Ah, the infamous Shilly Shally. Stella has been raving about the charm of the Shilly Shally for years now. I’m not sure if she goes on about it unconsciously or as a conscious attempt to convince me to go cross-country skiing with her and hubby. Either way, I have always responded with something along the lines of “Have a special time with Daddy, while Mommy does some reading.”
But that changed on Sunday. Why? Oh, because of that damn inspiring winter resolution I made to learn how to not hate enjoy winter.
If you’re like me, you might have briefly wondered what the Shilly Shally actually is — and then turned the page in your novel. I’ll tell you anyhow, though. It’s a little wooden cabin in the Gatineau Hills where one can take a break while cross-country skiing. It’s kitted out with a wood burning stove and picnic bench, and Stella and hubby have shared many a hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course!) within its comfort.
This weekend, I’d promised my gang to join them cross-country skiing. On Saturday, I said, “Oh, I thought we’d agreed to Sunday?” On Sunday, I started chugging coffee and convincing myself it would be fun. Hubby did his darndest to convince me too — cooking us all a blueberry pancake breakfast and packing all the gear and lunch on his own. How could I back out now?
So, there I was, in the car, driving to the Gatineaus. We parked and began the Promenade du Lac-Fortune Parkway. As always in the Gatineaus, the trails were beautifully groomed and even better — the sun had started to shine on us. Just like going to the gym, once I was actually there and started, I thought “gee, this is great! I should do this more often.”
Seriously, it felt wonderful. I have an old neck injury, so a lot of exercise I do doesn’t end up feeling wonderful, but cross-country skiing is no-impact and it felt as strenuous as a brisk walk. The total route was about 9 kms. If you think that sounds like a long ways, I did too, but take heart — I am completely out of shape and both me and my seven-year-old daughter managed it — so I’m sure you can too! (All of the gear did its magic and proved its worth, btw).
This is the summary then …
- This is a heck of a lot of preparation, packing and driving just for a couple of hours of skiing.
- I bet I could burn more calories on the tread mill at the gym — and in less time.
- I hope I’m not going to be cold.
- I don’t think Max is enjoying himself.
- I better be skinny at the end of this.
- Oh, it is so beautiful out here! The forest, the lakes, the fresh air!
- Stella is amazing — look at her endurance!
- There are so many awesome fathers out here taking their children skiing or pulling them in sleds. (Including my own husband.)
- I’m not so outta shape as I thought I was; I’m doing just fine.
- This is the perfect way to spend a Sunday. Who cares if it is “slow” — that’s what it’s all about — just spending time together.
- Max is totally charming the pants off the other skiers here in the Shilly Shally — that’s my boy!
- Mmmm … hot chocolate!
- Wow, even the outhouse is nicely maintained here.
- I could seriously live in this Shilly Shally shack, it’s so darn cute!
- Oh yes! Great idea — yummy cappuccino from a Chelsea coffee shop for the drive home and home-baked cookies for the kids!
So, as you can see, the positives definitely outnumber the negatives. I know this now … still fresh in my memory. But I’m sure that having written them out will be helpful for me to refer to the next Sunday I am to exchange quiet reading time in exchange for healthy, family time.
It really was the perfect Sunday.