My Cottage is like Christmas

Cottaging. Canada’s favourite pastime. For my American readers, no, I am not referring to a cabin similar to the one Snow White stumbled upon in the woods.

However, with my cottage this rarely involves casually hanging out with a few friends. My whole family is there. Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole gang! Just like Christmas, well, Christmas with my family.

With it being my grandparent’s cottage, there are a few stipulations. There’s no alcohol, no swearing, and no scandalous attire. It’s a real test of character and your ability to find entertainment and enjoyment in the mundane. Did I mention that you’re stuck on an island? There’s no sneaking out in the middle of the night.

Watch out, though. At my cottage, you will want to eat all the time. Mainly because there’s food everywhere. Dinner’s are always elaborate and involve the whole family sitting at a crazy long table. Don’t worry, no formal wear is required. Lunches are more casual, but they always involve dessert. Yes, there is dessert with every meal. You might even consider some of the breakfast options as desserts in and of themselves. There are also plenty of couches, not only because there are a crap-ton of us, but after your giant turkey dinner and pie, you’re going to need to lie down.

How do you feel about blackouts? With cottage blackouts, there’s no telling how long they’ll last. Maybe the power will return almost immediately. Maybe never. It’s good to be prepared for never. Aside from the need to overcome your fear of the dark, it’s important to know how to survive with lack of technology. And be prepared to eat your share of the ice-cream bars during lengthy blackouts. We can’t let them go to waste!

Creativity is key and a love of board games is a must. Ok, maybe you don’t have to love them, but you have to be willing to play. Once the sun goes down and the bugs come out, it’s time to retreat indoors.

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Ode to a Rustic Escape

Here I sit in a darkened room
With no power to call my own.

Only just a few minutes and soon
I won’t even have my phone.

Left to live as the pioneers did.
I’m about to leave the grid!

No TV. No radio. No motorcar.
Oh wait! Another bar!

As Roughing It As It Gets (For Me)

IMG_0464Roughing-it really brings out your true self. Me, I’m not much of a camper. Don’t get me wrong, I have camped before. I did the whole sleeping in a tent, living like the wild thing. I even portaged. Mind you, I also managed to tip the canoe, knocking everyone’s stuff in the water. I think they learned a valuable lesson in survival.

I’m more of a cottager. In the summer, my family spends most of our weekends up at the cottage. Although many people envision a cottage as a luxurious summer home on the lake, ours is not quite like that. It’s a little more rustic than most. We do have indoor plumbing, but it’s not clean water. And with the laughable water pressure in the shower, you’re better off washing your hair in the lake.

As a kid, my siblings, my cousins, and I would play in the water all day, inventing creative ways to jump/ fall into the water. We’d play hide and seek, which is quite the challenge when you’re on an island. Now a days, our cottaging experience is a little different. We still play board games, but most of the time, we’re on our phones. When it rains, it thunders. When it thunders, it’s only a matter of time before your all sitting in a dark room. During the brink of every power outage, the first words out of anyone’s mouth are, “Charge your phones!” That, and, “Eat all the ice cream!” Seriously, you can’t have ice cream go to waste. If that’s not roughing it, I don’t know what is.

Good thing we still have the lake water to keep us grounded.