Like many fortunate “kids” my age my parents invested in a second home up north. Our cottage in beautiful Muskoka.
This is honestly the most important place in the world to me. I consider it a sacred place. A haven surrounded by nature.
Muskoka really is a magical part of Ontario. I remember as a kid picking up nuggets of granite off the road, convinced that they were diamonds. I loved the way they reflected in the sunlight. My Mom taught me so much about the land and different things we could eat and enjoy. We made everything from sumac juice to elderberry blossom fritters and elderberry syrup as well as crab apple jelly, milkweed shoots steamed like asparagus and sorrel salad. My Dad taught my brother and I to fish, we could get the worm on hook, catch the fish, clean it, scale it and fry it up by the time we were 10 years old. As a kid, on a Sunday night I was convinced that there was no reason for us to ever go back to our house in Oakville. We could live off the land and stay in paradise!
All the seasons in Muskoka are beautiful. It really is hard to pick a favourite. Spring brings out the beautiful birds and we can watch mothers giving their young ones flight lessons from our porch to the trees surrounding the cottage. In the summer we enjoy most of our time at the lake and in the lake. We swim to a rock in the middle of the bay and sit out there and talk about life. Today we continue my Dad’s tradition of barbecues over the fire pit, surrounded by friends and family. Fall is the time when we take our long walks through the forest behind our house. The colours of the leaves are changing and the only place I want to be is in those woods. The contrast of the bark against yellow, orange and red is breathtaking. The winter is crisp and the snow is clean, I have the best memories of melting snow for cooking and priming the pump back when our plumbing was quite basic. Sometimes up to our waist or shoulders in snow, we would sled all of our groceries and luggage into the farmhouse from the road and snuggle in bed with my parents under the electric blanket until my Dad could get the house warmed up.
My parents raised us to appreciate nature, To play outside and to discover the fruitfulness of our surroundings in Muskoka. We’ve seen many animals around the cottage over the years, racoons, ground hogs, porcupines, black bears and deer.
The fall before my Dad passed away we saw our first moose on our property and then deer started coming closer and closer to our house. One day we all watched as my Dad fed a deer right from his hand off of the back porch. That was such a beautiful day, in retrospect it was like these animals were coming to say goodbye to the man who had inhabited their land for the past 53 years.
Muskoka, Ontario, is an inspiration to me for the glamjulz fall 2017 collection. My father’s favourite season of all was fall. This collection will be dedicated to him and will include all of the wonders of that season in most beloved place on the planet.