Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Simple Kind of Beauty

This weekend, my girlfriend and I elected to test the ice and go for a walk. The low-pinging laser-beam noise of expanding ice no longer echoed beneath my feet and there were snowmobiles and ice fishing holes dotting the lake, so it seemed pretty safe. So off we went to visit my uncle, who lives on the other side of Buck Lake.

It was a beautiful day. Sunglasses were a necessity, and I spent most of the time with my jacket undone. The walk over to Uncle Rick's side was pleasant enough, but when we crossed the highway, we were in for quite the surprise.

Apparently, it had started with a few small skating ponds. And then some of the closer ponds built paths between them, so that they could go for a visit. By the time we arrived, it was like a highway of skating paths cutting across the lake's surface. Over 4.6 km worth. Around the lake they stretched, from house to house and skating rink to skating rink.

You couldn't stop for two minutes without someone skating by for a visit. It's the sense of community that you just don't get in a city. You could stop to talk to a complete stranger about how nice the weather was, what the skating was lake, what kind of winter we'd been having, etc. and think nothing of it.

We found Uncle Rick and Annie with hockey sticks in hand not a surprise, he played for the Boston Bruins alongside Bobby Orr, back in the day - and their golden retriever with about three hockey pucks in her mouth. Neighbours came and went, and I think I met more people on that one day than I've met during the rest of this year at the cottage. Everyone was a little surprised that we crossed the other side of the lake. Apparently the ice wasn't quite as thick as we'd figured.

I wish I'd taken a picture. The sight of all those paths, criss-crossing across the lake to turn a snow-covered hunk of ice into a social outing... the dogs playing in the snow as their owners played hockey... neighbours catching up and wishing one another well... it was a thing of beauty. And all for the price of an old pair of skates.

I was without a set of my own, but Uncle Rick says he'll dig up a pair for the next time I'm out. I'm looking forward to it.

The Benefit Dinner has officially been moved back. I'm grateful for that. Otherwise, I would've been spending this week running around like an absolute maniac. This way, I can enjoy the trip to Venezuela without worrying about whether or not I had enough napkins, or if the caterer was going to cancel at the last minute.

Still no luck finding a good Venezuelan cigar brand. Looks as though I'm going to have to bring my own. I still have a good number of the Costa Rican cigars kicking around, so that shoulnd't be that much of an issue. Though apparently some of the other people that we're traveling with are also cigar smokers. Knowing me, I'll end up giving away more than I smoke. But perhaps that's a good thing. I sounded like the Godfather when I got back from Cuba.

Jake and I celebrated his newfound singleness yesterday. As is my custom, I took him to the strippers and bought him lapdances to mark the occasion. Once again, Jake, I apologize. She looked a lot younger from across the room.

We left early, as I was supposed to pick Mom up at the airport at midnight. Turns out her flight was delayed, so Jake and I elected to finish off the evening with a good cigar and a glass of crazy-old scotch. All in all, a good night.


At 9:25 p.m., Blogger Riz said...

You have to use a better mail server. I didn't get your e-mail about last night until this morning and I didn't get your e-mail about tonight until after 6. Then again, it could be my mail server but I'll stick the blame on you. :)

At 8:20 a.m., Blogger Ryan said...

The one re: Jake is definitely the mail server at work. I heard similar stories from everyone that the message was sent to. As for the one re: wings, I blame your mail server. Regardless, I need to start giving more than two hours advance notice (by e-mail) when asking people if they want to go out and hit up the town.


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