My husband Bruce and I chose our acreage 12 years ago, north of Edmonton, because it had a south facing slope we wished to use to maximize our privacy.
We built our house to be energy efficient and put huge windows in the south wall. The road in this subdivision is on the north side of the property.
When we are in our skin, we don't need curtains. Plenty of sunlight pours in, when the sun does shine-a wonderful and warm commodity in the often too cold and too dark days of our Alberta winters.
About half of the three acres are treed. The lower deck on the house is shielded by the trees in a ravine, making a green and living screen for the days I sunbathe nude.
Uh-ohA few summers ago, along with my children, I was enjoying the sun in our back yard. Despite our precautions over privacy, I caused neighbours to the west some consternation when I took my sunbathing further into my yard than they liked. Although the young wife and mother was distressed at our skin, I refused to ask my children to put on bathing suits when they played on our home-made water slide. She said she would keep her children away from that side of the yard when my kids were out. Her two girls were an infant and a toddler!
We have always been happy to be nude around and with our children. As a mother, I have always known in my heart that skin contact between parents and children is healthy and needed, furthering security and belonging. We have been told that infants especially thrive on it, but this does not end with infancy or toddlerhood.
Our children are Christine, 12, and Ron, 10. They are more self-confident and relaxed in their own bodies than I ever was at their ages. Here is what they have to say about nudity in their world.
ChristineI just find it comfy. I don't really think about it. On certain days I would rather be nude, like when it's boiling hot. It's easier than having to mess around with clothes. On the Macleod River, I prefer it without a bathing suit, because you don't get sand in your suit, and it's really nice to not have to wait for a bathing suit to dry. You don't need to worry about getting clothes dirty. You feel the water moving through you and it feels better. It is really nice.
It would be really cool to be with people who share my opinion about naturism. I guess my opinion would be that it's a very cool way to live, very relaxed, very peaceful, no judging on what you are wearing. You can't really get judged on what you are wearing because you are wearing your birthday suit.
I find it very relaxing. Sometimes clothes are kind of uncomfortable. It's also easier to feel everything around you. That's why I prefer to be barefoot. I can feel the earth beneath me, and I can feel everything when I'm nude.
It's all just skin. Same stuff that's on your face and hands. I don't know why people get so touchy about it. I don't really think about it. It's just there.
RonIt's just comfortable. It's like having your hand with nothing on it. It's just natural. It's annoying when people tell you to put some clothes on. I don't know why people have such a fuss.
Swimming at the Macleod is fun, because you get up and go for a swim. You don't have to bother worrying about if your bathing suit is dry. It's really uncomfortable putting on a bathing suit that's still wet.
It's just good because on hot days you don't have to go around the house sweating. Just comfortable. At parties at Grandma's it gets really hot and it's annoying to have to wear clothes.
If you're gonna say anything about it, you might as well walk up to someone in winter who isn't wearing a snood and say "Ha ha, you're showing your face!" It's normal to be nude. It's what's inside the skin that's important.
Back to usBoth children were delighted to be interviewed, but also a little puzzled. Delighted because of the fact they would see their names and pictures in GN, but puzzled because they didn't see what the excitement is regarding children and nudity. While they do understand that many people misunderstand nudity, they have a concrete sense of self-acceptance that many an adult would envy. Bruce and I come from a generation of people who, as children, were told that nudity was something shameful, so we were strongly advised to be clothed at all times.
My own first step towards naturism came when I was 15. I decided that it was more comfortable to sleep nude. Unfortunately, my mother felt this was inappropriate. But fortunately I did not heed her words!
Some years later, my sister and I sunbathed nude on the family hobby farm, a secluded area an hour and a half north of Edmonton. This happened without the participation or attendance of our parents. I had yet to meet other people who could do the same, until I met Bruce.
Bare and getting thereBruce's family had owned a lake property northeast of Edmonton from the time of his grandparents. During the mid-80s, when there was a lull in the use of the properties on either side of the family cabin, Bruce and I enjoyed relative privacy and peace nude. My first attempt at a social naturist event came on a weekend when Bruce invited another couple and a single friend to the lake. While I would have been happy to be totally bare, it was decided that topfree was more easily accepted among the group. With the three men already bare-chested, it fell to me to be the female leader. I was happy to oblige.
Over the years, with population at the lake soaring and the addition of a year-'round residence next to the cabin, our family opportunities for nude living became limited to our home, the family farm, and camping trips like the one shown in our pictures.
With Alberta's winter weather, our second choice is trips to warmer climes, or to locate other naturist folk who must be lurking somewhere out there in their parkas! Aside from political loyalties, Alberta is a conservative province, its people tending to be good, solid, but cautious folk. In my experience, discussions of naturism seem to cause people to titter, frown, accept that others may do it, or dismiss it.
In Alberta, then, until we can connect with the existing naturist community in this area, we will continue our "closet" naturism. What fun it will be to share this wholesome lifestyle with others some day, and then have more to write about!
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The Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and the Fédération québécoise de naturisme (FQN) share the Canadian membership in the International Naturist Federation (INF), which has its world headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium.