Diamond in the Rough

Note: The plan was to post this on Mother’s Day, which is when we wrote it, but some unforseen internet issues and just general busy-ness got in the way. Hope you enjoy it anyway, even if it’s a little late!

I’m writing this post as we’re flying from Fort MacMurray on our way home. We had to refuel on the way home from Lloyd Lake.

This weekend was a surprise visit to my dad and brother.  We brought in another Caravan-load of supplies for the lodge. Most importantly, my granny, my mom, Elize and I got to see Derrick on his birthday.
Derrick blows out the candles on his birthday cake. Granny baked it and made sure it got on the plane. It got a few bumps on the way, but it still tasted delicious!
Every aspect of this weekend was awesome. It’s amazing what 6 people can accomplish in 2 days. One cool stat: before, the lights in the lodge used 10,000 watts. When we’re all done in the cabins, we’ll be pulling only 1,300 watts. A great start on our journey to become an eco lodge within a few years.

In the mornings, after having a coffee on the dock, we’d head to the dining room and get to work. For 3 days before we arrived, Derrick scraped wallpaper off the walls—a massive and time-consuming job. On Saturday I rolled the walls, Elize did the cutting and trim-painting, and Derrick found us everything from flooring and paint brushes to light bulbs in the various places they’re stored. It’s a task in itself to sort and find stuff. We’ve brought so many new supplies to the lodge that we essentially have our own Rona.

Mom and granny cleaned out and scrubbed down a storage room and organized the linens. They always take on the tasks no one wants to do and finish them with smiles of pride and accomplishment on their faces. Thanks ladies, and happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday broke beautifully. As the morning sun poured through the dining room windows, we put in the new floor while dad finished reframing the main door. By noon, the new floor was done and we were putting the finishing touches on the paint. Mom and granny had done some more cleaning magic in the owner’s cabin and came up with lists of what we need for the next trip in. What a difference 2 days can make.

Installing the dining room floor.

Although there’s lots of work to be done, Derrick made a rule that we have to go fishing every day. We can’t fish yet, but we did go for a cruise on the lake to the waterfall on Saturday. It’s a peaceful spot with the water running over the rocks and loons calling in the background. We took our new dog, Milli, with us. She’s a golden retriever, and she adores water. She views Lloyd Lake as her private swimming pool.

Meet Milli. She may look like a clean, princessy kind of puppy, but she has special skills for finding the dirtiest, smelliest things to roll in. Fortunately, she loves to swim.
The waterfall.

This afternoon we took her on the boat again for a cruise to see how much of the ice has come off the lake. It’s almost gone. I decided to pick up a piece of the rotten ice. Wow is it cold on the hands! I chucked it back quickly, not thinking anything of it. Next thing we know, Milli calmly makes her way to the back of the boat and dives into the water head first to retrieve. Stunned silence from the 3 of us. Then, pandemonium!

Between laughing hysterically, Elize managed to snap a few photos of me and Derrick giving Milli a hand onto the boat. Notice the ice chunk in her mouth. She was not letting go of her prize, especially after having to jump into a lake with the water sitting at 3.2 C to get it. She’s staying at the lodge for the summer. What dog could wish for anything more? New people every week and a lake just begging her to jump in. She’s going to have a blast!

We’re almost home now. Northern Canada from the sky is a pretty place. Throughout this flight the sun has shimmered on the lakes and rivers. A beautiful flight to end a beautiful weekend.

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