The evenings and mornings are beginning to get cooler here in Red Lake, and the looming presence of winter is felt more than ever. I've never experienced a place and people that talk so much about winter, even on the nicest of summer days. Winter has become like some sort of Greek god in my mind. Maybe he will look down upon us kindly and decide to give us months where our pipes won't freeze and it doesn't hurt to step outside on your quick run to the car. Or maybe he will punish us with painfully cold, short days that isolate us to our homes, staring longingly at our unused snowshoes and skis in the mudroom. With all this winter talk, I feel like I'm in an episode of Game of Thrones.
Winter is coming...
These past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster. I had my first encounter with someone getting upset over a story I wrote in the paper about their business (even though the article was 100% positive). She called to yell at my boss, hoping to get me in trouble. That kicked off my week of thoroughly stalking all of the sources for my upcoming articles because no one would return my calls. This combination of events reminded me how skeptical and critical people can be of journalists, especially in a small town where everyone knows who you are, and even when you're not writing controversial pieces. People have no qualms calling to let you know exactly how they feel about an article or giving you the stink eye in the grocery story while you're mulling over the cheese selection. It definitely has put a bit of fear in me; there is no reckless writing at this paper, that's for sure.
On the bright side, we move into our new home on August 27th! I already have a vision of what I want our little nest to look like--and it is in fact very nest-like. The main living area is upstairs with a beautiful view of the lake in the living room where I plan to hang a white cloth hammock for cozy reading in the afternoons and on weekends.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of accompanying a fellow reporter to a rural home situated at the top of a hill right on its own little lake. While she picked his brain for gardening tips, I wandered through the stalks of chest-high, flowering dill that wafted its signature scent through the air. Chickens scurried through the garden, nibbling on beet leaves. It was a beautiful piece of land that got me excited for cultivating our own slice of outdoor paradise next summer.
We finished the day picking blueberries and pin cherries in the bush, which I took home and made into a delicious cobbler. It was one of those perfect afternoons that make you forget about how crappy your week was. Everyone needs days like that.
So for now, I choose to ignore the warnings and war stories of northwestern Ontario winter survivors--however frightening they may be--and focus on the beautiful days we are experiencing now. We'll deal with the chill when the time comes.