Every year in late July or early August for a week or two I go up to a family cottage on a small island on Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada that my grandparents bought in the 60’s. We have no electricity, and our only running water is brought in by a hand pump in the kitchen and in the Bathroom. There is one flush toilet down the path. We light the cottage at night with Kerosene lamps. We have a gas refrigerator and a gas stove. Our only connection to the world is our small motor boat. We bathe in the cool lake water. It’s the most wonderful place in the world.
My fondest memories from childhood are from summers spent up there, and it’s where I learned to appreciate quiet and solitude. It’s where I learned to light a kerosene lamp, heat water for a bath, drive a boat, fish, cook. It’s the place where I said “Sorry” for the first time.
As I get older, though, I am brought more and more to terms with the struggle that is maintaining the property. It was much more fun to be there when I was blissfully unaware.
However, this year I am determined to relax and not worry about the future of the cottage. I am going to enjoy every second I have, because I don’t know when (or if) I’ll get there again.
I’m leaving at 5am and I’m still not done packing. It’s mostly just my camera supplies now, but I feel like I should sleep just a little before I go.
If you need me, you’ll have to come get me yourself.
I’m going back to the Plain Dealer tomorrow.
But next week promises to be possibly the best of the summer.
There is this great Bob Ross quote that goes, “Gotta have opposites dark and light, light and dark in painting. It’s like in life. Gotta have a little sadness every once in a while so you know when the good times come. I’m waiting on the good times now.”
There is a beautiful and elegant equilibrium to the universe. But I don’t think that this equilibrium exists in just the movements of celestial bodies, I think that it exists in everything; especially including our lives. For all of the bad that we endure, at some point something will happen that makes up for it. I suppose that belief (or that fact or whatever it is) is what gets me through my worst days. I know that eventually, maybe not tomorrow or next week or next month, things will get better. Everything always works itself out in the end, and when it does you’ll know it.
This week is not going to be especially pleasant. There is a city-wide garage sale happening this weekend and my mom and my aunt have decided to participate together. I have been recruited to help.
Today I went through boxes of my childhood looking for things to be sold at the garage sale and tomorrow I will do more of the same. It’s weird, liberating to an extent. But also really boring. I’ll also be organizing my drawers so that I can finally actually unpack my suitcases full of clothes.
But as if this sale isn’t enough, we’re leaving for North Carolina the day after it ends to visit my brother for a week. Regardless, I am extremely excited to see my brother. I have never been to North Carolina and I’m excited to see it, but most of all I really miss my brother. He has been living there for a little over six months and it has been a strange transition. He is four years older than I am and my only sibling, so I am used to being the only one at home for most of the year, but when he was in college he still seemed accesible. But now I am in college and he is beginning a career three states away and I don’t really know how to deal with so much change at once.
So this week will be crappy, and hopefully next week will be the reward.
I’d like to know what my reward will be for enduring this summer.