Monday, 14 May 2012

Victoria Day Long Weekend means Going to the Cottage!!!!

Pretty well all Ontarians know that Victoria Day weekend (which here in Canada falls on the 3rd weekend in May) is the weekend that anyone who owns a summer cottage goes up to open it up. If you are lucky enough, you get to leave work early on the Friday and miss the horrendous traffic. In our family, we are 4th generation cottagers. We have a system for long weekends. My husband works from home on the Friday. The car is fully packed with clothes, food, summer staples and tech gadgets and we make a bee line for the boy's schools to pick them up as soon as it's over. We then drive for the 3 or more hours to get to the cottage (regularly 2 1/2 hours) and unload.

A lot of people think going to the cottage is a terrible idea. Who would want a second home to clean, cook in, fix up etc...well...apparently TONS of people do! For the little inconvenience of sitting in a car for a few hours and maybe having to smell your stinky dog's breath for too long, I think it's all worth it. There is nothing like stepping out of that car and just staring at the water and breathing that first breath in of clean, crisp air. Watching the dog tear off and head to the water for a drink and a swim, stepping into the cottage and smelling the knotty pine or that familiar smell of vintage quilts, and hearing the wood screen door slam. These things are all worth every second of travel time.

This year we are tearing out old carpets and painting the knotty pine white in the bedrooms. The cottage was built in the 40s and we have been lovingly renovating it little by little. It's quirky, crooked, with sloped floors and wonky windows but I love it. I even love the fact that it's bedrooms are only 8' x 9'. Barely enough room for a queen bed and a dresser. It's cozy and cute.

And this is why I love it so much. This is my son on a wakeboard as the sun starts to set and the above photo is our view from the cottage kitchen. We have a southwest facing view so we get the most spectacular sunsets every night.

One day this will be a refuge for my sons and their families. Their children will be 5th generation cottagers. I hope we are giving them the same kind of memories I and my husband both had as children, memories that never leave you, and fill you with a sense of being part of a Canadian tradition. A sense of family, a love of nature and knowledge of how truly blessed we really are.

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