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Lakeside life...
and the distant thunder of the world

Friday, July 22, 2016

The sun is sparkling on the waves,. the air is mild – not too hot, not too cold.  Birds sing in the trees overhead, and we can hear the sound of children at play not far down the lake.

This year’s stay at our cottage is about as perfect as it can be.  And the rude, often frightening world seems very far away.

We buy a Saturday newspaper when we go to town for church and for supplies, and I look at it throughout the following week.  As for my Internet access, it’s spotty, at best, because the day of having “dial-up” from our cabin is long gone.  When I want to send or receive email, or post stuff like this to my website, I must walk through the woods to my neighbour, Ken’s, cabin, sit on a park bench that he has placed near the shore, and wirelessly access his satellite receiver.  Even though Ken says “come any time,” I’m reluctant to do so when he and his guests are enjoying some family time in the water.  And I certainly don’t do it in the pouring rain, or at night when millions of bugs come racing towards the light of my computer screen.

Speaking of bugs, up until quite recently this could have been called “The Year of the Bugs.”  The front of my car was plastered with their flattened corpses, after we drove through northern Ontario on our way here, and at night they would pound themselves into oblivion on the lighted windows of our cabin, or on the outside lamps that illuminate the path.  When I would do outdoor chores during the day, I’d come back into the cabin covered in bites.

But that seems to be diminishing now, as July slowly creeps towards August (people familiar with Canadian forests know that bugs are, for the most part, a springtime thing).  We can sit down on the dock and watch the waves in their solemn glistening procession, without ourselves becoming a meal for insects.

My visits to the Internet, infrequent though they may be, have told me about Brexit; about attacks by ISIS 1 sympathizers in various parts of the world; about guns in the U.S. being pointed and discharged at gay people, black people and police officers; and about Melania Trump “borrowing” some lovely and heart-warming phrases from the wife of the president whom her husband loves to disparage....

So I can’t escape the world entirely.

Especially when visitors and phone calls breathlessly inform me about that squeaky “stop,” then “go” vote regarding same-sex marriage, that took place in the General Synod of my Anglican Church of Canada.  I’ve been asked what I think about all that, and I’m considering putting my opinions into an essay for this website... but then, sitting and watching the sun on the waves is so refreshing and peaceful...!

We should be here at the lake until September, at which time we will set out with friends on a motor tour of Canada’s Maritime Provinces.  If all goes according to plan, we will be back in Winnipeg by the beginning of October.

a car covered in bugs, and a cottage with bugs collecting under an outdoor light

When we arrived at the cottage, the front of the car [left] was covered in bugs.  The cottage itself [right] also had many insect visitors.

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1  “ISIS” – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  It’s sometimes called “ISIL,” where the letter “L” represents Lebanon, instead of Syria.  A common name used, particularly in the Middle East, but also in Europe, is “Daesh,” which I gather is somewhat derogatory.
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