Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When It Snows, Eat and Read

Well, I now officially feel like I live in an snow home. Being from Canada, my American friends often joke that I must've lived in one as a child, since I came from a community where we could ice-fish on one side of the lake and skate or toboggan on the other each winter. And we did make plenty of snow tunnels. The piles often reached as high as the rooflines.

Now, here in New England, Rich is shoveling snow off the roof every two hours and the gulleys in front of our cellar windows, which are barricaded by the icy mix. I'd never heard of roof rakes before, and we don't have one. Back home, we just let the snow drift over our gables like in Who-ville.

Jake, our now eight-year-old neighbour, was out before nine in his snowsuit uncovering the snow fort he'd built. But he told us it had animal pee in it, so he's going to have to build a new one. He doesn't think it's from his little brother Avery, because Avery can't unbutton his snowsuit with his mittens on.

Anyway, what I like best about New Englanders who get handed weekly dumpings of snow, is that they still go out and do things. They put on their bogs, and in my case, moon boots from Montreal, good for 30 below temperatures.

It was great to discover this when Rich and I had a signing at the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough last week. Nine people came to listen, decked out in hooded parkas and boots coated with snow up to their knees. Afterwards, many of us did what's often the best thing to do during a snow-crazed winter besides reading - we went to the Cafe and sipped on steaming bowls of soup.

I ate the best tasting mushroom barley soup at Aesop's Tables, the Cafe right inside the Toadstool Bookshop. Willard, the bookshop owner, and Allison, the Cafe meister, certainly have created a cozy, inviting atmosphere where you can curl up with a book and savour all those satifiying pages with a cup of delicious soup. Now all I have to do is remember to bundle up and pay them a visit when the next storm hits. From the kind of winter we're having so far, I'm betting I won't have to wait very long.


  1. That's as perfect a name as there could be for a bookstore...Toadstool Bookshop. And a Disney movie with little winter critters kids (big kids, too) love.

  2. Yeah, it's really wonderful discovering that New Englanders support their indie bookstores.Rich and I are finding that our neighbors would rather spend their hard-earned extra dollars on books by local authors and are really satisfied to do so. It's a thrill and a joy for us New England authors and I'm sure there are wonderful pockets like this throughout the U.S. But in our little world,places like The Toad, as it is nicknamed, reign supreme. They also give voice to many self-published authors and hold poetry readings and live music events. We all feel validated by this and it makes the days when writing can be toiling, daunting and downright terrifying, worthwhile.