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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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cottage weekend

Jeff and I went to the cottage on the weekend with his mom. Drove up to Algonquin Park in spite of bad weather, icy roads (Jeff and I saw three car spin-outs happen along the way). Skiied across the lake, pulling our supply sleds behind us. This gave me great motivation for eating as much as possible at the cottage, of course...less to lug back across the ice! :-) I tried snowshoeing for the first time...much easier than I expected, lots of fun. I trekked out into the middle of the frozen lake, sat down (not knowing how difficult it would be to get up without undoing my snowshoes), and just listened to the silence. Living in downtown Toronto, I very rarely encounter any true quiet areas...I'd forgotten how much I missed that. Made a snow angel.

There is no running water, so Jeff hacks a hole in the ice with an axe. Has to hack quite a bit; the ice is about a foot and a half thick. We spend Saturday evening reading, sitting by the fire, dozing, talking (trying not to doze WHILE we talk, of course). Jeff's mom makes a splendid meal. She recently broke a Canadian swimming record in the Masters division, by the way. I feel terribly unfit in comparison. Doesn't stop me from pigging out on dinner, of course.

Next day, we go out hiking behind the cottage for a bit, have lunch, then go home. I opt for snowshoes instead of skis this time, but regret the decision partway across the lake. Also, the sled seems heavier...or maybe I just ate too much at lunch. Anyway, it's a wee bit more challenging heading back across the lake, and when we finally reach the car I feel like throwing up my mittens a la Rocky style.

Sorry, haven't posted the California pics in my report yet, will do that this week.

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