As we wrap up our week's holiday, I can see we are finally hitting our stride as cottage owners - fewer things are standing out as issues to resolve, and more are simply making me happy.
Like, when it's raining out, the new deck looks gorgeous.
Mike installed solar powered lanterns on the posts at the bottom of the stairs, and we thought at first they just weren't getting enough sun to activate, but when he came by last weekend to show us some plans he'd found for a possible shed for us (it is so cool, I can't wait) he checked them and it turned out he just hadn't switched them on. That night they lit all night, but the next day was cloudy and they had nothing to work with after sunset. Then a thunderstorm rolled in. It was amazing to watch the lanterns react to the flashes of lightning, snapping to attention for many seconds immediately after each one.
I am loving the little reminders of our first summer here, which I should have spent swimming nonstop because I did not know what a rare thing it was to have warm temperatures and lots of sun and zero biting insects or mice, all at once, all season long. Instead, I sorted through all that my aunt and uncle left for us here, and pruned and repositioned, and made little tableaux like this one over the stove:
and this one, of my very favourites of all the old kitchen tools my uncle collected and hung in a lot more places than just the side of this cupboard:
Even though I should have swum more, especially considering how horribly that otherwise perfect summer ended, I am really glad that I left these visual presents for my future self to enjoy.
I had a similar idea when I packed my jar of flowers into a tissue-stuffed basket so it would be stable all the way up north.
They lasted days before they started to look a little sad! and some of them are still so cute today. Queen Anne's Lace: so long-lasting.
That first summer, or maybe the second, I decorated the cupboard doors with pictures of sewing accessories. This one, of thread samples, makes me smile every time I open the cupboard for tea things. So many shades of pink!
My uncle never met a flea market he didn't like (see the kitchen utensils on display above), and he never hesitated to buy original art that somebody else had given up. I absolutely love this study of trees and hung it just inside our bedroom door so I can see it all the time.
But the best thing of all is how beautiful the leaves look when the sun breaks out from behind a cloud after a long, long rain.
What small things make you happy in your home?