Um... I sort of forgot to tell people that I'm on vacation in Quebec! Obviously, this is a much needed break given my last entry. :) Thanks for the supportive emails, comments and phone calls. :)
I shot a wedding this past weekend in Massachusetts (where I didn't have to be mean to anyone, for anything, at all, and everyone was cooperative! woot!), and then Joel and I drove the rest of the way north to his family's cabin near Mount Tremblant, which is a fancypants resort about two hours from Montreal. I didn't really know what to expect; Joel always made it sound so rustic. His grandparents built it themselves and their children all helped, according to their age and ability. My mother-in-law, then about 8 (I think?), was in charge of peeling the bark off the pine beams that form the structure of the house. It sounds so... Little House on the Prairie. And yet there's a full kitchen, bathroom, fireplace, etc. so it's really comfortable, too.
I just love it. You know all those antique knockoff snow hoes, paddles, lanterns etc that places like Pottery Barn have made in bulk in China and sell for hundreds of dollars? Yeah, the summer house has all of that, but the "antique" snowshoes are authentic. (I feel like phoebe in the apothecary table episode of Friends...) The cabin was built a few decades before the fancypants resort, so it's a happy accident that we're about 10 minutes from this lovely, European-in-an-Epcot-kind-of-way resort with a spa, casino, shopping, luge rides, Internet cafes, and Asian infusion restaurants, etc.
I just... feel like I know my husband better for having come up here. He always said he knows a little French because you really have to, up here, but there's one thing having him tell me that, and it's quite another to hear him actually speak it with the lady who runs the little pommes frites shop up the road from the cabin. He hasn't been here in six years, since his family gathered to spread his grandmother's ashes in this place she loved best, and yet we're greeted excitedly with: "C'est Joel! (two syllables, like "Noel") le garson de Lyse!" (translation: It's Joel! Lyse's son!)
Although Joel's family eventually sold his grandparents' home in Queens after his grandmother died in 2004, the cabin still hums with her maternal touch. Magnets with grandmotherly sayings hang on the fridge, photos of the grandkids adorn the walls, a sewing kit rests on the bureau, her galoshes are in the supply closet, a cigarette dispenser with the phrase, "Coffin nails! I love 'em!" stills hangs in the kitchen. You get the sense that she's just gone out for a walk around the lake. You can FEEL her, but it's not creepy. It's nice.
I never want to leave. It's good thing that Kristen is bringing Aiden and Kayla up for a visit on Saturday, because otherwise? I might stay here forever. That said, it's also Joel's and my anniversary. In seven minutes, it was exactly two years that we were walking down the aisle. We slept late, ate poutin, went on a luge thingy and going now to a Swedish spa/bath/waterfall place, and he's itching for me to get off the computer. I should probably listen to him. ;) More later!