The Cottage- part 2

The problem with catching up on this kind of thing is that so much other stuff is going on while I’m trying to get caught up that I seem to be getting farther behind every time I write…

Where was I? I think it was the boathouse, right? We were throwing our luggage, coolers, and baby equipment into the boats as quickly as we could to avoid the rain. It’s a beautiful lake. Alright, technically the lake itself is pretty much just water- it’s what surrounds the lake that’s beautiful. Some of the shoreline is inhabited during the summer, and those parts are covered in every shape and size of cottage and cabin you can imagine; in just a few minutes you can travel from my grandparents’ cottage, which has no indoor bathroom facilities (really!) to places that are impossibly huge and, well, civilized. Some of these people actually fly in- directly to their cottages. It’s obscene. Most of the area around the lake is pretty wild, though. It’s just trees (cedar, various evergreens, birch), ferns, moss and rugged Canadian Shield rock. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the original settlers in the area, clearing the land… it must have been backbreaking work.

But back to the cottage. Grandma (affectionately known as “Grammar” for her her habit of perpetually correcting us) met us down at the dock, and Simon was out of the boat before the rest of us. He took his time checking things out: the big, screened-in side porch that went up several years ago, the open living room, dining room and kitchen, the loft with its 2 bedrooms, and my grandparents’ bedroom on the ground floor- not a bedroom door in sight. It’s possible to find privacy on the island, but it’s easier if everyone just gets used to hollering “ANYBODY HOME?” before going… well, anywhere. We dropped mom and dad’s stuff off at the main cottage, and took our suitcases and backpacks (mine and the boys’) out to the cabin- a separate building that was built just after my parents got married. Co-incidence? I doubt it. This would be one of those areas you can have some privacy, as long as you remember to shut the blinds. We slept out there so that we (and by “we” I mean Simon and Isaac) wouldn’t keep everyone awake at night. You know, with “our” crying.

Actually, the boys both settled in a lot more quickly than I had anticipated. Simon needed someone out in the cabin with him while he was falling asleep for the first week, so I was glad when Dad and Grampa both decided they were capable of singing and/or boring him to sleep. Isaac? Isaac will go to sleep anywhere there’s boob. Staying asleep… well, that’s another entry entirely.

What did we do at the cottage? Generally what we’ve always done. There’s a corner cupboard filled with the same toys and games my brother and I played with when we were kids, books, the island to explore, napping (which I rather missed this year!), boating and swimming. We watched the hummingbirds coming to the feeder and kept our eyes open to look for the loon family- two healthy babies this year, which is great news. There are years when none hatch, or when the babies don’t make it until August; the little floating islands people have built for them to nest on are helping with that. Simon was happy to stay close to the cottage at first, which suited me fine. I’m not generally a paranoid mom, but when there’s water around, I think it’s justified. Simon didn’t want to live in a big, puffy life jacket for two weeks (terribly unreasonable of him), so I had to be satisfied with trying to keep track of him every minute of every day. Having 5 adults on the island to help was good, but that didn’t stop visions of “Me? I thought YOU were watching him!” conversations from swirling though my mind. There are times when I wish Simon would be just a little less cautious… this wasn’t one of them.

(click on photo for larger image)

Oh- you still wondering about those bathroom facilities? Some people are surprised to hear that we still have an outhouse; others are disgusted. It’s not that bad, really! It’s private, but the side that faces away from the cottage is open at the top (but screened in, thank God), and the view’s nice. It doesn’t smell bad (OK, not THAT bad), and the only time it’s actually inconvenient is when it’s raining. Night time’s not great, either, but there are these white tin pots under the beds… Hand-washing and tooth-brushing happen at a sink in the cottage, but you have to get drinking water from the kitchen, and THAT comes from a well that you have to take a boat trip to get to so you can fetch that pail of water… It’s all good. Showers? Not so much. “Go jump in the lake” is more like it. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Oh, crap- Simon’s hurt. Gotta go.



  1. Carrie said,

    August 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    You’ve got a beautiful layout on the new blog! And a beautiful entry about the cottage. I want to go there. . . only the no indoor plumbing thing would kind of freak me out. I need my daily shower.

    Hope Simon is ok!

  2. Qortnee said,

    September 1, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Sounds like you had a good time!!! Makes me excited for my trip home next week!! Outhouses are not all that bad! I used one while camping this summer….And until a few years ago we still had an outhouse at our “bungalow” as we call the cottage! 😛 Sooo I know what you mean! 🙂

    Oh and I really like the look of this new blog 🙂

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