Monday, March 12, 2007

Home Away From Home

We’re back from the cottage. It’s always a nice little break from our city routine to head “Up North.” Unless one of our boys can take a weekend off from their studies (or partying) it is very, very quiet up there in the winter. I’m used to lots of family during the summer months. (It’s a family compound with three cottages.)

Thought I’d post a few pictures of the little town of Dorset where we do our shopping. (I didn’t post a picture of the liquor store but we frequent that as well.)

Robinson’s General Store is the focal point of town. There’s a big sign on the highway heading into town that says, “Robinson’s General Store — Voted Canada’s Best Country Store.” That might be a bit of a stretch. I certainly wouldn’t want to get into an argument with Canadians from other parts of the country about this. And I think the vote was actually taken in 1981. (They still have my vote in this century.)

The store has been owned and operated by the same family since 1921. Although the produce section can be abysmal, this is more than made up by their baked goods section. Yummy. (Not so great during the summer months when you’re trying to squeeze yourself into your bathing suit.)

In the winter, you can often see deer across the street from the store. Bundles of hay (?) are left out for these creatures.

I’ve also posted a picture of the Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never climbed it. I’m not too fond of heights and well, I’m basically lazy. I was always happy to have my husband take the boys up while I puttered around town. (No, not in the liquor store…)

One of the reason I love this town (and this is very shallow) is the fact that I can (and do) go into town dressed like hell. This is my preferred method of dress — which doesn’t go over well in the big city of Toronto. And this is not a dis to the locals. I’m all for dressing exactly how you want to. Lots of other cottagers do the same.

I think I would do very well living in a small town. Sure, everybody knows everybody else’s business but I’m okay with that. I’m not adverse to some good gossip. A great source of gossip is the woman who is in charge of the local dump. Any woman who will work in a place (without a gun or rifle) that attracts bears has my vote for “Canada’s Best and Bravest Woman.”

I really love the relaxed and friendly atmosphere in this little town. We’re made to feel welcome and not treated in a patronizing way by the locals.

Of course, the taxes we pay are sky high. Cottagers are dinged big-time. I guess that’s okay. As far as I can tell, we benefit from this re: highway maintenance and keeping the dump up to scratch. What more can you ask for? If our tax dollars help to keep these small towns going, that’s a good thing.


DJ Cayenne said...

I'm not too sharp on my Canadian geography, so I looked up Dorset on Google Earth. I was surprised at how close (relatively) "north" is to Toronto.

Your country is enormous. I don't know why, but I'm surprised by that again and again.

Beth said...

dj: Yup - only a 2 - 2 1/2 hour drive (depends on who is driving and the traffic) gets you out of the big city to that beautiful area.

Princess Pointful said...

Sounds delightful! I don't know if that technically counts as Northern Ontario, but I've heard spectacular things about that area.

I think that may be one of my favourite things about Canada... wilderness paradises just a short jaunt away from the city.

Beth said...

princess pointful: It doesn't really count as Northern Ontario.
"Going up North" is just the expression we city-slickers use when referring to going up to the cottage.
(We are heading in a northern direction...)

oreneta said...

It is so so lovely up there, and no it isn't really 'North' but I do miss having space with fewer people in it.

Beth said...

oreneta: I can see (from some of your pictures) how you might feel a bit claustrophobic at times. But you'll be here in the summer, right?
(And then you'll probably miss Spain.)

Dorky Dad said...

Yup. The politicians like taxing visitors because visitors don't vote.

Beth said...

dorky dad: We're the perfect "guests" - we just pay what we're told to pay and are silent. (Actually, there's some rumbling as the realty taxes go up and up - some people who have owned their cottages for years cannot afford the taxes.)

Anonymous said...

sounds's so great you have a place like that to "run away" to and get away from all the big city junk

Beth said...

coffee mom: Sometimes it does feel like I'm running away - but all the "crap" to be done back in the city still awaits my return.