My family and I lived in the little cabin in the woods with the stream in the back well into the month of November when the frost came.
It got cold at night. But we were very hearty folk – and early in the morning – Paula and I would get up before the kids, break the ice in the wash basin and light the fire to warm the cabin. It was cold!
Okay – the kids were not as hearty as Paula and I. They complained that it was “freezing” at night – I guess the ice on the wash basin was a good indicator that it indeed was freezing.
There was another cabin in the woods that was more of a luxury model than ours. It belonged to my cousins Doris and Russ Speers from Toronto. Well, to be exact, the cabin was built by Russ, but I owned the land and I’d often remind him that if he didn’t behave we’d have the cabin towed to the road. It was a luxury model as there was a propane-fired stove, fridge, and heater in the cabin. The kids insisted that we “move up” to this model – and so we did.
I think the kids thought they were in Heaven as there was heat. I think Paula thought she was in the big leagues too as she had a “real” stove that did not require wood! We actually had a fridge.
Remember that we only lived in the cabin(s) while our own house was being built. I couldn’t wish that date would come fast enough. It was difficult to shuffle working full time at Canada Manpower (now the Employment Centre on Owen Street), raising two children, and trying to keep the home-fires literally burning. I guess I didn’t check in on the home construction often enough.
One Saturday morning I awoke in the frigid cold to see my breath in the crisp autumn/ soon to be winter air. I decided to check in on the house.
Well – as I approached the house I saw the vent from the furnace spewing vapours – the furnace was on – there was a furnace! I walked into the house and saw, much to my chagrin – the workers asleep on the floor of MY NEW HOME snug in their heated residence.
I hit the roof – kicked them all out – moved my family in – and that was the end of that.
I always insisted to the kids that they would look back on their “Duff’s Pond” experience fondly and to this day we do all share a few chuckles at the experience.
Stacey and I return to the scene of the crime – the cabin of frost – every once in a while and remember why we appreciate modern conveniences so much. Still – there is no place like Duff’s Pond!