Normally, in Canada, the first official weekend of the Cottage is the Victoria Day weekend which usually falls on or around the 24th of May. Of course, this year many of us were preoccupied with the apocalypse or, in my case, hardwood flooring, so I didn’t make it up to the cottage to open it to the lovely, damp spring air. In fact, I hadn’t been there since sometime mid-winter and was getting a bit anxious about the state of things – particularly the height of the grass after all this rain.
Today the family made a flying trip up there to sort out a soaring hydro bill (we’d left some of the baseboard heaters running) and to do any necessary work. The grass wasn’t as bad as I had feared but a cracked pipe in the basement means no water until it can be fixed. Oh well, the taxing life of a cottage owner.(NOT) Interestingly, as soon as you hit the beautiful rolling hills of Quebec, you can feel your blood pressure drop to a comfortable level. It was raining this morning on the way up but that seemed to add to the magic. Mist covered, emerald hills and forests created a view of which one can never tire.
The cottage garden glowed with pink and white flox and the ferns glistened with droplets of water as I walked down the hill from where the car was parked to the cottage entrance. I took a deep breath and smelled the scent of cool, damp earth, wood, and dense foliage. I smiled…even as the mosquitoes dive bombed me…I was back at the place I love getting away to. After a quick lunch, the kids took off down the lane to the tiny footbridge that traverses a babbling brook (it really is). And they spent the next few hours on various “adventures” there. Afterward they were soaked, rainboots filled with water, but the smiles on their faces told me they loved every minute of it.
I spent an hour or so in what, to an onlooker, would have been a task of hilarious insanity. I mowed the lawn with an electric mower….yes, I said electric. I’ll get back to that in a minute. This task requires that I go down to the cottage basement, open the doors that exit to under the deck, grab the electric cables that have been sitting in, what to my mind is a spider infested crypt (I suffer slightly from arachnophobia), and pull the lawn mower up several steps, out the door and then run a few feet under the deck to the opening to the yard. Of course, before exiting, I stand, heart pounding, searching the deck joists for large spiders. Seeing none…I can commence the run to the yard.
The cables then have to be all sorted out because at the end of the last mowing in the fall, I tossed them haphazardly onto the shelf as I did the spider dash. Once straightened out and connected, I have to go back under the deck to plug it in…more checking and dashing…then back, finally, to the task of mowing. May I just ask, what idiot came up with the idea of an electric mower? I spent more time trying to move the damn chord out of the way than actually moving the lawn mower. As I swung the damn cable around, pushed the mower through grass that nearly stopped the blades, swatted like a lunatic all the flying bastards that wanted a chunk out of me, and muttered profanities under my breath, I’m sure my neighbour, who was sitting comfortably on his concrete deck looking out over his lawn which was mown by a ride-on gas mower, was chuckling heartily to himself.
And then it was over. Just like that. The lawn looked great and as I wiped the sweat from my brow and kicked the stupid mower before putting it away, the birds began singing again and the bees skipped happily from flower to flower. That’s it, I thought…time for photos. So here we are folks…the part of being at the cottage I love the most…the beauty. Enjoy!