Val-Des-Lacs, Quebec, Canada is a unique spot on the earth.
It's a little village of about 700 people year round - 2000 in the summer. It surrounds Lake Gagnon, but the area is home to 45 lakes and other scattered remote villages.
It's 2000 feet above sea level, so it's mountainous, forested, and COLD. The lake was still frozen a week ago!
From our view, we can see piles of snow in the front yard and all down the path to the highway. Yesterday, there was one little crocus peeking up thru the dirt. Birds come by sometimes, but it's still much too cold for the hummingbirds to make an appearance.
The home we are staying in has a wood fireplace, heating, and all modern conveniences.
So, why does this spark a memory of pioneers?
Because each day, we have gone for a walk, and it has been cold. Windy. Raining on most days. Snowing earlier in the week.
And, as I trudge along with two jackets, good shoes with warm socks, I think of those pioneers with little or nothing to shield them from the cold. And I am overwhelmed with gratitude for what MY relatives did to stand up for what they believed in.
I finish the walk and open the door to a warm, inviting home. They had not that great blessing.
My heart swells with gratitude when I think of what they went through to establish a home in the West.
Will I live up to their expectations....I fear not. But, I will keep trudging along and trying.