock at first. I mean it was so quiet!!!
After life in the city, filled with noise and sirens and people talking and making noise at all times of the day and night, there was nothing out here but birds and bullfrogs at night. WOW.
We were warned about the bears too. Seems there is a fairly large black bear population out here. I saw one that had to be about 400 lbs in the spring. A huge thing.
So we were told about safe trash disposal and storage ( my hubby kept the trash in the basement until after a month of that I hit the ceiling and told him that the trash went outside or he could sleep in the bunkie with it ) . I am still scrubbing that hard concrete floor with bleach every week.
I thought I would be lonely up here all alone. Hubby works in the city and doesn't get home till after dinner each night, and he travels alot too.
I wondered how I would handle being up here alone. Isolated.
What if I was hurt? Had a heart attack? Was attacked by a wild animal? What if strangers tried to break in? What would I do? There is no one to call out here, at least they certainly wouldn't hear you . It is a long trek to the road, and even if you made it there, if it wasn't a traffic hour like going to and coming from work/school, odds are good no one would pass you by for hours.
We are on the lake. A huge lake. A lake bigger than any I have ever seen before. And if this isn't big enough for you, we are an hour from the Georgian Bay and if that still isn't enough, you can travel another 15 minutes to hit Lake Huron. Now, that's a big lake!
This blog isn't about anything really. It is just about life on the lake, being a woman, being a Mom and a MeMaw, a wife, a person. It is about coming into my own after years of being ruled by the need to conform. It is about wearing your house slippers when you go for a walk down the dirt road just because you want to. Or going barefoot. It is about swimming in a lake, all by yourself, at midnight, because you can.
It is about overcoming fears and worry. About accepting yourself for who you are, flaws and all.
About admitting, finally, that perfection is something I will never achieve and being OK with that.
That is a big deal for me. Being perfect. I have been a perfectionist my whole life, always moving the standard higher and higher, never being happy with what is , but always striving for what it could or should be. Not an easy path to follow. You are always wrought with fear and failures. Those failures are inevitable, because you simply cannot achieve perfection, try as you might. You are haunted at night with missed opportunities, re-playing in your head what you -should- have said or done, how you will make it better the next time. Sleep is difficult.
It is time to cast that off. Time to move forward to a new day of being happily imperfect. No more striving .
It is time to breathe.
So, here I am , out on a lake . Happy I think. Seriously happy actually. For the first time in my life. At peace.
There is nothing to do here, so I write. Take a photography class and try to take a picture that won't make people cringe.
We went to a berry farm and got strawberries that were as red and shiny as a candy apple, filled with the sweetest flavour I have ever tasted. You don't find these in grocery stores shelves I can assure you.
So, what did I do with the baskets I had to buy?
I made jam.
Can you believe it?
I bought a canner and mason jars with those pretty labels that you stick on the jars and spent a Saturday making jam like some kind of.... of... housewife! HA !
Guess what else? It ROCKS !
So, bolstered with this small success, I went crazy.
I made Salsa, canned peaches, froze butter beans and fresh corn I blanched myself.
I froze the rhubarb in the garden that I grew with my own two little hands. Not much to growing rhubarb, you just leave it alone, but hey... still!
Now I have fresh rhubarb and strawberries to make pies with in the cold winter months of January and February when everything is so bleak and the days are so dark and you wonder if you will ever see the sun or feel it's warmth again. I can make a strawberry rhubarb pie and taste the freshness, and remember.
I can crack open a jar of peaches and remember the day I came home with baskets of them.
Are you starting to see that this blog has no point?
No reason d'etre?
It is just for me.
You can come along too if you like. Read along with me as I post my ramblings.
This will be filled with my failures, and my acceptance of that. Filled with my small victories. Like canning peaches and making jam. Like getting the outdoor candelabra to sit still and having the luck of a windless evening to enjoy.
Like remembering why I married that man so many years ago.
Falling in love again.
Like no longer having to raise my children, but being able to enjoy the young men that they have become. Casting aside the worry that used to plague me during their turbulant teen years.
Ok, so you can -never really- cast that aside .....
Like making new friends and having experiences I never thought I would have.
I will post more here soon.
You are welcome to follow along.... or don't. This is really just for me anyway, but, if you want to come....
Put on your house slippers and let's go for a walk down the road.
oh btw atm i'm in IM
and 'imho' 'aka' newbie it seems
cos the ppl in here chat in shorthand
omg wtf does it mean?
this am i went 2 the puter
my bf 'msged' me:
wb 'hi' yw, 'cya' ttfn
omg wtf does it mean?
afk brb asap
atm i cant IM u c
kk was i just 'lolling' or am I in ao :)
omg wtf does it mean?
gtg into rl a moment
idk if the snailmail has bin
re hi, rl letters tbh are rarer
omg wtf does it mean?
now i no ur rofling about me
far 2 old 2 converse 2 a teen
my HD in english, dont help with this jinglish
'pls' dont 'lol', wtf does it mean?