As a Canadian I had the pleasure of celebrating our Thanksgiving this past weekend. In our family, it is tradition to celebrate it at my parent’s place, one because my husband and I are amateurs when preparing such feasts and two, my parents have an amazing property on the water which gives us the feeling that we are on vacation. The downfall is the length of drive which equates to about 4.5 hours each way which turns into a several hour exercise, when you add in the packing and unpacking time on each end. Oh did I mention there are two little kids involved with one of them asking for regular updates as to how close we are to our destination. At this time of year though, the trees are absolutely stunning and they provided a nice distraction with all the different fall colour pallets in play. Despite it being a chillier weekend, lows of -4 degrees celsius over night to a high of low teens we spent quite a bit of time outdoors.
On Saturday, London, my mom and I prepared the garden for the winter. We picked the remaining vegetables, took out all the remaining vegetable plants and weeds that fight for time and space within the garden and turned over the soil. As soon there are sufficient leaves from the trees on the ground my mom plans to layer some leaves on the top putting it to sleep until spring time. This is our second year with the garden and each year we are learning more and more but admittedly we are not producing the bountiful harvest that I expected across all vegetables. For some reason beets won’t grow at all, the carrots are protesting growing thick and long and prefer to be short and skinny, and our peas and yellow beans failed to thrive this year. What was very successful were radishes and wouldn’t you know it, I am not a fan of radishes. We also had success with cucumbers, zucchini, and lots of green and purple peppers. Over the winter we are going to have to do some more research and see how we can improve upon it for next season. The most wonderful thing about the garden is getting London involved and giving her a chance to see full cycle the growth from seed to vegetable to the table, although she is not the best vegetable eater. Hopefully one day in her teens or later in life she will reflect back on these early years with a fond memory of helping her mom and nana harvest the garden and influence her own choices whether it be what she chooses to eat, where it comes from or even creating her own little garden wherever she is at.
One of the chores we had to do some time this past weekend was to put in the dock and a chore that I dreaded the most. Not just because the water was chilly but more so due to the ‘leadership style’ exhibited by my dad. He is not the best communicator when it comes to giving instructions and not only does he expect you to understand what he is thinking but he is impatient and quick tempered which makes it a frustrating experience for all to endure. Before we knew it, he also volunteered us to help with the neighbour’s dock so now the chill factor from the water became a more paramount concern as it must not have been more than 12 degrees celsius out at the time. Having said this, I did have the plan to test out my friend’s wetsuit sometime this weekend for I was hoping to get a sense of what it would be like to wear it in anticipation for training for a half ironman next year. I figured now was probably the best time to put it on and get the docks out and then get in the swim and be done with it. Almost like it was an unnecessary evil to get through. There is no question that stepping into the frigid lake was cold on the feet and ankles but every part that was covered by the wetsuit stayed toasty warm. Naturally I was elected to go into the deeper end to tend to the dock and carefully without posing any harm to the wetsuit, we efficiently took out two docks. It was the least painful dock removal experience to date, and much of it has to do with the wet suit and the fact that my neighbour was present, so my dad was on his best behaviour. Given that the wet suit was sleeveless I must admit that I did debate whether I was going to continue with the swim and started to come up with a million different excuses. With pride in one hand and sanity in the other I took the plunge leading with pride and started to do lengths, alternating between the back stroke and front stroke. I am not doing a good job in trying to describe the experience for I have rewritten what it was like numerous times over but everything flowed and each stroke was effortless, sure there was some buoyancy from the wetsuit and additional help from the flippers I wore but it went beyond that. Maybe some of the experience was due to the fact that no one else was swimming in the lake and it was just me who was experiencing the peace and tranquility of it with the gorgeous backdrop of the colourful maples and oak trees. Who knows but I can say for those few minutes it felt like a little peace of heaven.
A couple of other favourites from the weekend:
All photos except the Turkey are my husband’s.