Summer Vacation

My family didn’t travel much when I was a kid, and if we did, it was only to nearby camp grounds and the like. I’ve only been on a plane once (or twice if you count the flight home) when my mom took me and my brother to Disney World for my twelfth birthday. Some poor guy died on the previous flight of the plane we were trying to board at the end of the trip. We had to wait for him to be removed and I guess they had no other choice but to wheel him right through the room of waiting passengers. It was a weird experience and my strongest memory of the trip. I’ve been to New York State about a dozen times and Quebec twice, but that’s about it. To quote April Wheeler in Revolutionary Road, “I’ve never really been anywhere.”

My husband and I have travel goals, but something always seems to trump them when it comes time to plan the yearly budget. That’s why we relish our one week of summer vacation spent, every year, up north at the cottage. We established the tradition when we were in college, every year taking as many friends as we could comfortably fit – and sometimes more – in the two cottages previously owned by my husband’s great-grandparents. My husband and I have spent time up there together as a couple of kids, as an engaged couple and as husband and wife.

The cottages were left in trust to my husband’s generation and have been managed and cared for by my mother-in-law since before my husband was born. A little while ago, the time felt right for my mother-in-law to pass the ancestral property on to my husband and anyone else who was interested in taking on the responsibility of caring for a place with so much family history. It was also time for her to take over the cottage down the path, previously owned by her parents. Although we are still waiting for all the legal stuff to go through, my husband thought it only right to start working on the maintenance and preservation of the property.

Luckily we have friends who have come to cherish the place almost as much as we have and who were happy to help with the less-fun aspects of owning a cottage.

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Though I can’t image why.

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I mean, there’s no TV, no computer, we only just got cell service and internet last year, the nearest town is an hour away and the cottage is only accessible by boat. There’s nothing to do.

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(Photo: Brett Didemus)

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