Monday, June 9, 2014

Memory Monday - Cottage

Just so you know, the prep work that goes in to writing these Memory Monday posts is harder than I thought it would be. When the idea was suggested to me, I thought it was brilliant and happily started this series back in April. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying going through old photo albums and remembering my childhood and then sharing the memories with you, but it's a lot of work. It takes forever to go through all the pictures and decide on a topic, then I have to take the pictures out and scan them. Let's just say, it's starting to wear on me. Not to mention all the random pictures that have been lying about our office these last few months.

So after that long winded paragraph on how much work these posts are, I'm here to tell you the end is nearing. I try not to drag my series out too long and I've decided that Memory Monday's are going to come to a close with the end of June. But don't worry too much, you still have a few more posts to enjoy before I move on to something else.

Now, we can finally get to the point of this post! Today's topic is our family cottage, since that place is very special to me and I have many many fond memories from there.

We were lucky enough to come across this fabulous cottage through friends who owned another cottage on the same lake. My family came to an agreement with them that if we fixed it up and kept it in good shape, we would be able to use it for free. And so began the many trips that were taken to Glenwood, the cottage on the island.

It isn't a true island, since it is connected to land by a very small peninsula. But parts of this peninsula are usually under water and is only accessible by foot (and swimming) at certain times of the year. This means that when we wanted to go to the cottage, it was by boat.

Since my parents never really liked motorboats, we traveled by canoe and occasionally row boat. So as children, we would all pile into our canoes, along with all of our stuff, and canoe ourselves to the island.

Once there, our vacation would truly begin. The cottage had electricity, but no running water or indoor plumbing. So while we had the use of a very old fridge and stove, we had to lug our drinking water from home and use an outhouse. The only responsibilities we had once there were helping with meals and dishes and doing the occasional repair work to the cottage. But as a little girl, I usually got out of the work and got to spend most of my time there playing.

We knew that island like the back of our hand and had secret pathways and hiding places. We played school, using slate to write on and logs as our benches. We played Indians, by making teepees and collecting wild berries to eat. We played Barbies on the beach, building houses for them out of rocks and branches. We also sometimes walked out to zebra rock and collected clay to slather our bodies with and walk around feeling all stiff and creepy. We would play for hours along the point, where the shallow water would go out for what felt like miles. We would play dolls, dressing them in bathing suits and giving them baths. We would lounge on the rock beach and pretend to suntan.

Sometimes as a special treat we would canoe or row over to the Depanneur across the bay and buyjunk food. Or if we were very lucky, we would go to the next town over as a whole family and buy Revellos and walk along the beach there.

We would have campfires in the evenings and roast hotdogs and make ghost gum with our marshmallows. We would sing songs and tell stories and enjoy our time relaxing on this wonderful island.

Most trips to the cottage we would also take the time to go up the river. We liked to pretend it was our little secret and no one else on the lake knew about the tiny river that led to the swimming hole.

There we would have picnics and then take a dip in the swimming hole, where there was a huge drop off and and you could swim around in the deep waters. Then we would take turns floating down the river on life jackets, using the strong current to pull us along.

As we got older, the cottage was more of a place to relax and read on the porch, taking the occasional break to swim in the lake.

In the evenings, we would gather inside and play rumoli or bean bag toss or charades. Then we would all pile into the old saggy beds and sleep like babies, breathing in the fresh air from the open windows.

Now that I live so far from my family, we rarely make it out to the cottage anymore. When we do visit the homestead, it's usually a rushed weekend and we can't take time away for a leisurely day at the cottage. But this summer, I will. In only a few short weeks I will be heading out to see that wonderfully familiar place again and get to soak in the memories.

Pink Island, here I come.


Memory Monday Mini Series

Week 1: Birthdays
Week 2: Little Sisters
Week 3: Wedding Dresses
Week 4: Hard Work
Week 5: West Trip
Week 6: Christmas 
Week 7: Family Pictures
Week 8: Cottage


  1. I always wanted a cottage growing up, but it never happened. However we would go camping for a week or two every summer. Such good memories of those trips with my family!! I still try to make it out to a campground every summer

  2. Aw, sweet post Jennie. :) (Sorry it took me all day before sitting down to read your blog has been one of those days...) I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your memory monday posts and appreciate all the hard work you put in to making them happen. :)

  3. Casey - Camping is a pretty good second to a cottage. We used to camp occasionally but I think the cottage kind of took its place overall. Good for you for trying to still get out camping each summer! That's better than I can say about myself.

    Jackie - I figured you would like it. And I know how much you have enjoyed all of these posts. Sorry your day yesterday was rough, hopefully today is better!

  4. Ahhh... the cottage! :) I love the pic of you rowing the boat!!!

  5. Cora - The boat rowing one is pretty great, can't you just picture my little face under that hat? :P