Our family cottage, with which you folks have become familiar over the last few years, has all the amenities necessary for a comfortable life. At least it does from May to sometime in October. Because it is not insulated, nor does it have a foundation, the pipes would freeze and split during winter if the water remained connected.
Therefore, every October, sometime after (Canadian) Thanksgiving, a local handyman comes around, turns off our water, drains the pipes and fills the traps with antifreeze. From that point on, until late spring, trips to the cottage are of short duration and very much weather-dependent.
The weather this fall has been so darn balmy that we hoped the handyguy would postpone his work into November. When contacted and asked about that possibility, he said it "depends." Which is local-speak for a shrug of the shoulders.
So when we ventured up there last weekend, even though it was two weeks after Thanksgiving, I was hopeful that we'd still have running water.
Adjustments must be made when one is living without plumbing. Bathing, washing dishes, going to the bathroom - all become tasks which require foresight, planning and resigning oneself to a certain measure of discomfort. It helps to remember that not many generations ago, folks lived that way all the time. It also helps to be a bit nuts.
But what really helps, when you're "showering" outside in a cold rain, then rinsing off in a 55F (12C) lake, is to lubricate oneself on the inside first with a belt or three of Scotch.
It was BennyTheJackRussellTerror's first visit and he was in heaven. He loved having endless room to run and surprisingly, seemed untroubled by the fact we were plumbing-challenged. He delighted us by inventing a new game - a game of stunningly-inspired lunacy.
It was windy much of the time. Wind affects lakes by making waves. Waves roll onto shore. Benny's shore. They must be thwarted. So he took it upon himself to patrol the rocky shoreline, defending all and sundry from the endless parade of waves by biting them. I'll add a link to the video evidence at the end of this.
A highlight for me was seeing not one, not two, but three otters playing a short distance from our dock. In my 40 years of cottaging at that lake, I'd never seen an otter before. To see three gamboling a few feet away was breathtaking. Unfortunately, by the time a camera arrived on scene, they were out of reasonable picture range.
Here are a few pics from when my camera was with me:
A plus on dark, rainy days from a photographic viewpoint, is the wonderful colour saturation.
Without running water, this unpretentious little shack out back assumes an important role.
Benny is prepared to defend the rock from the next wave's onslaught.
The next three images show how patience can be rewarded and why it's always a good idea to have a camera handy. The day was dark and unsettled. A few moments before sunset, a glow began to appear in the west. The pictures were taken in approximately 5-minute intervals.
Hilary has also blogged about the visit and posted pictures. As of this writing, I haven't seen hers yet. I'm pretty sure we're going to near-duplicate some pictures but I didn't want to be influenced by what she posted. I know she's taken some great shots though. You can visit her blog, The Smitten Image, by clicking here.
As promised, you can see a snippet of Benny's heroic wave-biting here.