White Christmas

‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas’ – Bing Crosby.

One evening this week as Gary + I  sat down on the sofa, we surprisingly stumbled across the movie ‘The Snapper’* on netflix. Much to our delight we stuck it on and rolled around laughing for the next hour or so. It’s only when you move away from home, that you appreciate all the Irish mannerisms + sayings. Just like the Curleys, the Dickers have 6 kids – 3 boys + 3 girls. Suddenly memories started to flood back, (of all the similarities growing up within a family of 8)  fighting over who’s in the bathroom, who’ll make the tea and who gets to sit in the front seat of the car. And just like that I missed all of the noise. The noise of all of us together, shouting over each other so people can try and hear what you have to say! Now all of a sudden I heard nothing, only silence.

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Mam, Me, Emma, Anne- Marie, Chris, Stewy, Gary & Dad.

As the week went on, the movie stayed floating at the forefront of my mind + feelings of missing home started to seep in. I kind of decided that when this happens I have to go with it, its normal to miss people. And the people I miss most is my family, not necessarily Ireland. As I take on this journey, I take on some hardships along the way + although I miss my family, I know that they want nothing more than for me to live this experience and take everything I can from it. While sharing as much as I can with them along the way.

So when my phone beeped and I read the text from Ali inviting us to spend the weekend away in the cottage up north with her & Phil, I thought to myself what better way to reconfirm why I’m here, why I’m on this journey in Canada.

So we packed up our weekend bags + jumped on the bus up north. We were not only greeted by Ali at the bus terminal, but with a drop to -25 temperatures (the coldest we’ve experienced yet) and SNOW! So much snow.

First thing I done? Take a guess.

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Snow Angel Bliss

All of a sudden, this yearning to see my family wasn’t all I was thinking about. Instead, I was literally picked up and placed into the wilderness. There I was standing in the middle of nowhere, knee deep in snow, surrounded by the most beautiful place I had ever seen. Glistening in the sparkle of snow, I just let the thoughts trickle in, this is why I’m here.

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Snowmobiling

Then the fun started, I put my trust in Gary + jumped on the back of the snow mobile. We drove the winding roads, by fields of snow, frozen water falls + hundreds of dreamy giant Christmas trees around the snowy lake until we reached the most beautiful cottage I have ever seen. As the ice cold wind blew into our faces, all I felt was the freedom. Freedom of all the thoughts in my mind, the moment of clarity filled me as I just sat with my arms wrapped around Gary’s waist and allowed the moment to sink in. As we turned the corner, nestled snuggly in the middle of an abundance of snow filled trees, lying idle beside the frozen snow covered lake, sat the most tranquil + pretty little cottage.

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As we all climbed inside to the warmth of the fire, I took a moment to appreciate the Canadian decor. Each bed was tucked in with a quilt ( Can you imagine my reaction?), rocking chairs with embroidered bear tapestries, moose mugs filled with hot chocolate (mixed with a tad bit of caramel vodka) and wooden furniture made from trees that once stood where the cottage now lay. One of those moments where you think, this must possibly be a movie?

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After a belly full of potatoes, mulled wine + roasted marshmallows on the fire we sat down and enjoyed an evening tv free, instead having fun the old-fashioned way with a card game. Waking up the next morning to snow falling gently on the windows + Christmas songs playing in the back ground I could feel my spirit had lifted. Christmas was on its way!

I pulled on my 45 layers of clothes to go and have some fun in the snow. Remember, this is my first Canadian winter experience + snow. So much snow!

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Ali is another person I am fortunate enough to be friends with since moving to TO. Having never met Ali before moving here 6 months ago, I can honestly say she is one of the nicest, kindest + most welcoming people I have ever met. She has given me so many experiences that I can’t even begin to thank her for, but she will be for sure a regular in my book of memories.

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Me, Ali & Gary

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Before we left to come back to Toronto, Gary & I sat down with our feet sitting in a pile of snow – hidden underneath was the frozen lake. We just sat there and as we turned + looked at each other, I knew in that moment he was thinking the same thing. I’m happy he’s the main character in my book + that all these memories that I have are shared with him.

Well this time Bing, my dreams came true.

* ‘The Snapper’ is a 1993 Irish film based on the novel by the Irish writer Roddy Doyle.
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