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D and P were pretty excited today having run across the lake for the first time. I had noticed a while ago snowmobile tracks crisscrossing Lake St. George and had assured the boys that if the ice could hold up grown-ups on snowmobiles it could certainly support their weight. After finding out for themselves that I was speaking the truth, they enthusiastically got the snow shovels out and cleared a patch of ice for a make-shift hockey rink. (If only they were so ambitious about shovelling the driveway!)
They managed to convince the two other boys on our road that it was safe and a good game of hockey commenced. It wasn’t long before all of the guys were throwing off hats, mittens and coats, not because a fight had ensued, but rather because they were playing so hard that they were sweating. We are now talking about getting out some left-over spray paint and putting in official lines. As is the habit with boys, there was a lot of disagreement about whether a shot was a goal or not. Hopefully the lines will make it easier to decide.
I got to play the part of parental supervision/referee/cheerleader/photographer/rink fixer-upper and “music-maker” (I hummed the “Hockey Night in Canada” song.) I think that my presence helped make the game run a little bit smoother. I have a feeling I may be spending more time on the lake this winter.
The neighbours across the street have two dogs. Out here, dogs don’t have to be on leashes exactly 3 feet long. They are, for the most part, allowed to run free (provided that they don’t cause any trouble). I think that is a good thing. Two of the three of us entertain ideas of owning a dog from time to time. The third knows that she definitely doesn’t want to have a dog. It’s great that D and P can have their fun with the neighbour’s dogs and then we can send them home to be fed and cared for by others.
“Molly” in particular likes to come out whenever we set foot outdoors. I think that she watches for us, her slobbery green ball at the ready. D and P have a fantastic time throwing her ball in the most unlikely places and watching her leap, run, jump and dig to bring it back. Sometimes they fake her out but she never complains. She just keeps bringing the ball back never tiring of the game.
I can’t say that I am a dog person even though most dogs seem to really like me. Molly did get to me a little today. She came over before the boys were out while I was shovelling the driveway. Up until today, I’ve always told her, “Sorry girl, but I’ve got work to do” or “You’re barking up the wrong tree here, Molly”. Today she parked herself right in front of me with her slobbery green ball in her mouth and looked up at me with hopeful anticipation that I would play with her. I couldn’t resist those puppy dog eyes and did throw the ball a few times. She bounded away joyfully to retrieve it and faithfully brought it back to me in the hopes that I would throw it just one more time. I have to admit it was a pleasure for me to make her so utterly happy. I can see why most people love dogs but … we’re still not getting one.
I returned from doing a few errands this afternoon to find that the snowplow had been down our road. That’s a good thing because it certainly made the road more navigable. That’s also a bit of a bad thing because it meant a big pile of snow at the end of my driveway. I managed to “gun it” and get the van through the hill to the garage. Since I was already fully attired in winter gear, I decided to get started right away at clearing the big pile. I don’t think I shovelled more than six scoops when the local guy with the big snow removal tractor who clears about 90% of the driveways on our road stopped, stuck his head out the window and said, “That looks like too much work. Let me do it for you.” He spent about a minute and the end of the driveway was cleaner than I could have made it in an hour of shovelling. I wonder if this guy heard that I gave homebaked cookies to the last guy that helped me clean the driveway. Problably not. One neighbour told me that this guy is “disgustingly honest” and another one said that he comes from one of the nicest families you could ever meet. He was just being kind and it was such a blessing to me. May I remember that the next time I have an opportunity to do something kind for someone.
Every now and then it’s nice to do something a little bit cultural. Today was one of those days. We went to see a play at the Orillia Opera House entitled, “The Frog Prince”. It was a delightful little number featuring a wicked stepfather who really, really wanted to be the bad guy, a wicked stepmother who really wanted to be loved, a host of tadpoles that showed up now and then and had a few lines, a self-absorbed princess who was striving to win the latest bowling tournament and a frog named Phil that stole the show with his singing, dancing and jumping talents. D, P and I all laughed while watching. For those of you who don’t know us all that well, that’s a rare thing. If D and P are laughing I am usually not very amused. If I am laughing, D and P are often rolling their eyes. It was good to do something cultural where we could all laugh at the same time and at the same things.
I suggested a girls’ night out for the women of my new church community group and the idea flew. We went out last night and had a fun time trying dishes at an Indian restaurant. Seven of the eight of us drove up to Barrie in one van and the ride was as fun as the food. We chatted and laughed and then chatted and laughed some more (as only a group of women can do!) all the while pigging out on such delicacies as Lamb Korma, Chicken Tandoor, Naan, Shrimp Buriyani, Butter Chicken (with and without peanuts), Vegetable Korma and Papadums. I’m glad I suggested it. I’m now dreaming up an at-home spa night for this great group of gals. I think it would be a blast.
We got 50 cm of snow yesterday. I’m glad that I had got a good start on shovelling the driveway but it was still a pretty daunting task this morning. I went at it with a will reminding myself that I should rejoice that I can get this much exercise without even having to buy a gym membership or even walk a whole lot further than my front door. I was going at it as well as my aching muscles and calloused hands would allow me when a neighbour pulled up on a giant Arctic Cat with a plow attached to the front of it. He had driven by a few times and I had waved cheerily to him and then continued with the task before me. It turns out his name is Brian and he was pulling up to ask if I needed some help finishing up. I was pretty winded but we chatted some and he kindly plowed away at the remaining snow. He probably saved me at least an hour’s worth of work and seemed happy enough to help out someone in need. Well, God bless him and may he enjoy the cookies I intend to bake and bring over to his home.
It’s been snowing steadily all day today and doesn’t show any sign of letting up soon. I went out at 3 p.m. and decided to snap a few pics and get started on shovelling the driveway. The first thing that had to be done was the front steps. They had all but disappeared under a thick heavy blanket of snow. When I got to the driveway, I took out the measuring tape to see just how much of the white stuff I had to move. It turned out to be 12 inches and it all has to be done manually! I went at it for about two hours, got half way done and decided to call it a day and go make some dinner. The other half of the driveway will have to wait until tomorrow when who knows how much more will have accumulated! I had to take a photo of our neighbours half-buried, snow-capped country mail box. It looks like it should be on a Christmas card.
I’m not singing “Let It Snow” right now. It sounds more like “Let It Stop!” I’m also working on rewriting that classic song, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” to “I’m Dreaming of a Snowblower”. It sure would come in handy on a day like today.
Last year friends of ours moved and we found ourselves the new owners of two GT racers. They didn’t see a lot of action last winter because they are extremely heavy to pull and quite cumbersome to get into the van. Well D and P are a year older now and obviously stronger because today they managed to get these GT racers into the van all by themselves. The “Little Black Torpedo” (also a cast off from another family) came along for the ride so that friend R would have something to toboggan on. It wasn’t long before all three were vying for the simple Little Black Torpedo. It’s fast, it can be ridden in a variety of ways and it requires almost no muscle power to get back up the hill. I have a feeling that the next time we hit the slopes it will be the first one to go in the van and both D and P will look at those fancy smancy GT racers and wonder aloud if they really want to bring them along.
It seems Mt. St. George has morphed into Fort St. George. I found out a couple of days ago that the fort is fully armed and operational. I went out to take a picture of it only to hear cries of “Bomb mom!”. (Bomb mom? I know those words rhyme but they really don’t belong together!) I managed to snap a few shots before I took a direct hit to the leg from something that felt like it was more ice than snow. I was out with an injury and a bad attitude to go with it.