Farm life: the epitome of a Canadian winter

We left the house around 11am with the car fully packed, dog-man, ice fishing gear, hockey skates, firewood and a lunch in tow.

As we drove out to Stoney Lake the skies started to open up and we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous afternoon of sunshine. The bluebird skies were more than welcome after a few days of being socked in.

The lake was a happening place for a Sunday. We were not the only ones with this idea and it was clear why just as soon as we stepped on the ice. Aside from a light dusting of snow, it was like glass. It was perfect for skating, ice fishing, and walking on.

We gathered our gear and set out to the other side of the lake, in hopes that there might be some fish in that location. We drilled a few holes with our auger, scooped out the ice, and put in our rods. Now we wait.

While I do enjoy ice fishing, there’s a lot of standing around involved. I don’t have that kind of attention span, so our combo of skating and fishing was just perfect. Plus, the dogs loved chasing us around while we glided along the ice.

I just wished we had some hockey sticks and pucks to play with, so I set a reminder in my phone to take a trip to Togs or Fun Hogs this week and acquire the essentials.

An afternoon of playing in the sunshine was exactly what I needed after an otherwise busy weekend on the farm. Groceries, Christmas shopping, meal prepping, laundry, house cleaning, firewood, garbage runs, the list goes on. Sometimes farm life is just the same as it was when I lived in Kimberley. The every-day chores still need to get done.

It feels great to have a clean house, and a closet full of clean laundry, but it also feels nice to step off of the farm for a while and play. So that’s just what we did.

Skating at Stoney reminded me so much of growing up because every year my Dad would build us a backyard skating rink.

The funny part was, he didn’t even skate! He would spend hours outside, in the freezing cold, making that ice just perfect. He would even string Christmas lights around the rest of the yard and in the trees. Sometimes he’d get really creative and build us chairs or a bench out of ice. It was magical and beautiful and so incredibly fun.

My brothers and I, and our friends, would play hockey for hours at a time. My mom and I would put on music and skate around until our feet were sore. I loved when it would snow and we could pretend to be a Zamboni and shovel the rink smooth. Meanwhile, Dad would be standing by with his boots on, ready to give the rink another flood. Probably laughing at us an how silly we were.

These wonderful winter moments make me feel warm when it’s cold outside. I will always remember the hours my father spent building us those rinks and how much fun we had. Those memories are etched in my brain and I welcome them any time they arise.

I will also always remember these afternoons spent ice fishing and skating and enjoying smokies by the camp fire. Laughing at ourselves for how rusty our skating skills are, and cursing at the lake saying, “there’s no fish in here!”

These moments are the ones we live for, breathe for, and work so hard for. To take a step out onto a frozen lake. To play in our plaid. It’s the epitome of a Canadian winter.

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