First Snow

You know it’s coming, it’s inevitable. You just don’t know when.

Some people will keep a wary eye on the weather reports year round, because you never know, right? Others only start to concern themselves with the possibility of it when the wick in the jack-o-lantern has finally been extinguished. Some people dread it, they were counting on a green Christmas this year. Some people hope for it with childlike desperation, they just can’t wait to hit the slopes. We know it’s coming when our girl Mother Nature starts dropping her coy little hints everywhere. Frost dusting the front lawn and creeping across windshields in the morning, warm coffee breath magically appearing before you as you huff your way towards the office, the rain puddles of last week turned slick and icy, a freezing cold surprise on your bum when you get up to pee in the middle of the night…

We steel ourselves for its imminent arrival. We test out the old space heater to make sure it still works. We gather up extra cozy thermal throws to snuggle on the couch with. We stock up on salt, shovels, anti-freeze, car scrapers and lock de-icers. We have to be vigilant. Especially here in Canada. The start of winter is unpredictable at best. But once that first snowfall takes, we can count on a solid four to six months of unrelenting cold and darkness.

I myself, prefer to be surprised by the first snowfall. I don’t try to anticipate it, that would spoil all the fun. There are so few surprises I will tolerate in life, but the first snowfall is one of them. And there are a myriad of ways that it can surprise you.

From the classic waking up on a cold morning and peeling back the curtains to reveal a generous three-foot-deep heaping of it, to the sneak attack flurries coating your car that you encounter upon your departure from the mall, possibly laden with spoils from your early Christmas shopping adventure. I love it when that first snowfall catches me off guard.

D and I went to a movie on Saturday afternoon. It looked a little chilly out, but otherwise calm. We wore our heavy winter jackets nonetheless, just in case. We made our way to the subway station, ducking our faces from the biting cold wind that whipped about our uncovered heads. “Fuck, it’s cold out there,” D exclaimed as we hustled down the stairs to the platform. His ears and cheeks were bright rosy red. “Yeah, but at least it’s not snowing yet,” I replied.

Seven stops later, we emerged from the subway and found ourselves smack in the middle of a swirling and splendid first snowfall. Surprise, motherfuckers!

Fat wet flakes floated all around us, settling on our coats and in our hair. I imagined we were trapped in a snow globe and laughed joyously as we dashed across the street to the theatre. A brilliant surprise first snowfall.

first snow yonge and dundas

first snow

The flakes were enormous and sticky. As we settled into our seats we wondered what kind of scene we’d be greeted with in two hours time when the movie was over. Maybe we’d be snowed in! Then we’d have to live off of popcorn and fountain sodas for the next couple of days while we anxiously awaited a ragtag group of unlikely heroes to dig us out. Maybe the power would go out and we’d be given some rain check vouchers and a bunch of awesome free shit to pacify us because they couldn’t finish screening the movie. Or better yet, maybe there would be so much snow that cars would be left buried and abandoned. Yeah, and there’d be a full blown riot in action. We could loot ourselves a sweet new snowmobile and scoot our way home through the hysterical masses. Oh yeah, I’d totally be up for a bit of light looting to cap off our date.

But, as it so often is with all of my daydreams, such was not the case.

That first snowfall was fickle. When we left the theatre we were met with sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows; everything that’s wonderful.

sunny snowy day

sunny snowy day 2

Well, not exactly that. But that would have been cool too, dammit. Another daydream dashed by stupid reality. But it was a lot nicer out than I was expecting. Although it wasn’t as extensive a first snowfall as I’d have liked, it did leave in its wake a beautiful view of the city. One that I can admire from the warmth of my apartment.

view of snow from above

IMG_2371

Surprised and delighted by the first snow of the year, I can’t wait for more. There are plenty of opportunities for my zany winter fantasies to come true this year. I believe in the magic of winter, and think that the first snowfall is a hopeful time. A time for wishes and dreams aplenty. A time for thinking about the future, and planning ahead. It’s a time for thoughtfulness and reflection. It can be a difficult and frustrating time, too. The cold, the rapidly shortening hours of daylight, the impossible driving conditions, the constant barrage of snow. It can feel eternal at times. But it is easily endured by those that choose to embrace it, rather than fight it. They don’t call it The Great White North for nothing, my friends. You can learn to love it, or move.

I’ll survive the frigid winter weather with my fingers firmly crossed inside my woolly mittens, hoping. Wishing on snowflakes, and dreaming on every visible puff of breath that escapes my lips. Because that’s how I like to be.

Always hoping, eternally hopeful.

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My Roots

A lot of the posts I’ve published this summer have been centred around my life in the city. And while I have truly enjoyed living in and exploring the beautiful city of Toronto, in my heart of hearts I will always be a bawdy, unrefined, and indelicate hoser.

I’m like Bob and Doug’s little sister…

I love chugging back a cold beer and unleashing a rafter rattling burp. I love cooking over an open flame, spending all day in the lake, hiking through the woods, and wearing layers of clothing to go to bed because it’s just that effing cold out. I like going a whole weekend without wasting time trying to groom myself presentable. I like to roll up my sleeves and pitch in, working to build the best possible weekend for everyone out of a finite amount of supplies. The concept of roughing it? That’s just plain romantic to me.

I am completely content to spend the fucking weekend swearing, spitting, and tossing ’em back with the best of them! I’m a good solid Canadian girl, and I relish the opportunity to let that side of myself off the leash. I had the opportunity to do just that this past weekend, and fuck me if I didn’t do a damn fine job of it!

So, get this: Joce-force has a fucking island. An island, people! With not one, but two incredible cottages on it. So when she put forth an invite, my heart soared. Yes! A weekend away on a pimp private island living the cottage life? You don’t have to ask me twice.

On Friday night after work, Joss and Harry picked us up and we hit the open road. We made one brief stop in Barrie to pick up some groceries, which were dirt cheap by the way. We got enough food to feed nine people for two days for under $90.00. No joke. That stuff would have easily cost $250.00 in the city. Cheap groceries for the win!

Once we arrived in Bala, it was time to load up the good ol’ Pontoon Boat with the supplies and make our way to the island.

Sailin’ away on a glorious pontoon

It was late, and pitch black, so I really couldn’t grasp how magnificent the island really was. It wasn’t until the next morning that I was able to take in all the splendour. So, we drank ourselves into oblivion and slept like hibernating grizzlies.

The following morning, I woke up early. And when I looked out the window I was stunned. The island was insanely gorgeous! It was a rainy day, but even so, I could feel Mother Nature’s siren song reverberating throughout my entire being. I breathed deep, and savoured her sweetness. Also, it’s relevant for me to mention at this time that I was still drunk upon waking.

welcome to the island

We spent the day drinking, playing games, laughing, and lapping up the warmth of the fire. Then at night, we brought the motherfucking house down with the dance party of the ages! There were high-kicks, moonwalks, booty drops, shimmies, shakes, twists, flips, and all manner of dips. And when the heat reached an absolute boiling point, some brave souls even jumped in the lake to cool off! It was utter insanity, and well-deserved indeed.

the beginning of an incredible dance party

it’s getting’ hot in herrrre

I hear there’s also a truly horrifying video of us dancing and rapping Outkast’s “Hey Ya”. I don’t think I will ever be able to bring myself to watch it. Once you’ve seen yourself drunkenly slur-rapping and busting out moves that your intoxicated subconscious has deemed top-notch, it can’t be unseen…

I was up again early on Sunday morning, but this time I was greeted by perfect weather. I took my camera and snapped some truly incredible pictures of the island at its best.

sun shining down on the cottage

the tickle bench!

viewing one side of the island from another

good day, sunshine!

the big cottage

woodland friend

This weekend could not have come at a better time. I needed the distance and time from the city to reconnect with my old friend nature. To have self-revelations. To drink myself stupid. To laugh with my friends. And to be my beer-swilling hoser self again.  We may not see each other as often as we used to Mother Nature, but I still totally dig you, girl.

Samurai Smash, at one with nature… and beers ‘n’ shit

We came home to a very grateful Harvey. And when, in a state of total exhaustion I clapped eyes on my very own bed, I had found nirvana.

Ahhhh, my own bed!

To Joss: you are the fucking best! Thank you for sharing the island with me, and for letting me do awesome high-kicks in your cottage. It was desperately needed, and deeply appreciated.

Hiiiii-yaaaaaa!