Wednesday, 1 October 2014

City Mouse Country Bumpkin

View from our front porch

We are now living in the glorious County of Mulmur Ontario. It was a "smooth" transition from our family home in the metropolis of Orangeville. We are now officially " country folk" in a small community which used to be a summer vacation get away for "city folk". Springwater Lakes has grown and transitioned from a cluster of weekend cottages surrounding 2 spring fed ponds to about 30 homes of people who have learned to bear a commute south on winding winter roads.

 Rural living is proving to have a set of charms I had not anticipated. The "intersection" in our neighbourhood has no stop signs. Such a difference from the standard 4 way stops of Orangeville with typical Canadian courtesy, making driving almost frustratingly polite. Here our 2 gravel roads come to cross and I am yet to meet another car there. Even if we did meet, the well-respected 20 kilometer per hour speed limit makes it pretty simple to negotiate.

I didn't know one could go 20km/hr
A second note is the practice of dropping kids bikes at the bus shelter . I find this lovely that bikes sit without a massive chain looped through each wheel. I also think that the children's bikes and go carts along the roadside are the best subliminal reminders of the 20 kilometer speed limit. Red Fischer Price wagons are everywhere but do not seem to be a child's toy. Everyone has a wagon.  They are used for different things.  Some roll their garbage to the curb,  Some serve as a beer cart.  Ours is a fire station to carry water for the bonfire.

Back in the Wild

Our animals are also learning what it means to be back to their roots. The cat thinks she is a tiger. She is stalking different prey up here.  No more city mice for her.  She is primed and ready to take down a coyote.  On our walks she darts around us always within earshot but without acknowledging that we are there. She reminds me of our children when they were teenagers. The dog thinks she is a cow, grazing constantly. She seems to fancy the grass growing over the septic field. She is also pooping like a rock star. A coincidence? I think not.

Beautiful by deadly
My behavior is changing too. I now swim in the pond, rather than shower. Access to the basement laundry room is difficult at the moment.  There is a narrow winding staircase that I have sworn not to use. Therefore, here in the country, I rarely do laundry. I am yet to put any make up on. I wear red rubber boots and have been known to walk up the road to the mailbox in my slippers.
I am working hard to gain a reputation. Despite my quirks people have been very friendly and not just Canadian "polite" friendly.  People have actually invited us over. There is definitely a "cottage vibe" going on, so much so that I keep procrastinating on cleaning.  I just keep thinking " I will do one big 10 second tidy before we go home".  Wait a minute...

One thing I had not anticipated was the enthusiasm of our friends and family who live in more urban areas. We have had lovely visits.I do the indoor tour of our 2 bedroom home. It is very well-designed to make overnight guests feel comfortable and a bit "away from it all".  It would be a perfect Bed and Breakfast, but we call it our "B and W".  This means that one might expect clean sheets (B) but breakfast (B) is at the discretion of the hostess and depends primarily on the amount of wine(W) consumed at dinner the previous night.   We should provide vouchers for a Greasy Spoon down the road ("see you at noon").  
Lifelong Friends get to wear the Red boots.

We are embracing the entertaining because apparently it comes to a sharp halt in November.

We are yet to experience a winter north of Hwy 89 but Derek and I both hope and are determined to remain in awe of this place. The summer, though some feel was less than spectacular has been beautiful in this oasis.  However, as I watch the brilliant fall colours emerge,  I am reminded that the seasons are changing.  The snow will surely fly next month. I am in denial and it is very comfortable. We have All Wheel Drive and a wood stove. We have cans of soup and a snow blower.  How bad can it be? When I ask our friendly neighbours about the winter, everyone gets this funny look on their face. Kind of like the look I have when women who are about to give birth for the first time ask what labour is like.. "Oh it will be fine. We all get through it." Why burst the bubble of denial.

Until November, when we start to experience a different side of Springwater Lakes, we will continue to smugly feel we have won the lottery. The natural beauty of this place coupled with the tranquil neighbourhood setting has me wondering, from time to time, if this is a dream. I think our neighbours, though refreshingly friendly, may decide that  "if the nice smelly lady in the red boots asks me to pinch her", I will politely say "no".

I still can't believe I live here.

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