This morning, as I begged my stubborn (and clearly Southern bred) car to crank in spite of the cold, I was reminded of our last winter, which we spent in a house on Lake Fairlee. So I'm told, the lake is at its best during the summertime, but I must say that we treasured being there in the late fall, winter, and spring. Each morning I would wake up, grab a cup of coffee (my favorite being French Vanilla with cream, yum), and sit watching the lake for a few minutes before I started my hectic day. Most mornings I preferred sitting on the screened-in porch, wrapped up a bit to stay warm, but also enjoying the bite of the cold on my arms and cheeks. It was relaxing and inspiring to watch the wildlife and the mists rising off of the water, not to mention the hot air balloons that often floated overhead. I snapped hundreds of pictures and posted them on Facebook so frequently that I'm pretty sure there were a few people who wanted to unfriend me.
However, the greatest excitement for us was when the lake started to freeze. You see, coming from the South, we had little experience with frozen bodies of water. Sure, there would be the occasional icy puddle in a dirt driveway, but never a pond or a lake frozen enough to walk or, better yet, skate upon! Every few days my husband painstakingly (and bravely, in this Southerner's estimation) stepped out to check whether the lake was frozen enough to walk upon. Imagine the excitement of my girls when it finally was! Or, better yet, when they were able to skate and sled on it! My husband patiently pulled them around on a sled attached to a rope and just as patiently taught our youngest how to skate on her brand-new ice skates. Like her dad, she was a natural. It was so much fun to watch them careening around on the ice (and, I must admit, quite amusing when they fell).
While it was sad when too much snow built up on the lake to skate, we were soon in thrall of the ice fishermen who had set up camp on the lake. My only exposure to ice fishing had been in the excellent Grumpy Old Men movies. (For the uninitiated, the dead fish reference is from the first one.) For myself, my fishing experience is limited to bass fishing in small lakes and ponds with my parents back in North Carolina. (Where, I am proud to admit, I disproved their admonition that lots of talking would scare the fish away. Remind me to tell you about the ten pound bass I caught one time.) Sadly, last winter we were never brave enough to head out there and introduce ourselves to the ice fishers and, most likely, display our complete ignorance about the pastime. I'm hoping that we'll build up our courage enough to do so this year and maybe, one day, try it for ourselves! Until then, though, if anyone wants to enlighten me about it, drop me a line! Until next time, y'all have a good one!