This has been some winter, let me tell you. Or at least, if you live in Southern Ontario, especially anywhere near the shore of Lake Ontario, I don’t have to tell you; you know perfectly well about the ice storm and the bitter cold and the seemingly unending snowfall and the blowing snow, all of which have made our lives rather miserable since well before Christmas, and that show no signs of letting up.
Raymond is a little given to looking on the bright side, however. He keeps pointing out how beautiful winter is here in the country, with vast expanses of sparkling white fields, and evergreen trees looking Christmas card-like with their branches laden with white. And he compares it, favourably, to winter in the city, where the snow quickly gets dirty and ugly, and where it’s a trial finding a place to park on your street after a snowfall, and where you then have a monster shovelling-out job after the plow blocks in your car. And where driving around through the slush and/or accumulated snow just makes a person crabby.
And he’s right, actually.
This winter, our first in full-time residence at the Manse, has certainly brought its challenges – a near-miss with power failure during the ice storm; some challenging commutes to work, as I wrote about here; and shovelling, endless shovelling – but there really is compensation to be had in the beauty that is all around us here in Queensborough and environs.
And it isn’t just the beauty of nature that can lift one’s spirits; sometimes the winter work of humans does too. Like the homemade outdoor hockey rink that you can see in the photo atop this post, which Raymond and I admire every time we pass by it on Queensborough Road on our way to or from Tweed. With its well-cleared rectangular surface, the net at the end ready to be scored in, and the two hockey sticks parked atop that net waiting for the next skaters to arrive – all with a backdrop of woods and pristine snow and, this morning when I took the photo, the rising sun just beginning to bring some rose colour to the clouds – it is a happy reminder of the joys of winter. In the country.