STRETCHING OUT SUMMER AT THE COTTAGE BEFORE GRANDKIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL

Shari Blackstien Natovitch's photo.

It was so easy this year to enjoy cottaging until and including the Labor Day weekend, this first week of September 2015. The  weather cooperated . The temperature was  unseasonably hot, hot ,hot  and the lake water toward the end of the week was surprisingly warm, warm ,warm.  I even went swimming . Yes I did- me who prefers to swim in water the temperature of a warm bath took my noodle for a dip . Swimming, boating, tubing, and water skiing was enjoyed by all . Oh and eating and eating and eating some more. Groan- I feel like I am carrying a tube around my middle and I think I may be waddling. But what the heck, a little waddle was worth the feasting. Anyway soon I will be fasting.

Shari Blackstien Natovitch's photo.

 On Sunday August 30, I rode up  to the cottage  with my  youngest daughter her hubby, my two young grandsons and Kaga the dog. Quarters were a little cramped. It  didn’t help that Kaga was sprayed by a skunk a couple days previously. Although he was freshly shampooed  and showered following  the incidence and the subsequent  days, aroma de skunk permeated the automobile,  Kaga was so happy to see me he kept leaning over for some loving and I was the recipient of extra whiffs of do.ggy and skunk.   The older boy threatened to be car sick. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the skunk or just motion sickness. In any event his father coached him to inhale slowly through his nose and exhale through his mouth. That and a stop at burger King for chicken nuggets and fries seemed to cure him. I was particularly happy because I was the one sitting next to him holding the designated barf bucket.

We were greeted at the cottage with warm weather, and Chippy the chipmunk. The boys and their Dad went swimming The lake was cold– but that didn’t deter the younger set .They ran from the far end of the dock and flung themselves into the chilly water. I was particularly impressed with the confidence that the younger one had acquired since I last saw him and the lake interact.

Monday guests arrived-friends of my off spring with their two little boys . We now had four mini men, six  and under sharing the cottage with the adults, The kids were looking foreword to a boat ride, but the boat refused to cooperate. It wouldn’t  start.We had to wait for someone to charge its battery The boat is getting old and has been grumpy and likes to call the shots. Daughter and son in law made a gourmet meal  while the kids played on the beach  and the adults watched. The meal was enjoyed by all.

Tuesday was another beautiful day . The kids wanted to hang out in the cottage in the morning . They were lured outside by the aroma of weenies and marshmallows roasting at the fire pit. It was very peaceful, except for the continuous and  incessant noise of some sort of an alarm.We traced its roots to our neighbours guest cottage. Our neighbours were in the main cottage and were unaware of any alarm.Their guest cottage appeared to be okay, but they were unsure if it was a false alarm or a thwarted guest cottage invasion. In any event it gave me the opportunity to visit with my neighbours and catch up with what was going on.

Late afternoon the young folk {in comparison to me} vacated the cottage to do family activities and have dinner in Midland. I was invited to join them but I opted instead to have some quiet time-just me and Kaga. after their return we watched the baseball game between  the Toronto Blue jays and the Cleveland Indians on television. Yes! What an exciting game. Ryon Goins scored a walk off homer in the 10th inning to win the game 5 to 3. His teammates celebrated his feat by ripping off his t- shirt, rubbing shaving cream in his face and pouring gatorade over his head. Men will be boys.

Wednesday was water activity day. The weather and the boat cooperated. The boys were introduced to tubing and loved it. Our guests departed and we awaited the arrival of my eldest grandson the master of water sports.

Our eldest daughter and son in law and family arrived,  with 2 extra kids. We mainly had a lake day. We could have had a disaster. My daughter brought her three year old down to the dock. We were just in the process about to put on his life jacket, cottage rule while down at the dock. He saw his cousins in the lake and decided to jump in not remembering that his life jacket wasn’t on.His dad jumped in immediately to rescue him. There was no need. He didn’t sink . He started calmly paddling about and having a great time. We knew he was a great swimmer with the aid of his life vest but we had no idea  he wasn’t  dependent on it. However we insisted that his life vest must be worn at all times in the lake in the foreseeable future.he wasn’t too happy about that.

The four adolescent girls  decided to gang up on my oldest grandson. they collectively tried to push him in the water . But a funny thing happened. He stayed on the dock and they all ended up in the lake.

Nice to see the cottge so busy and the table filled to capacity, reminiscent of the old days.

For dinner a giant lasagna and a giant salad was devoured by the starving younger set. Nothing was left for the older folk so we barbecued and ate outside. later in the evening some of the adults took the kids for   for a night time dip in the lake to cool off.

Saturday morning, my son and daughter in law arrived with my two youngest granddaughters. The four year old loved hanging out with the older girls and they loved hanging out with her. We think she is practicing  to be a teenager. The little ones enjoyed all the attention bestowed upon them. and the four youngest played well together with only a minimum of tears. The others left and it was only 5 of us to sit down to dinner. We missed the departure of our family  gourmet chefs.

I drove back to the city with my son and daughter in law and their family. But first there was laundry to do, vacuuming and a general cleaning  up as well as tossing out from fridge and freezer.

A cottage is a wonderful way to spend family time with loved ones. Unfortunately this may be our last year at the cottage. But we will see.

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About epsnider

E.P SNIDER is the pen name that I used to publish "WHY ME- a memoir". I used a pen name so as not to embarrass my spouse, my offspring, their offspring, my grand dogs and my friends. A dream came true when I had my first book published at the age of sixty-nine. "WHY ME? "is a collection of memoirs recounted from various stages of my life and the lives of those that I love or like at least some of the time. Most of the incidences are humorous-some are not. I am a senior but I feel more like a junior except for the aches and pains. When I look in the mirror I often see my mother or some other aging lady with wrinkles and sun spots. The amount and depth of wrinkling depends on which mirror I am looking into, the degree of lighting and how well my skin absorbed the moisturizing cream that day. Although I am mature in years, maturity is definitely not one of my virtues. If something strikes me as funny I get the giggles. Most of my family and many of our friends have a rather warped sense of humour-so I giggle a lot. Laughter plays an important role in our lives. My friends were a significant inspiration for me to begin my writing career. For the past number of years hubby and I have been spending part of the winter season in Florida to escape the sometimes bitter cold climate in Toronto Canada. Every year I send emails to those left behind. To my delight they find my emails to be hysterical and a cure for their winter doldrums. They compare my style of writing to that of the late Erma Bombeck. For those of you not familiar with the author-- she was a beloved American humorist in the 1970's and 1980's. I have loved literature and creative writing from an early age. I spent some of my growing up years in Alberta and won a prize for a best poem commemorating Alberta's bicentennial year. My grade seven teacher was a large and forceful woman, with white hair and course bristly white chin hairs to match. We were all intimidated by her and thus listened intently as she drilled us about parsing sentences and adverbs and adjectives. She provided me with a good basis of the English language. In addition to "Why Me" I have had a short essay published in a book of assorted memoirs by Canadian woman. I currently write for our Toronto Condominium newspaper. I hope to do more writing, although I am not sure if my family can cope with any more of my meltdowns when blocks of written material mysteriously disappear off of my computor. I admit I am computor and electronically challenged, but I will persevere. - - - - - - - - - - - Writing has been a passion of mine through out my life. Ever since I took a step forward and entered into the world of computers, a new world of opened up for me. I found myself engrossed in writing emails with lengthy updates about my life's recent highlights. To my delight, people found me...funny! I then offered to write for my condo newsletter, and I recently had a short memoir published. For the last several years I became glued to my computer, transferring my hand-written life adventure notes to an actual story of my life's defining moments. Finally, at the age of 69, I was done... I wrote a book! AND it's actually published. People are reading it. People are enjoying it. I am thrilled! Plus, it's one of the greatest gifts I could ever give my family. Talk about a dream come true. My advice to you: Think positive, keep your eye on the prize, and you too can enjoy as your dreams and desires come to fruition.
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