Friday, August 25, 2006

In Canada (Pt. 2)

Last time I updated my Canada story, I was at the cottage with my friend and her two wonderful kids and my uncle Dave. It was HOT. My friend bogarted the one available fan "for the kids," so I had a gruesome sleep, even though I was in one of the much cooler basement bedrooms. Wednesday morning was still hot, and it got hotter with the sun out- but it wasn't such a big deal, as the heat was easily combated with a jump in the lake. The kids played well together on the beach with a bunch of toys gathered from the pump house. (Many years ago it actually housed our cottages fresh water pump- froma well dug deep in the ground, but not it just holds all manner of crap - toys, fishing gear, inner tubes and skis, life jackets, and so forth.)

With my uncle Dave watching the kids for a bit here and there, Joanie and I would wander off into the forest or out to the road in back to smoke. Smoke smoke. It was good.

Sometime in the afternoon we welcomed the 1st of our "weekend guests," (even though it was only mid-week! Tommy's a 40-something year old honey. Long haired, easy going, and funny, he's one of my favourite of my uncle's buddies. My uncle Dave is about six and a half year older than my brother and I, so he's kind of like an older brother than and "uncle." He and his beautiful and fun wife don't have any children (though they care for a bunch of animals) and this, in part (I think) has kept them young and partiful. Party-full, I mean. In short, FUN. Dave's especially lucky, I think, because he's managed to maintain a bunch of long-term friends who all know each other, and being around them makes me very happy. Laughs are plentiful. Our other guest was a 50-something year old guy nicknamed "Laser Larry," who I'd met years before at a cottage event. I'm not sure what the "Laser's" all about. When drinking, he's a rambling mumbly fellow, and when sober he's a helpful kind gentle soul. Good first guests!

For dinner, the guys were going to go into town and dine and drink at the excellent restaurant in town. Joanie and I would sort the kids out and then BBQ up something from the fridge (chicken breasts, sausages, or thick pork chops) I'd picked the day before. However, before any of that could happen, the wind picked up and the skies turned an ominous colour.
I nudged Joanie and said "Hey man, look how green the sky is! Dat's veerd, eh?"

And Mother Nature, fed up with something or other, unleashed one hell of a storm on us. Our cottage is maybe - I dunno - thirty feet from the lake? But the lake disappeared. The front lawn disappeared. All we could see was a torrent of wind blown rain and a pouring of water from the overflowing eavestroughs hanging from the edges of the roof. And then we saw nothing. The power cut out at about 7pm or so. The lightening and resulting thunder was so close, everyone jumped with each flash. A call on someone's cell to town confirmed power was out there as well, so we all fed on sandwiches and beer. Because, you know, the power was out. And the beer was going to get warm. We couldn't have that, could we?

My friend and her children retired to their fan-less room around 9:30pm, and the other four of us retreated to the "Muskoka Room," (the screened in room off the front deck) where we could smoke and drink and talk too loudly. My uncle had picked up a freebie from "Kokanee Beer" at a bar, which was a neon "K" on a necklace. With that (which was surprisingly bright) and a couple of candles jammed into beer bottles - and flashlights saved for visits inside to the washroom (for me) or to the forest (for the guys) we, well, partied. Hard.

There was always someone talking, and usually it was TWO people talking at least (as Laser Larry doesn't STOP talking when he's drinking!) We played Euchre. We smokem da peace pipes. We laughy our asses off. It turned out (go figure) to be one if my favourite nights back home. It was good. The vibe was excellent. I worried my friend or one of her children would wake to the sound of our drunken blah-blabbiness, but the next morning Joanie told me she'd slept like a log for almost 11 hours. The power was still out as people roused. I finally fired up all three of the cottage barbeques to boil water for coffee and cook all the meat in the refrigerator.

It turns out that the green skies meant, unfortunately, what I thought they did, and eight tornadoes touched down in our province that evening. By mid-afternoon, the electricity was still out and our neighbours came over to report that they'd called Hydro One and were told that power might not be restored until Sunday evening.

This was a problem. It was Thursday afternoon, and in a few hours we were expecting the first of FORTY or more guests who would spend a five day weekend at our cottage!

To be continued!

1 comment:

John McCrarey said...

Sounds like a great time so far. Looking forward to the next chapter.

We had a hurricane in Virginia a couple of years ago and lost power for a few days. So yeah, we did the drinking and playing cards by candle light thing, plus grilling up everything in the freezer. On the one hand a pain in the ass, on the other kinda like camping out. That whole life's lemons into lemonade thing.

Care to elaborate on the difference between "smoke smoke" in the woods, smoking on the porch, and the peace pipe thing? I'm not up on all the current lingo (being as I'm closer to Laser Larry's age than yours), but I have an active imagination. Why else would a cabin in the woods in Canada make me think of the great time I had in Amsterdam?