I woke up this morning to the sound of rain tapping on the roof of my Dacha. This is music to me, a sound that I enjoy; it reminds me of my childhood at my grandparents cottage along the Trent River. In that part of the country rain is common so I heard the sound of tapping rain on the tin roof of the cottage regularly. My grandparents had an idyllic dacha on the shores of the Trent River, which flows through Eastern Ontario joining Georgian Bay, the upper part of the Great Lakes, with Lake Ontario, on the lower end of the lakes. During the war of 1812 between Britain and United States, this river was made navigable by the construction of many boat-lifts called locks and canals to provide a strategic water route to move military personnel through Ontario and into the United States by crossing Lake Ontario. Today it’s use is strictly recreational, yet it is interesting that its original use was military, much like the interstate network of highways across the United States. There is little doubt this cottage played an important role shaping the way I live today. My love for the sound of rain, the feel of fresh air at night, the sound of frogs and crickets and birds, and my love for space and the rural life all have its origins in this cottage. Even my attraction for the deserts of California has been directly acquired from my youth growing up on the banks of the Trent River.