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.