Thursday, August 25, 2016

Two Days in Heaven

"It's so quiet out here," she said. "It's the first thing I noticed."

We were out at Fishing Lake on Saturday afternoon. There was quite a bit of weekend traffic on the newly widened road behind the row of lakefront cabins, and on the lake itself was a constant parade of motor boats and pontoon boats, with people fishing and water-skiing and joy-riding. Every passing vehicle disturbed the lake's glittering surface, radiating gentle waves to smash against the huge rocks (hauled in from some distance as a bulwark against flooding) below the cabin's front deck; occasionally it sounded as if we were at the shore of an ocean.

But quiet? I thought. If Julie thinks this is quiet — and compared to being in the city of Saskatoon, she must be absolutely correct — she would be astounded by the quiet out at Golden Grain Farm.


We spent the afternoon out on the deck, talking and admiring the water. It was glorious, the best word I can find to describe being there. The living water, with fish leaping out of it; the wide open space ... it satisfied something in me that has had this need or desire since I was a child coming out to this lake.

Oh sure, we could hear the neighbour couple chatting amiably on their patio next door, and that was a little uncomfortable for me, who prefers to have all the land all to herself (honestly, some of us are meant to be hermits!), but otherwise it was just me and Julie and the welcome shade of the privacy-lending poplar trees between our cabin and the one beside us.

I brought my sun hat from GGFarm, and am drinking motherwort and wild raspberry leaf tea daily to balance my estrogen.

The main public beach is where my sister and I took swimming lessons one summer; she went on to become a lifeguard, and I never got over my fear of getting water in my face. That beach is where I took my young cousins on summer afternoons; they swam while I sunbathed. That beach is where I first remember meeting Scott, who says we met before, but I don't recall it because I was probably surrounded by so many young men in those days that he didn't stand out. Ha! Just kidding. And that beach, though it's gone now, flooded out completely along with its huge campground and all the barbecuing facilities, is where I go in my meditations — a favourite place that is still there, in my imagination.

What is left of that generous expanse of sand now is a mere band of land not even wide enough for a small whale to beach upon. Julie and I walked down to it and sat on a swing someone has put there.

No more beach playground: monkey bars in the water, and a monster in the lake. 
It hurts my heart every time I see what it is now. The lake has covered it all up, leaving only water and reeds. So many very fond memories of the main beach as it was: As schoolchildren in Margo we went there to spend the last day of no-classes before summer holidays; I tented in the campground there with my friend Kim, and also with my friend Shelly; we had the Engdahl family reunion there, back in the trees, at "the circle" where we could all camp together for a weekend. A lot of good times.

The cabin was lacking a few amenities (hot water, lights in some of the main rooms, a working air conditioner, a few bits and bobs that we expected in the kitchen, like tea towels and pot holders) but none of this dampened our enthusiasm. We were both just plain happy to be there. Without a kitchen or living room light, we lit candles in the evenings and went to bed early. That meant, for me, being up early too, usually around six.

Sunday morning dawned cool and grey and drizzly, giving me the perfect opportunity to light a fire in the pit outside the back door.

It was a nice small fire, as Julie wanted to make breakfast on it. 
I left her happily preparing food in the kitchen, while I tended the flames and putzed around outside.

I had packed along three books, my laptop, and a newspaper for every decade since 1916, in case there would be oodles of time to read for pleasure and scan the newspaper archives for the historical Looking Back page we print every week. I'd brought along a deck of cards and a cribbage board. There was none of any of it. We talked, we gazed at the water, we talked, we gazed at the water. We sat outside at this green picnic table to chop vegetables for supper. We talked.

It was my kind of holiday.
For Scott, a holiday is visiting family.
For me, a holiday is a couple days at a lakefront cabin.

I was sorry to leave on Monday, believe you me. One more day and night there would have suited me just fine. But ... maybe next year. I will be doing everything I can to arrange it.

Bye for now, beloved lake!

And Julie, thanks for joining me here. It was great, wasn't it!


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MMMMMMMMMM pie!!!! I saw rhubarb strawberry pie at the Costco the other day and boy did I want to buy one. Making pie was my mom's thing. Making pastry is my least favorite thing to do. Have loads of fun with your friends. Might just have to buy that pie next time I hit up the Costco. 

I'm not a pie-maker either, though my sister Karen, who is, spent a couple hours showing me how it's done. I never followed up. To get a homemade one at the farmers market once in a while is a treat, and that's good enough for me. In the winter I might get a slice of pie when I visit Karen. It's all good!