Blood, Sweat and Tears….

I am being a little dramatic but there was blood….drawn by thousands of mosquitos that have been longing for human contact. Sweat….mowing a hay field with a push mower isn’t an easy task. Tears….well, those belonged to my kids as I beat them game after game of Uno and Rummy-O!

Ryan makes a second trip around the hay field!

Ryan makes a second trip around the hay field!


We just spent three days at my favorite place in the world…Lake Shawanaga in Dunchurch, Ontario, Canada. Never heard of it? Good. That’s part of what makes it so special. On this lake it there is a (not huge) cabin with no electricity, no plumbing, no telephone, no wi-fi but an amazing view of a lake. Everyone will agree that the views are spectacular but most people would want a more luxurious house. Not me. Vacations should be different from everyday life not just a continuation of normal routines. This cabin forces us to be different. We aren’t distracted by outside things. We take canoe trips. We swim. We read. We play board games. Meals are eaten together. Basically, the cabin makes you a family whether you are related or just friends.

A perfect place to read

A perfect place to read

Rhubarb makes us happy

Rhubarb makes us happy


This property has been in my family since 1937. My great-grandfather bought the property (which is in the Parry Sound region) for back taxes. Stories vary but he saw the property advertised in the Toronto paper and paid somewhere in the $5 to $10 range. There was a small problem. Someone else had slo paid for the same property. My great-grandfather was offered a different piece of land. He accepted. Turns out it was for the best. The original place had (and still to our knowledge) no road access. Now, in 1937 the “road” was more of a cow path but it was still a start. There was an old homesteader’s cabin on the property and that served the family well for a number of years. My grandfather and his dad built the current cabin themselves in the late 1950’s. Not a small feat when you can’t use power tools. It was this labor of love (and perseverance) that we still enjoy today.
A view of the cabin from across the lake

A view of the cabin from across the lake


The cabin has now been entrusted to my aunt. As I sat at the dining table, alternately glancing at the lake and my kids playing Uno, I can only hope and pray that they have the opportunity to watch their children (MANY years from now) discover old-fashioned family time at the cabin too.

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About amymapes

I am a mom with 3 kids who are growing up too fast. I love to bake and come up with hair-brained schemes that make my kids roll their eyes. We try to do lots of different things as a family....sometimes my kids even enjoy it!
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