July 19th – living lightly

art on the kitchen cabinets

art on the kitchen cabinets

I met Shawn last year on my way home, just stayed one brief evening and so I was glad to have more time this time. She is one of those amazing women who has really decided what is important to her. Recently retired, she lives in a very small house tucked behind the big buildings down town Thunder Bay. The first thing you notice on arrival are the cheerful flowers in front and on the porch. Once inside, you are in an artistic wonderland

art and magic everywhere

art and magic everywhere

Since Shawn retired she has been exploring the self she never had a chance to get to know. Whimsical clay sculptures and walls of paintings give the tiny house a magical feeling. Every time I turned around a new treasure leapt up to greet me. She shared her grand sons and a slice of her life with me and it was a wonderful time.

Shawn has also helped give focus to the way I would like to live lightly on the land. She has little money and uses it for the important things in life, not really for stuff. She has what is necessary to live and finds joy in her relationships, not in the things we consider important. She draws magic out of her life and adds it to the lives of others who meet her. In my mind, my visit with her will always be how I think of Thunder Bay.

couchsurfing cat Silver

couchsurfing cat Silver

Another plug for couchsurfing: if you are traveling and not a member of couchsurfing.com, you are missing out on the most amazing people. Try it.

Swimming hole along the way

Swimming hole along the way

The road to Kenora seemed long but, it was dotted with little lakes, many of which had picnic areas. I met a family from Hamilton who waded into one with their fishing rods hoping to catch dinner. I am not sure how many fish they caught but all were well dotted with leeches when they waded out and totally grossed out. I took a 15 minute nap there in Vincent, in the shade. Later I came to a little lake with rocky shores where I went paddling to cool off and stretch my muscles. I finally arrived in Kenora on beautiful Lake of the Woods where I am staying with Gail, a friend of a friend who I almost got to visit last year. She is now registered on couchsurfing so even you could stay here if you play your cards right.

Too much to do to stay on the computer. Talk soon. Vicki

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