I can sum up winter in cottage country in just two words: Cold and Snow.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad news story. Cold and snow are the two best thigns about living in a winter wonderland.
Don't believe me? Let me explain:
Everyone knows summer is the undisputed favourite season in cottage country.
Warm days, nights by the campfire, fishing, swimming, boating, and my favourite - relaxing on the dock with a book and a glass of wine. Who could argue with that?
But summer is fleeting - just four short months. And don't get me wrong. Fall is lovely. Crisp walks, warm sweaters, arts and studio tours... but once the turkey is carved, the pumpkins start to rot, and the rain sets in, we cottage country residents are trapped indoors, waiting for the temps to drop so we can get back to our happy place - OUTSIDE!!
While city dwellers think slush, damp and drama when it comes to snow, we rural-types think skating, skiing and snomobiling. What we in cottage country have come to realize, is that there is no weather you can't dress for. Our closets are overflowing with jackets and parkas for every eventuality - from a mild rain to a polar vortex. We have all the fancy toques and scarves and leather-wrapped, fur-lined glvoes to keep our fingers toasty and our ears protected. If you have the right gear, you can be comfortable outside in any weather.
We wait patiently, watching the forecast, praying at night for cold weather to freeze our lakes, waking in the morning to gingerly test the ice, fingers crossed it will be strong enough to hold us as we skate along the shore.
It is a glorious day when there is enough snowfall to begin grooming ski hills and snomobile trails. Sledders spend all of November tweaking and tuning their machines, waiting for the green light to head out for a rip.
And sometimes, these two worlds collide. Is there nothing more Canadian than a group of kids snomobiling down a frozen lake, skates and hockey sticks strapped to their backs, congratating at a freind's place for a pick up game of shinny hockey?? That, my friends, is the true Canadian Dream.
And once the sun goes down, and the skates and skidoos are put away for the day, we still enjoy an evening fire. We simply move it to the fireplace inside. There is no better spot to cozy up on a cold winter night, than next to a roaring fireplace with a blanket and a drink, reminiscing about the day that was, and planning our next great adventure.
And just when you think you can't bear to shovel out the driveway one more time, and the kids have gone on strike and refuse to help shovel the rink any more, spring arrives, with all the hopes and excitement of another cottage country summer.
Really, when it comes right down to it, there is no bad season in cottage country. Unless you count that two-week period when the black flies are unbearable - but there's no reason to talk about that!