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Cottage Week 2023
For years, my family went to the same cottage each summer.
Someone recently asked me why we chose to go to the same place each summer and the answer that immediately popped into my mind was, “Because we loved it there.” What other answer could there be?
Alas, despite our love for that cottage, we outgrew it, and for or the past two summers we have been wanderers.
Last summer, we went to a cottage near Midland and it was just fine. Fine cottage, fine beaches, and lovely family. This summer, we were at a cottage in Sauble Beach and it felt like a better match for us than last year’s cottage did, even though it was a physically smaller cottage and things got a little bit squashy at times.
I’m not sure what we will do next summer.
Part of me misses the security of knowing that we will return to the same place again each summer. It’s not easy to find the right size of cottage with the proper combinations of sleeping arrangements, in the right location, and for the right price. Also, there is something comforting about anticipating visiting a place you’ve been before. You can let yourself look forward to the things that you know will be there waiting for you.
I suspect that we will eventually find another place that we like and settle there for as many vacations as possible. I’m excited about that, but I actually am glad though that we’re doing this season of wandering together. It’s a chance to learn and grow together, while being in a stage where most of our life decisions are pretty much independent of each other.
I think we’ve learned to put words to some of our preferences regarding vacationing. I shouldn’t speak for the rest of the family, I guess, but I’ve definitely learned a few things about what I prefer in a cottage experience.
It’s nice when there is a beach within easy walking distance, and when that beach is sandy- both in and out of the water.
It’s nice to have biking/hiking options around us.
It’s nice when the cottage is big enough for everyone to have a bedroom (rather than people needing to sleep on couches/mattresses), but not so big that people can scatter and get lost in the corners.
It’s nice when the cottage doesn’t quite feel like a house- when outside doesn’t feel far away at all.
It was a lovely week at the cottage with my family.
I’ve heard that there are some people in this world who wonder how you occupy yourself at a cottage for a whole week.
Here’s how we do it.
Cue more hiking photos…
And most of all…
We just enjoy being together.
There’s always something to do at the cottage. Time dances differently there.
The activities of daily living expand graciously and settle themselves in softly around the edges of vacation activities. There’s always an early morning walk to be had, food to be prepared, a sunset to be seen, a snack to be eaten, dishes to be done, a swim to be gone on, a conversation to be joined, or teeth to be brushed.
You have nothing but time, but somehow, there still isn’t quite enough of it.
In fact, I ran out of time to do all the things that I wanted to do.
Perhaps I’ll get the other items on the list accomplished next year at the cottage…