It seems the heat waves are finally subsiding for the summer season, they ended just as the summer came to a close. Here we are in autumn. Yesterday was the first all-day rain we have had in 2021. This kind of rain was common when I was a child, and a young woman. There is a certain feeling that comes with relentless but gentle rain, a hush, an offering of peace from the heavens. I associate the feeling with my Granny and Grandpa’s house, where there were few electric devices running, so one could hear the rain on the roof, pattering against the windows, dripping from the roof line. It meant a day spent indoors, tucked away for the day in the arms of the creaking old house, in the energy that my Grandparents emanated and infused into their environment. With good reason I and my siblings loved to be there. All-day rain has a special feeling.

We took a whirlwind trip to the Camp last week, to bring home the bedding and the food stored in Grace the trailer. There were a few mice in the trap, it is that time of year, when they are seeking winter shelter and building nests. Perhaps one day we will seal off the undercarriage to bar their entry, but for now we wage a constant competition for Grace’s space.

It has been a few years since I have trekked the bush around our Camp clearing, so I decided to give it a go, and see how it went. Attila and I walked about a quarter of a mile through some pretty rough bush, scrambling over fallen tree trunks, up steep rock outcrops, into and out of gullies. It was a successful expedition. I was very tired by the time the road was spotted off in the distance. The last little distance to reach the road involved a steep slope. A small tree offered a handhold to navigate, but being tired, I misjudged it’s suitability, and it failed me. I tumbled down the slope, landing hard on the gravel road below. I haven’t fallen for years! More surprised than injured, I lay on my side for a minute or two, to gather my wits about me, then took Attila’s offered hand, and slowly rose to my feet. I checked myself out thoroughly, no broken bones. The elbow took the brunt of the impact, followed by the knee and the hip. Attila seemed impressed by the fall, telling me that I tucked and rolled quite effectively. I grew up wandering in the bush, taking many unexpected tumbles, so I guess I haven’t lost the knack of falling. I expected bruising, but it has been minimal. I expected stiffness, it has been slight. The worst of it was a skinned elbow. I am glad I went on the walk, and I will now have to remember that I am not a kid, and that when I am tiring I cannot perform the feats of balance and agility enjoyed during youth.

On our hike we crossed an area where years ago someone had come through the wetland with an ATV and left tracks in the soft soil. Erosion has now deepened that rut into a small gully, about four feet deep. It is such a shame that people use motorized vehicles to destroy the landscape, in particular ATVs, the curse of the forest and wetlands.

The garden harvest continues, consisting primarily of Peppers, Beans, and Tomatoes. The Parsley harvest is quite abundant, and a good Celery and Cabbage crops are anticipated later in the season. As the canning jars are filled, they are also being emptied. The food that is preserved is a significant part of our daily diet. As always, container management looms large in this cycle. Images of pantries with rows of canned foods are enticing, but where and how do the empty jars and equipment get stored. There is more to food preservation than the canning/dehydrating/freezing activities. All that food has to be stored, and the containers and equipment have to be stored and managed.

At Mist Cottage empty jars end up on shelves in the basement. When a jar is empty and washed and dried, the ring if screwed on to protect it from chipping, and it eventually ends up upside down in it’s original box, in the basement. Instead of taking multiple trips to the basement with empty jars, or letting them accumulate and clutter up the limited counter space, they are stored in plastic jar boxes on a bottom shelf. When the jar box is full it is carried to the basement, then the jars are transferred to their original boxes, placed upside down to keep the dust out. When it is time to fill them again, up comes the original jar box full of empty jars, they are washed and dried and set out for the canning session.

Another heavily used container is the plastic bag. Plastic bags saved from purchased commercial foods are washed, and dried, and used until they have either developed small holes, or the ink on them has deteriorated to become sticky. The bags are washed with the dishes, rinsed, hung upside down on the clothesline to drip, then flipped and pinned to the clothesline so as to air dry the interior of the bags. The clothesline on the porch is usually displaying a collection of various sized bags fluttering in the breeze as they dry. During the winter they are dried on the clothes drying rack inside the house.

Mist Cottage is a working cottage, cluttered with the abundance of the garden, and the containers and equipment used to preserve that abundance for the winter months, to cook every meal from scratch, and to mill our own flours. Interior design has taken a back seat to ten years of renovation The interior design involves using the big house furniture to its best advantage in a very small space, and making sure there are clear paths to essential work stations, the washroom, and the sleeping area. It isn’t pretty in here, or optimally furnished for its purpose, but we manage. Luckily, during harvest season, when Mist Cottage is at the peak of chaos for the year, we are too darned busy to notice aesthetics. Usually the goal has been to get the interior living space as decluttered as it can get before Christmas, a goal that is not always attained. Last year we had no room for a Christmas Tree, but this year I am determined we will have one!

The season has changed, and for the last few days I’ve felt a bit off-track with the transition. I think too, this feeling is related to being isolated for over a year and half, which will not change any time soon as we are experiencing a fourth wave of Covid-19. The pandemic has been hard on everyone, isolation is how it has been hard on me. Working in a dangerous environment with opinionated and angry people is how it has been hard on Attila. There are other difficult scenarios, but these are ours. I do very well with my challenges, but every so often a bit of reorientation is needed to get back on track. The last few days have been my time to reassess, and reorient. Not easy, but all part of life’s work.

Today I am baking bread, and since there is a lull in preserving, I’ll be sweeping through the work stations to put some things away, and organize other things for the next canning/dehydrating/freezing sessions. And I think too, that I’ll sit in my chair and listen to the rain fall.

Stay safe dear friends!



Date: 8:15 AM EDT Thursday 23 September 2021
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.1°C
Dew point: 18.1°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: SE 26 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km


“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
Bertrand Russell
1872 – 1970

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eileen Barton

I love autumn! My favorite season. Right now my cat is obsessed with sitting in the window watching a few falling leaves. When the leaves are really falling he gets very excited and vocal about it. So sorry you took a fall but so glad you didn’t get any serious injuries! Stay safe!


I’m sorry you fell too, Maggie. But it sounds like you instinctively protected yourself! Autumn is my favorite season too. We have cooled to 60 degrees F during the day. Some of the leaves have started to change colors. I still have my Geraniums and Cardinal flowers on the balcony. Hummingbirds traveling sought to Mexico often fly by this area. They like to eat from the Cardinal flowers. Sometimes they also eat the seeds on my sunflowers. Nice memories before the snow arrives. (((Hugs))).

Joan Lansberry

Ouch! I hope you won’t have much lingering soreness from your tumble. “All day rain”, wow, do I envy an all day rain. At least it’s not so insanely evil hot here. You’re now going through
“Fourth wave”? I know you’ll stay as safe as possible. Hang in there! Since the covid shut down in 2020, Julia and I hadn’t been to the library. After getting mad at waiting for a shipment of a 3 volume set of “His Dark Materials” since Sept. 8, we ventured into the library. Julia now is happily reading free books of her own choosing (a new installment of the Dune series) that we won’t have to find a place to store. The library does require masking and distancing. (Better than the grocery stores do…)


You were certainly lucky with your gentle rain the other day. Fall came in like a lion for us, with 60mph winds and 2.5 inches of rain. Hundred foot trees danced in the winds as they flung shreds of leaves to the ground. The cottage and our deck were plastered with them. When all was quiet the next morning DH had to take a stiff bristled broom to scrape the leafy wallpaper from the house and deck. We were lucky that we only lost 2 small, 6 foot long branches. After watching the neighbors huge tree bow to half its height in the wind, I expected many trees to be uprooted.

I think the new build house did pretty well with the rain. I haven’t heard any bad from others who have visited the area. They got 3.5 inches of rain there. When we saw the house last weekend we had stacks of shingles sitting on the new roof. I hope they finished shingling the place before the storm came in. We hope to go visit tomorrow.

I’ve been so glad to see that Ontario’s 4th wave has been smaller than every other COVID wave we’ve had. We all have a lot to be proud of when it comes to the majority being vaccinated (80% with 2 shots, 85% with one or more shots) and cautious. DH and I also haven’t been doing a lot but we’re watching the stats and are hoping to visit the odd outdoor holiday craft show in the next month or so – masked, of course.

Interestingly, I see there’s a COVID calculator out on the web, now. It shows you how risky various activities might be.

I’m glad you weren’t seriously injured by your fall. The forest is a dangerous place to fall.