Friday, October 19, 2018

It's that time of year...

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Mr. L's painting of our cottage view.
Back when I was in my early 20s, my parents fulfilled a dream: they bought a summer cottage. I won't tell you how many years that cottage has been in my family, but it's been a LOT of years. At the beginning, my brothers got the main use of the place. But as their kids got older, they didn't want to go. They wanted to be with their friends. Too bad for my brothers, good for my folks and Mr. L and I. (Can you say "peace and quiet?")

My folks would use the cottage during the workweek, and we would use it on the weekends. And then when my Dad cut down on driving on expressways, they would come with us. We had a lot of fun doing yard sales together and hanging out at Happy Hour.

Now they're gone and Mr. L and I have the cottage to ourselves and we love it as much as our house. But it is only a summer cottage and summer officially ended a month ago. Thanks to baseboard heat, and municipal water, we have been able to stretch the season from three months to six.  That six months is over. It's time to close it down for the winter.

There are other things to miss, too--like visiting our two favorite restaurants where they know us. We walk in and the bartenders start making our drinks before we even sit down. They know our favorite meals ("I'll bet you get the fish fry today!"). Even though we're only summer people, they make us feel like a part of the scenery. It's hard to hear, "See you next year!"

I always feel sad leaving the cottage to face those icy winds that travel across the lake from Canada. Even though it's only 40 miles from Rochester, tt snows a LOT MORE at the cottage, When the snow is coming down an inch an hour and the wind is howling, I often think of our little cottage sitting there all alone and freezing. I find myself going through my pictures and long for the spring when we'll return to pick up all the sticks that have fallen in the yard, rake up the pine needles we missed the fall before, and haul out the chairs on the deck.

It's only October but already I'm thinking about May.

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