Spring WeekendNewsletter | April 18, 2016 | Nik Manojlovich
Weather forecasters told us to expect a warm and sunny SPRING WEEKEND, but nothing prepared us for one last adventure, compliments of Old Man Winter.
I had such wonderful plans for this weekend – put the dock back into the lake, go for a canoe ride, rake the back half of the property, photograph spring flowers, plus bring the outdoor furniture out from the shed. On the drive up, there was even a discussion about the most ambitious goal – to slip on a wetsuit and launch the paddle board!
Well… absolutely none of the above happened. In fact, this SPRING WEEKEND was a complete bust! All of the snow that should have melted by now hasn’t and, the lake is still covered by a solid sheet of ice. Here I was ready to launch a canoe. As if!
I’ve posted a few photos to show you that spring is still a long time coming to cottage country. Despite the disappointment, this SPRING WEEKEND did teach me a few things:
1) Never expect your vehicle to travel down a kilometre-long drive that’s covered in muddy snow. Even if you try going back and forth while hitting the gas screaming, “I’m making a run for it!”, it still won’t go, nor will you. You’ll just get stuck.
2) Keep a sled near the entrance to your property. It’ll come in handy when your vehicle gets stuck in the snow (see above) and you need to carry supplies, groceries, provisions and bags down to the cottage by hand. This can sometimes take three trips – imagine that!
3) When you discover that there is no running water at the cottage, check to see if your foot valve is frozen. A foot valve is the thing attached to the submerged end of the pump hose that brings water in from the lake. No matter how many times you may walk from the cottage to the lake and stare at the frozen valve, the ice will not in fact melt any faster. Just sayin’.
4) Sometimes the pump that draws the water up the hose loses its PRIME, meaning it stops drawing in liquid to push air out, keeping it ready to pump. You can read all about how complicated fixing this problem is by going HERE. It’s also VERY frustrating when this happens, particularly when the pump is located in a crawlspace that has become the winter lodging for a family of fieldmice.
5) I found this next tidbit really interesting – if the pump fails or loses prime, and water stops feeding in to the cottage, you can’t use the washroom facilities. Ot take showers. Or wash dishes. Or do pretty much anything in the kitchen.
6) When you don’t have running water – melt snow. Thankfully this trick helps with the above frustrations. Snow can be scooped into large pots, melted and then boiled so that you can use it to do dishes, wash your face, brush your teeth, and dab your hair in the morning so you don’t look too scary. It’s a complicated, labour-intensive process but it does work.
7) I learned that miniature dachshunds love to lead by example. Dennis was his usual bouncy self this past weekend, running off into the bush to do his business, reminding me, albeit grudgingly, to do the same. The wiener is a good boy.
I think my sister Lisa put it all into perspective with one of her perpetually optimistic reminders – “The lemons of life have served you up a big glass of lemonade!”. Looking back on this SPRING WEEKEND, I’d say this glass of lemonade was GIGANTIC SUPER-SIZE!
Here’s to planning the perfect SPRING WEEKEND at the cottage with the understanding that it will always be about the best laid plans of mice and men!
Although listening to great music is an important part of every Weekend at the Cottage so is reading a good book! Those of you who enjoy historical novels may enjoy – Dead Wake – Erik Larson. I found it riveting and was able to read it within a couple of days. Visit iBooks to add this book to your collection.