Happy Mother’s Day, from Pickle Lake, Ontario!

Firstly, we want to wish all our Moms a Happy Mother’s Day! Without you all, us four would quite literally not exist. Thank you for your love and support, allowing each of us to follow our passions, as we continue on this experience we call QHO. We love you all and miss you dearly.

Friday began like any other day. Both dynamic duos headed to their schools, eager to finish off the first week on a high note. Michaela and Eric assisted the grade 2 class in planting trees in milk cartons, an initiative the school, Missabay, was taking on. Fridays at Missabay include “Freaky Friday” where the afternoon is filled with games in the gym or fun activities throughout the school. Eric, being the phys eddie, began teaching Frisbee in the gym and joined in on floor hockey. Michaela, being Michaela, practiced her jump shot in basketball and had a blast doing it. She then found her strength at the Bingo station, where Michaela took charge as the head bingo caller.

Jess and Kelsey played with bugs. They spent their day with the SK to Grade 2s, placing larvae in jars with larvae food in an effort to learn important concepts in fundamental biology. They ended their week on a high note as they met and got to know the older kids at Crolancia, and found their strength excelling in numerous games of tag during recess.

…and that concluded our first week in the schools.

Friday night we were treated to a lovely dinner at the Hoffman’s, munching on moose burgers (that were acquired legally) fresh off the barbeque. We now agree that moose meat is better than beef. Lucie invited a few members of the community (OPP, EMS, teachers, etc) so that we would have a few more familiar faces around the community. After some tea and delicious desserts, we chatted well into the night, sharing stories and building friendships. Michaela, riding a sugar high, decided to share her life story. In case you were wondering, Michaela went to a Mennonite High School. But as 10:00 pm rolled around, the “late” night had to come to an end, and smitten with wonderful hospitality, we returned home with extra desserts (cakes and pies) and new acquaintances.

After a long but amazing first week, we headed to bed, looking forward to Saturday where we could sleep in and finally relax…..

NOT.

Saturday was a FULL day of picklin’ around in Pickle Lake (I’ll never be that cheesy again). We started off heading to the Community Centre, where we were happy to be volun-told that we would be serving at the Mother’s Day Breakfast. So with Kelsey on french toast, Michaela on eggs, Jess on potatoes and bacon, and Eric on sausage, off we went. As per usual, we were able to meet even more members of the Pickle Lake community, which we began to understand was not all that numerous.

Returning home after eating a full breakfast (thank you, Roy), our host Sandra offered to take us along on her weekend walk with her two dogs, Duncan and Charlie. So we hopped in the car and followed Sandra, ending up at an old canoe outfitter. An hour in the wilderness along the rough trails really allowed us to take in just how North we are and how clean the air really is. We also got to burn off the desserts we’d been pigging out on.

For dinner, we tackled a lasagna like a team, adding our own Northern flavour to the classic recipe by Mrs. Wychopen. The night seemed low key but the social bug bit again when our host assured us “you haven’t seen Pickle Lake until you go to a Pickle Lake bonfire.” We spent our Saturday evening outdoors, enjoying the warm fire and charming company, catching a ride back to our house with an acquaintance we had made earlier in the week.

Sunday we slept in. Pretty simple statement: it was glorious. We snoozed happily through the morning more comfortable than a pig in a blanket. We then eagerly began piecing together lesson plans for the upcoming week. One more item on the agenda remained: Mother’s Day Tea. So off we went to the Community Centre (again) to eat fruit and drink tea, while celebrating this glorious day with other mothers, all the while thinking of our own. We helped clean up, scored another plate of desserts, and relaxed the rest of the day.

In the evening we grabbed two Frisbees and walked to Crolancia, picking up neighbourhood kids along the way. The QHOer’s spend the afternoon teaching how to throw a Frisbee, giving piggy backs, playing chain tag, laughing hysterically, and realizing how out of shape we were (that’s the desserts talking).

All in all we are doing well. A successful day leaves us tired beyond function at around 9:00 pm and we struggle through till 9:45, at which point we are ready for bed. We are also beginning to understand that we may have to ration food. After only a week in, we have eaten quite a bit of our reserves. So either we start to ration, or start cutting off Kelsey from eating every living moment of the day. Seriously. No joke. She’s snacking as I type this…

Tomorrow the Mish/Pickle foursome head to their schools to begin their health related lessons. Will our Northern travellers unite and prevail against all evil to save the day? Stay tuned to find out!

Signing Off from Pickle Lake.

Mish You,

Pickle People

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