Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's 1:01 AM and

I feel semi-compelled to write something here before disappearing up to the cottage (again!) for another week.

The cottage, for those of you who may have just climbed aboard, is situated in the Land O' Lakes region of southern Ontario. It's a 3-bedroom pre-fab, sitting on concrete blocks on a couple hundred feet of shoreline on Lake Kashwakamak. In 1966 or '67, my father was told that Crown Land (belonging to the government) was being opened up on the lake and divided into lots. The land was free -- with a catch -- a catch my father was quite happy to accept.

If he didn't build a habitable dwelling within two years, he'd have to pay a penalty of $50/year until he did.

My father was proud to call himself a merchant. He built a retail home furnishings store and turned it into a profitable (until I ran it - but that's another story) business. He was a savvy businessman and knew a good deal when one presented itself. And, as a child who lived through the Great Depression of the 30's, he understood the value of a dollar.

And no way was he going to give up 50 of them if he could help it.

In 1968, for the princely sum of $5,000.00, the Baron Family cottage was erected on the south shore of Lake Kashwakamak.

Since then, my five siblings and our children have shared the premises every year from May (ice out!) until November (ice coming!). For too many years, as I struggled with a a failing business and difficult marriage, I didn't get up to the cottage at all, or for only two or three days a year. It was like being denied soul food and my spirit withered.

But that was then and this is now and guess what?


I'll tell you:

My toes are tanned. The last time my toes were tanned was 1971 and I had been in sunny Greece for weeks. (By the way, for Thumbelina and a couple of others who have read my website and asked: I'm quite close to writing about my time there. Stay tuned.)

They're tanned because it's been a hot summer and I've spent much of it at the cottage --  lazing aboot as only a good Canucklehead can -- drinking beer and fishing eh?

And I'm off to do more of the same in a few hours. I'll wave when I get back.

Hope you're enjoying your summer* as much as I.

Now it's 1:36 AM. Night all.

This is the view at sunset from the left side of our dock.

* Yeah - yeah. I know you Oddsies and Brazilians and South Africans are shivering in your oh-so-terrible-cry-me-a-river winter temps of 14C/57F. Big babies. You oughtta be ashamed.


Skunkfeathers said...

That's the way to laze the summer away ;)

Fabian Colossi said...

Well, since I moved to Rio the temperature is higher than I was used to. But today we woke up with a shivering 14C indeed... =P Have a nice time on the cottage!

Sandy Da Oddsie :) said...

Poor you Eras :) This Oddsie is in the middle of winter & yes we have had a few days where we were freezing our butts off BUT geez then we have days like tomorrow (Thurs here) where it's gunna be 27C lol how bad a winter is it? It's great actually and spring is on it's way!!! I've sent the snow & ice back where it belongs. *pointing north*

Leah J. Utas said...

Frank, I'm glad you've found a place of refuge. It sounds like an ideal place to play.

I've managed to enjoy summer here, between the raindrops.

Hilary said...

So this is why you're still in bed while I'm up feeding the bird and walking the dog and ... hurry up! I'm looking forward to getting back there as much as you are, Tanned Toes.

Charlie said...

I loves me my mountains, but I do miss the waters of a southern Ontario lake. If you look west at sunset and give me a tip of your hat, Frank, I'll know it. :)

Reb said...

How wonderful that you have enjoyed that benefits of the lake & cottage for so long. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Lovely photo.

Tabor said...

It is nice after a struggle in life to find a place of peace. ENJOY!

Chicago Mary said...

I am suffering from cabin envy. :-(

Thumbelina said...

Tanned Toes?
Greek exploits?

I too have cabin envy. And Tanned Toe envy.
Go relax, I ordered the book, so I can read it in sunny.... or should that be "refreshingly wet" Wales next week....
I still look forward to the Greek tales...:)

Grayquill said...

Great story. What an opportunity to get a lake front piece of property. Now get outta' here.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have a summer cottage. They are popular in Sweden too. That sunset shot is glorious. Enjoy your tanned toes!

Bhaswati said...

That sounds like such a great place for vacationing. Lucky you to have what a lot of us can only dream of. Enjoy! :)

Anonymous said...

I always love it when you talk about the cabin. I know you'll enjoy yourself this time around. ~Nita

Pauline said...

he's got a dock
he's got a boat
he's got a dog
that likes to float
that sunset's lovely
heaven knows
and looky there
he's got tanned toes :)

Frank Baron said...

Skunky, I really think I'm getting the hang of it. ;)

Fabian, you're a weather wimp. Luckily I know how ultra-macho you are in other areas. ;)

Sandy, you're spoiled. You know that, don't you? :)

Leah, glad to hear you're enjoying it too. Hopefully, your autumn will be dry and pleasant.

A few more days and we'll be back there, Hil. :)

Done Charlie. And more to come, I hope.

Thanks, Reb. Hope you're having a good one too.

I am, Tabor. It's been a terrific summer to date. :)

Mary, I hope you can find a cure before too long. Must be some cabin country not too-too far from Chicago....

Thumbelina, I hope you and hubby enjoy the book. Thanks for buying it. I'll send that bookplate along soon. :)

I'm back, GQ. But leaving again in a few days. Thanks for the visit.

Thanks ladyfi. :)

Bhaswati, I know I'm blessed and am always appreciative of my lot in life. :)

I did indeed, Nita. And hope to again, soon. Nice to see you again. :)

Pauline, I have a cute doggie and you have a cute way with doggerel. Thanks for the visit and the smile. :)

Dianne said...

that's some view from the dock
that alone is worth being there
I enjoyed reading about the 'birth of a cottage' :)

sorry I heven't been around much
life is so very daily at times and I'm not as perky as I used to be

Frank Baron said...

Dianne, I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling perky these days. Please don't apologize for not being around much. (Or I'd have to apologize near-constantly.) ;)

Kappa no He said...

I did *not* know that story. I am so glad you get to visit now. Have a great time and give The Ben Boy a great big kiss for me.

Frank Baron said...

Will do, Terrie. Thanks. :)

Cheryl Kohan said...

Great story! It gives perspective to Hilary's posts about the cabin (and you and Benny), as well, and I like that. That's an awesome shot of the lake from your deck, too.

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Cheryl. :)