Monday, 27 July 2015


There is something so unnatural to me about the way humans live in the rich and developed nations. Me, for example. I arise at a ridiculous hour, rush to a sterile office, and sit on my ample behind all day, staring at a screen. And for what - so I can move a raw material from A to B, so that people in far-flung places can manufacture an unnecessary and ecologically damaging - if convenient - product? I think many of us have lost all meaning in our work. I know I need a career change.

Maybe that's why I love vacations so much - it is a time to leave the inanity of everyday tasks behind and just live. I don't mean the kind where you hop on a plane and rush off to another city to file through museums and . Nope, I'm talking about the kind where you slap on the sunscreen and slap at the mosquitoes while attempting not to spill your sangria on your four year old.

A few weeks ago, S and I loaded up kids, beach toys, and not nearly enough snacks and made our annual trip to a little cottage resort on a little lake in Ontario. (Okay, we've only gone twice. But that is half of the years that Pickle has been alive, so it counts.) I seriously LOVE this place. The cottages are (mostly) ant-free, the beach is sandy, and the water is warm and shallow. There are always about four thousand other kids around, and they run free all day like little wild animals.


Well, I guess there was some supervision.

beach fun!

On one slightly rainy day, we took the kids back to the Bonnechere Caves. Pickle has been talking all year about how he wanted to go back and see the whirlpool and the bats. There is no actual whirlpool, and there are no bats (at least, not at this time of year), but his imagination is so vivid that when we visited last year, he took in every word of the guide's recounting of how the caves were discovered. He's now pretty much convinced that he was present for the whole thing.

Bonnechere Caves - secret passageways and alien eggs
Fast friendships are made, and seven year old-sized crushes are developed. No phones, TVs, or computers intrude on family time, and even cell service is spotty. Everyone is so friendly, and relaxed, and in a sharing and giving kind of headspace. A week there always restores my faith in humans. This year we met an especially lovely family with children ages 2, 4, and 8, and had a blast sharing food, drink, childminding and memory-making. I didn't want to leave.

Then, on our way home, we stopped in a sweet little town and found this scary spiked-skull church.

Vacations are awesome.

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