When you’ve been coming to the same place for your holidays for as long as you’ve been alive, you tend to be pretty familiar with the lay of the land and all that. And I should mention that I’m not just blowing smoke with that whole “as long as I’ve been alive” thing – this isn’t hyperbole, it’s the dog’s honest truth. Here’s how it rolls.
My grandparents bought a piece of land in 1953 and two years later there was a structure on said piece of land, built by them. And I say structure instead of cottage because that’s really what it was. No place for sleeping, not much of anything, really. And definitely not very big, not at all luxurious, but there it was. Flash forward a few years later and bedrooms and a kitchen were added along with outdoor facilities (which thankfully were brought indoors a few years later as well). And from there, more and more amenities have been added over the years. It’s still 600 square feet of utter rusticness (rusticity?) but it’s definitely a little home away from home.
By the late 1960s, my grandparents decided to build their home not far from where the cottage is, and so they required a little getaway location less and less. My parents basically took over, and it became ours. And through the summer months from the time I was about 6 months old, we lived here. Once we were older, my brother and I were here with my mum from the last day of school to Labour Day. My dad had vacation weeks, and he also did a lot of commuting back and forth from the cottage to the city for work.
So, that should explain how I’ve been coming here my entire life. And while neighbours up here have come and gone, changes have been made to cottages along our road, some trees have grown up and some have been taken down, almost everything else is exactly the same as it’s always been. And there’s comfort in that, you know?
Bird calls, the smell of the water, the feel of the grass, the way the sun hits the cottage, the sunsets on the water… it could be 2011 or 1976. 1995 or 1982. And I love that about this place.
Right now I’m on the deck, feet up on a relatively new patio chair, drinking coffee out of a mug – one of a set of 4 – that my mum got for her birthday in 1979. I know it’s 2011 because my 11-year old son is sitting across from me, drawing and saying “waffles” under his breath (because I have yet to make breakfast) and I am using my netbook to blog. But, if I close my eyes and hear only the wind, the song of the redwinged black bird, and the waves, and take in the slightly fishy smell of the air and feel the sun on my legs? I’m 8 again. Or 12. Or 30. Or 4.
It’s a good feeling.