I have had time to reflect on my time at the cottage wondering why I enjoy it so much.
It comes down to this. The area is unpretentious. It is not a resort. There are no ski hills. No bike trails. No water slides. No fancy cars. And, no hotels. It is a farming community where locals earn a modest living working the land and serving a small but appreciative cottage community. Farmers. Plumbers. Roofers. Carpenters. Builders. Marina operators. Grocers. Store owners. They are simple, hard working and trustworthy people.
The cottage is the same. Modest. There is no extravagance. Just the basics. A small, indoor bathroom. An old but functional kitchen. Water pumped from the lake for bathing. A cast iron, wood burning stove for heat and emergency cooking. And, electricity.
Its about scale. The cottage is only 1,000 square feet including an outdoor screened porch. More than enough space for two and, in the good weather when everyone can get outdoors, lots of space for as many as six. The cathedral ceilings, open layout and large windows make the space feel larger than it really is. And, the waterfront lot is just the right size. One half of an acre. Large enough to provide privacy from the neighbours but small enough to maintain.
The cottage was built in a different time. Following WW II there was a lot to look forward to. Peace. A new life. A steady job. And, a family. A time when families could escape the city and summer heat to cottage country.
Today, cottages are a luxury. A relic from a past era. Young people can barely afford a home in the city, let alone a cottage. And, if they can, it is a small 700 square foot condo. An apartment smaller than the cottage and with no property.
I wonder what will happen to cottage country. Cottagers are aging and their children can’t afford to keep the places up. My kids certainly can’t. At least not yet. And, if they could, I am not certain they would want to. Their lives are different. No, I am afraid cottage life, as I have known it, is going the way of the dinosaur.
I have wondered what my retirement might look like. How I might keep busy. Cycling will certainly be a part of it. As long as I am able, I would want to train and explore on two wheels. And, the cottage too. As long as I am able, I would want to spend the summer months there with a bike (and kayak).
I won’t sell the cottage. No. I’ll leave that for my kids to do. They don’t have the same attachment. It will be easier for them.