On the shores of Lake Erie’s bay sit a small grouping of cottages, two rows deep, inhabited in warmer months by those with a fondness for all things Lake Erie. Like many of us who live abreast the shores of a great lake, we wind down the late fall, preparing our homes and hearts for the slower, colder pace of our winter. Winter is not optional here. There’s no getting around it, no “mild winters” ahead for this area. Lake effect snow and wind chills are a fact of life, part of every native’s vocabulary in these parts.
No complaints here. I do tire of winter come April–but now, in this latter part of autumn, I embrace stacking wood (my chore of the day), lighting a fire, watching the trees glow with the brightened feathers of our cardinals feeding on sunflower seed treats. I love the smell of the pine-scented candle and welcome the stringing of holiday lights upon my white picket fence (chore #2 of the day). Curtains pulled early, stew steaming on the stove, cats and dogs curled up for the evening, I am ready. I am hunkered down.