Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The cottage escape

As hard as it is to be away so much when there is packing to be done so we can finally move home, it is wonderful to get away to the cottage where everything is neat and tidy and staying that way, and the wi-fi signal is so poor as to make it impossible to work.


Even when it's not warm enough to swim.


(I kid. I just swim anyway.)


The water levels at the lake were high at the start of the season this year, and after a heavy rain last weekend they are even higher - check our our neigbours' dock! 


That's it there, the little slice of something to the left of the boat. It isn't a floating dock. When motorboats go by, their waves wash over the surface - a new experience for them.

We have a sort of 'island' at the side of our dock that is very popular with nearby kids because there is enough sand to make a few castles.  Usually by early August it's all ready for play but you can't even see the top of the rock right now. 


The pace is slow at the cottage, even though we really, really need to deal with the eavestroughs this year.   Once we get around to buying a ladder tall enough to reach them.


Inside, we've been so effective at mouse proofing that even on the first day it only takes a little over an hour to get the power and water running again, and the place cleaned and dusted and ready to enjoy.  Now, we just turn up and put our groceries into the refrigerator and think about lunch.  Then dessert, then a little snack, and supper, and another dessert and snack to nibble on while playing Euchre. 

Pete is reading and getting up early to go paddling in the kayak before the motorboats are out, and I am painting and reading Sense and Sensibility between bouts of swimming.  One morning, after setting out his kayak the afternoon before, Pete discovered it had been washed away by the high water levels.  He had to head out in my kayak with a tow rope to look for it, but thankfully a guest of our neighbour had noticed it floating in the middle of the lake and towed it in already, using a canoe, then set it on their dock behind their boat, with a plan to call around for its owner the next day.  After that of course we resolved to tie our kayaks more securely but it turns out there is no such thing at the current water level, because they both floated off again while we were reading on the dock. 

I have probably had all the value there is to be had from this cottage - if I never went again, I would still remember vividly the pleasures of the view and the feel of the water and the scent of the air and the way wool socks just feel different when worn on a cool forest morning.  But it is very nice to be able to go and keep shoring up those moments.

And of course, now I have watercolour painting to learn.  I find I am mostly only interested in painting trees and there are lots to choose from up there, even if all I'm after is bark:



Another neighbour told me it takes about five years to get into a good rhythm with a cottage and I thought we were there last year, but now I know better.  This is the summer we are finally at home at the lake - not worrying about what we 'should' be doing, but just doing what we want.


What better escape is there than that, in any setting?