Foerster Cabin

North of Montreal, on the cusp of "la campagne familier", lies a small road off a winding street off a suburban thoroughfare off the highway, and off this small road there is a mailbox with the numbers one, five, and seven just about worn away, and beside this mailbox there is a drive with enough snow cleared to park two cars end-to-end. At the edge of the parking area the snow rises sixteen inches, and the drive continues on down along a detour past a giant fallen pine, and eventually arrives at an Old White Little Anglophone Farmhouse or Cabin (OWLAFOC).

Green trim lines the house's framing, and mossy shingles cover the side of the screened-in porch. Mossy shingles might also cover the roof, but at the moment snow covers what might also cover the roof. There is a pond just past the cabin, down a slight hill. Snow might cover the pond, but at the moment darkness covers what might cover the pond, though the moon is more a great gas lamp than a tallow candle this evening, and it is easy to follow my host and guide.

Ryan Foerster is my host and guide. He has been living up at the cabin for two weeks now. His beard is thick, as are his layers of long johns. It is thirty below zero tonight, which makes it the coldest night of the season thus far. Even the wind stayed in on this crystaline eve. Ryan has made his way here to this Central Quebec 'tindage' to take advantage of his natural rights and freedoms; primarily his right to live like a real Canadian (this includes daily bouts of ice skating, lumberjacking, admiring the wild, Stompin Tom), and his freedom to refrain from communicating in the modern way and to refrain from paying rent. He is also here to take pictures of nature and youth interacting with nature.

Although he has enjoyed the company of his girlfriend, Julie, on several occasions this past fortnight, he has seen little else but Julie, the spruce, and the pine swaying at intervals. This is not entirely true - Ryan has also seen: his neighbour (also the owner of the cabin); some chipmunks; a tadpole; the mail truck; some birds; and a Norwegian Ice rat. Him and Julie bought poison to kill the Ice rat, and since then he hasn't seen the beast.

I am the first to arrive at the cabin; there is a car with Julie and four other friends on their way. Ryan uses a Black plastic sled to transport items from the car to the cabin, and this adds a good teaspoon or more of 'over the river and through the woods' to the whole experience. The rest of the cabin-goers arrive shortly. Their names are Scott, Marianne, Iris and Juan, and they are all very good people, and I'm sorry that I spelled some of their names wrong. This marks the end of my use of the present perfect.

Throughout the weekend, we were able to participate in the full gamut of Nordic activities; skiing, skating, hatcheting ice to draw water from the frozen pond, gathering firewood, drinking, fireworks display (to substitute for the Aurora), hiking, slingshot, toboganning, being cold, and warming up. None of us turned out to be cry-babies, and that made the whole weekend run easy as syrup on flapjacks (which we ate. We also ate a lot of campfire sausages, salad, and soy-based products, which gave me gas).

Many events could be noted at this point, but our time at the cabin was more relaxing than sensational, so I'd rather just let the photographs I've included clue you in to the love.

At the beginning of this blog entry is a pen and ink panoramic drawing of the Cabin vista as seen from the middle of the frozen pond. It was drawn quickly with a cold hand on a sunny day, and the drawing is now in the custody of my mother. Mothers. If it were up to mothers all their sons would practise, exclusively, the art of capturing nature.