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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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outhouse daily news

I'm typing this on my laptop whilst sitting on the deck of the Ridpath cottage in Algonquin Park. The weather is perfect, sunny with a slight breeze that stirs the wind chimes on a nearby cabin. It's going to be tough packing up and leaving after only one full day here. :-)

Saw Allison on Friday, which was very cool. She came all the way downtown from Richmond Hill just to have lunch with me. I miss my Thursday night get-togethers with her and Jodi. We ate at Swiss Chalet, rehashed as much as we could of our recent lives that we could in an hour, and then I went back to work.

Yesterday was the Canoe Lake Leaseholders' Association meeting. Jeff's the President this year. Topics included: bear problem, cellphones (whether access from the Park would be a good or bad thing), garbage disposal, the loon nesting platform project, recent cottager events, a Canoe Lake history research project being conducted by one of the cottagers that may turn into a book.

The Canoe Lake cottagers are a close-knit group, protective of the lake and its wildlife, pulling tourists out of the lake when their canoes tip, supporting each other in times of crisis. When Jeff first introduced me to the group years ago, before we were married, I was pretty nervous about how/if I was going to be accepted. My worries were unfounded. :-)

Jeff and I spent the summer of '89 here, building our one-room cabin. It was an enormously educational experience for me. I learned how to pour cement, install insulation, attach roofing tiles. I did all the electrical wiring. I also started a newsletter called the Outhouse Daily News, painstakingly typed out on an ancient Underwood that skipped characters in humid weather.

FYI, here, is the first issue:

Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park
July 8, 1989

Welcome to the first issue of Outhouse Daily News. This exciting publication will be produced through the months of July and the first part of September. For those interested, this fine publication is being created on an Underwood typewriter (courtesy Len's Flea Market) which has a few quicks but a great deal of character.

Everyone is invited to submit articles and/or illustrations. Please address them to Debbie Ohi.

Today was our (Jeff, Harry, Debbie) first day at the park. Jeff and Debbie spent their morning (and afternoon) cleaning out and reorganizing the kitchen. Harry spent the morning sleeping blissfully in JBR's cabin. Note for JBR: On Friday night Harry had steak for dinner. Jeff and Debbie had Ramen soup and stir-fried vegetables with rice. We discovered that Western rice is not nearly as yummy as Japanese rice.

In the evening, Harry and Debbie had a jam session while Jefferson had an allergy attack on the sofa.

The weather was fantastic - clear and fresh, not humid. Aunt Joan and Uncle David came today but left in the afternoon because of a news report of a thunderstorm. Tina left with them.

After kitchen cleaning today, Harry worked in JBR's cabin. Note to JBR: It is 6:35 pm and we have not decided what we are going to have for dinner.

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