Friday, July 1, 2011

Cottage Life

This long weekend, like every long weekend - and every day in summer - I'm dreaming about being at the cottage.

Like most Canadians, visiting the cottage in the summer is a tradition. Growing up, we'd visit my grandmother's cottage near Ottawa - a secluded cabin on a peninsula, with no bathroom. Just an outhouse for two out in the woods. Terrifying at night. Who needs a two-seater outhouse? Do you want to bring your friend? 

The other night I was babysitting, and to entertain myself while the wee one slept, I stocked up on a bunch of magazines. I picked up House and Home, which had a tour of dancer Karen Kain's beautiful cottage.

From House and Home

As glamorous as it is, I bet she wishes she had a two-seater outhouse. If she does have one, it wasn't showcased in House and Home.

While beautiful, her cottage lacks a cottage feel to me. It looks like West Elm, not a rustic retreat. Her cottage kitchen is pretty much my dream kitchen, though.

From House and Home
These days, my parents have a cottage near Parry Sound, ON. It lacks the sophistication of Kain's place, but when it comes to character, it wins out. Our cottage decor could be described as a place where furniture goes to die. Imagine, if you will, a beige couch (chesterfield is a better description), with flowers in various shades of orange. Imagine said chesterfield to have the feel of a burlap sack, and the firmness of a rock. The cottage is also the end of the road for any book that my parents read - a jumble of things to read, including every issue of Toronto Life and Cottage Life ever published in the last 8 years. Among the books are usually a selection of power tools (decor by Dad), and always at least one dog.

Although it's not glamorous, it is absolute heaven. A place to go where there isn't even anything to do, but read, nap, have endless Trivial Pursuit championships and eat. And, on a warm day, enjoy a swim.

One of the hardest things about living far away from home (besides, you know, missing my family) is that I can't just pop up to the cottage on a weekend. A trip there takes planning, and a good chunk of time. This summer we won't make it up there, and that's heartbreaking for me. And so, this long weekend, I'm left with only daydreaming about a quiet lake and a jumble of old books.


  1. Wait, so do you really have a two-holer at your cottage?

  2. We had one at my grandmother's cottage! My parents just have a lonely one-holer.


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