I got a call this morning at 8 from my dad, inviting Sophia and I on a road trip. It would be 5 hours in the car, but I couldn’t say no. Because my dad was going up to the cottage.
My Opa and Oma, along with my parents and my aunt, built the cottage. Almost entirely by themselves. They hired someone to blast the rock for the foundation, and maybe to pour the foundation, but everything else, they built themselves. My Opa got crates from a massive printing press the Star had recently purchased to use as construction materials. My Oma envisioned my dad and aunt’s rooms with single beds and desks (something my mum was able to change).
I spent weeks there every summer in my childhood, with my siblings, cousins and aunt – she always looked forward to the weekend, when the child-adult ratio was less than 7 to 1. I left for camp from the cottage, and I came back to the cottage. I had friends up, and spent relaxing weekends there with my husband.
But about 2 weeks ago, my dad and aunt sold the cottage. It was time… The dock was dying, the decks were dangerous, and the gardens were grown over. But most important, it had become a terrible stress. It had become far more work than fun, and it was, sadly, time to let go.
And so when my dad called at 8am, saying he had to do about an hour of work at the cottage, and did I S and I want to join him for the drive, I knew I wanted her to go up at least once in her life.
It was a great trip. It started snowing at around Barrie, and there was accumulation by the time we got to Gravenhurst. We skipped Webber’s, in favour of a BBQ place, and S was SO good… She slept almost the entire 2 ½ hours each way. At the cottage, I got to say goodbye, which had been my one regret. Even though I have sort of said goodbye to the place every time I’ve been up for the past… decade? This time it was a lot more final.
The sale of the cottage closes Feb 1st. I