Draft clean-up day part 2: I started writing this July 18th. The photos are Ryan’s, and have not been edited.

I’ve got a couple of trips to my nephew’s cabin planned this summer, a family one in July (now passed), and another in August with a friend.

The family get together was beyond perfect . The weather was flawless except for the one black cloud that rained buckets on me as I was leaving (I think it was trying to tell me to stay!). I got to spend time with nephew Ryan who lives in Halifax, and his fiancee Jenny. I swam with my great-niece and -nephew, went kayaking, boated, watched sunsets, drank good beer, waved sparklers and watched fireworks launched from the end of the dock, and laughed with my family over Uno (with the kids) and Cards Against Humanity (after kids went to bed).

I think the second funniest moment of the weekend was during the CAH game, when Ryan realized that he would have to read “an icy handjob from an Edmonton hooker” in front of his rather staid mother. The funniest moment was when we all realized that she was the one that played it to him!

There other standout moments. Matt, the nephew who owns the cottage, had arranged for a float plane to come to lake and give us rides. He had won the rides in a raffle the year before, and arranged it for the weekend we were all there by happy accident. He gave no indication of it until that morning; this is good as no doubt the anxiety that still lives in the back of my head would have been much more prevalent if I’d had time to think about all that could go wrong. There were a few white knuckle moments, but only a few. Excitement and delight drowned out the anxiety pretty effectively, so effectively that I went up a second time. I remember looking at the expanse of lakes and trees, at Silver Peak bumping up from the Canadian Shield, at the jagged coast of Georgian Bay, and thinking how incredibly lucky I am to live so close to this rugged beauty. I know many people who are passionate about their corner of the planet, but I couldn’t help but think how that would change if they ever experienced Northern Ontario.

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Saw some wildlife too – on the way back from Killarney for fish & chips and ice cream, a black bear loped into the road a ways in front of us. Matt slowed down when he saw her stop in the middle of the road and turn her head back the way she had from and bellow. Very quickly, two cubs bounded out of the brush at the side of the road and ran across the road toward her. She ushered them into the bush and we got a glimpse of all three of them looking at us as we passed.

I did have one hiccup…while I was unplugged, I wasn’t technology free. I’d brought my iPhone and put it on airplane mode, to take pictures and video of the weekend and make another little movie like the one ┬ámade when we were there for a weekend in February. On the last night of my visit, were all sitting on the dock, chatting and watching a truly spectacular sunset. Ryan, my brother Doug and I would occasionally get up and take a picture or two. I was sitting at the end of the dock to get a shot using the Slow Shutter app when my phone decided that it wanted to see what it was like at the bottom of the lake.

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Yes. I dropped my phone off the dock. Insert a few expletives here. don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am particularly attached to it, and all of the data is backed up, which is the important part. Well, most of the data. Because there is no technology or cell service, the photos of the plane trip, the family playing and the sunsets were not backed up.

Luckily, Matt was far more quick-thinking than I was and ran to the shed to get goggles and had dove in after it before I had even remembered that I was still in my bathing suit. It was still on, which I took as a good sign, and immediately turned it off and put it in a container of rice. It was at about 5% battery when it went into the lake, so I wasn’t too panicky when it didn’t turn on the next morning. And while it did turn on when I got it home and plugged it in to my computer, it was stuck in a reboot cycle. It was easily replaced, and while I regret losing the pictures, I am very grateful that Ryan and Doug are sharing their’s with me.