From Silvia Gilcrest
Jim and I have been living at our cottage since March 16. We have very limited email capabilities and no television, so we get our news by Jim driving into Kinmount each day and purchasing a newspaper. We also try to listen to the CBC 6pm news. So, we are almost completely unconnected!
We drive down to Aurora to our condo every two or three weeks to pick up mail, etc. and stay one or two nights. I am currently writing this in Aurora.
Our cottage is a beautiful bungalow that is 60 ft. long and 30 ft. wide, except where our bedroom is, which is 15 foot wide. We have a deck around three sides, and the corner outside our bedroom (there are patio doors) is a perfect place to catch the sun in winter, spring and fall, but not in the summer, as it is too hot. We have several places where we can sit, depending on the weather, plus a sunroom.
We are not on a lake. We own about ten acres of forest, with about two acres around the house being cleared. We are on a ridge and when we look out of our living room we look down the hill into a valley. Jim and I have been walking around the two acres, up hill and down dale, four times every morning. Mika, our dog, comes with us and runs like the wind. She absolutely loves our walks. I then do some stretching exercises. The rest of the time, Mika likes to chase squirrels and chipmunks.
Jim works outside, while I work inside. I have cleaned all the drawers, cupboards, and closets in the house. I do jigsaw puzzles, sudoko, crossword puzzles, I am knitting (!), practicing my ukulele and writing my memoirs as well as reading lots of books. I had a bag of unread books in the condo that I never seemed to be able to get to. I am working through them, plus reading some classics. One that I have read is The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. It is a book I purchased from the Old Curiosity Shop in London, England in 1959 and have never read it. I am a big Dickens fan and have a collection of his books. I have also had my Jane Austen fix. I have read Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion (my favourite).
Since being up there we have had two moose walk past our living room windows, we have seen lots of deer, and the racoons have been out. There was one day when we looked out to see 11 wild turkeys on the front lawn. In the way of birdlife, we have a rose breasted grosbeak that is hanging around, the usual blue jays, mourning doves, and woodpeckers — both hairy and downy. We also have a pileated woodpecker that I saw the other day. We have chickadees, nuthatches, and a zillion American goldfinches. We have also had numerous red wing blackbirds and grackles. We have also heard a white throated sparrow and we have our resident phoebe. So there have been lots of wildlife sightings, not to mention the many red squirrels and chipmunks who take over!
We usually have a barbecue in the evening, but not always. Jim always washes up and then we play Rummikub. Jim is very competitive and doesn’t like to lose, but I have been winning many of the games, much to his chagrin. After Rummikub, we have cheese and crackers, and the dog joins us at the table for some cheese (the only time!). It is about 9 pm by that time and so we head off to bed and read for 30 minutes to an hour before shutting off the light.
That is how we have been spending our time. We hope you are all healthy and safe. One of these days we will be able to reminisce over what we did during the pandemic!