Updated: Sep 19
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and, in many cases, its true of this old dog. 2020 has been a different year for most of us. Things I used to do with no thought and some enjoyment like grocery shopping or picking up supplies for the garden have become stressful. Recently we were lucky enough to get to spend a couple of weekends up North at the cottage. And I do mean lucky, I am aware that this is a luxury and don’t take it for granted. On both outings I found myself saying yes to doing a few things that in a regular year I may have passed on. What a pleasant surprise. Turns out the marketers were wrong for all those years and I shouldn’t have been saying “No” and instead answered “Yes”
Take a Hike
I am not a morning person at the best of time. Talk to me before I have had a chance to inhale a cup of coffee and beware. Padding around the cottage fiddling with a cuppa I bumped into my father in law Roger. He asked what the plan was for the day and I indicated nothing major. A swim, some casting off the dock and maybe a boat ride. “How about going for a hike” he asked. Not wanting to be rude I said sure, if we have time. Honestly, I think my first thought was “the kids can go” and I would make myself scarce when it came time to head out. Lazy and a bit of a jerk move I know but the night before the bugs were ravenous and I had only packed flip flops – a hike just didn’t pack a whole lot of appeal.
Once we were all out of bed and up my FIL broached the subject with the entire family and it was a resounding yes. I hadn’t been fast enough and I was stuck going on the hike damnit! I must admit as we worked our way through the forest and gradually came up on a huge rock plateau covered in moss and scrub the view was spectacular. The scent of the North hit me and a firm breeze seemed to keep the bugs at bay, it was amazing. We worked our way through the trail to emerge on a small dirt road and got a glimpse of the lake. As the mosquitos returned, so did we back into the trail. This time as we made on way across the ridge, we started to gather rocks to make an Inukshuk (a monument or cairn attributed the people of the Artic). A quick family photo was snapped and we made our way back to the cottage. Regular cottage stuff commenced but I must say I was glad I had said yes (or not done a good job of hiding).
Take A Late-Night Boat Ride
Fast forward to our most recent weekend at the cottage. It was just about as perfect as could be hot, sunny and the lake was like a pool. My daughter described it best when she told her Uncle Dan “I basically was in a bathing suit or pajamas” After sitting around the campfire we had made our way into the cottage for the night. My son in law Spencer had been going outside on the deck and I finally asked, “what are you looking for”. He mentioned that there was supposed to be a full shadow on the moon “But I can’t see it from the dock or the deck” I kind of shrugged and prepared to read for a bit before calling it a night when someone said “I wonder if we could see it in the boat” As the only person with a boating license I knew the bottle had just stopped at me. I thought about it and said, “Well let’s go check it out then”. With flashlights and blankets, we made our way down to the boat and cast off. We only had to motor out a few hundred yards when the spotlight hit us. The "spotlight" in question being the brightest moon I have ever witnessed. While we didn’t see any shadow pass, we hung out drifting within a long cast of the cottage and soaked it up. Other than the very loud campfire happening on the opposite shore we had the night to ourselves. The kids posed for some pictures of themselves holding the moon. We were only out for 20 minutes or so but once again I was very happy I had said yes.
Those re just two recent stories but honestly, I can think of so many times where I have just decided to say yes and have been rewarded and refreshed with the results. Deciding to jump on a plane from the 1960s to head into the bush for a week’s fishing My First Fly In, buy a fishing kayak Buying a Fishing Kayak or going camping with my family Camping with the Family. I guess for me the lesson learned is that sometimes just saying yes to something new or something that scares you a little can lead to some of your greatest and most rewarding memories!