Opening the Cottage, 2014

This past Victoria Day weekend, I finally opened the cottage. With the severe winter we've just been through I have been anxious to get up to the lake since March, and this was the weekend (of all weekends) to go up.

The cottage (now christened "Fugawee", in honour of my mother's favourite (and only) joke) withstood the winter with the grace of the mature beauty that it is.

She's no longer "pretty"; fourty-five years in the wilderness takes the edge off of "pretty", leaving "mature" and "well-built" as a public face. To me, she's "majestic" and "homey" and "warm". She lives amidst the most beautiful scenery imaginable, and has sheltered and cared for four generations of my relatives and family.

Fugawee made it through the hard winter without any problems. A couple of mice took up residence within her walls for a short while, and they were long gone by the time I arrived this spring. A passing chipmunk kept me company (for a very short while) while I cleaned up and got things arranged for the year.

It felt good to be back, on the shores of Kimball Lake, again. The weather, always fickle and slightly ADHD, changed from overcast and cold to sunny and warm (and, as I left, back to overcast again). There were few cottagers up at the lake this weekend; most will wait for the spring Black Fly and Mosquito season to pass before venturing up through the muddy road to the small landing, and on to boats to to their cottages on the lake.

I saw Graeme Lindsey at his cottage; he came up on Saturday to open, and told me that he would leave mid-afternoon on Sunday.

OK, so here's the skinny....

I got up to the landing around 1:30PM on Friday, got the boat launched and loaded, and arrived at the cottage around 2PM. No bugs; I didn't need bugspray - I guess that the weather is still a bit too cold for blackflies and mosquitoes. The winter had broken up the old floating dock that Bob had rescued a couple of years ago, but with the water up about a foot over the summertime levels, I didn't try to pick up the pieces. Wading through knee-deep, ice-cold water for hours on end isn't my thing anymore. I have plans to build a new dock this summer; I'll clean up all the old docks then, in the hot summer sun and cool summer water.

The cottage was relatively clean; a couple of mice had spent (I'm guessing) one or two days in the cottage in the fall before they found the mouse-bait I had set out when I closed up last year. There was a sprinkling of mouse droppings all about, and two corpses by the stove. It took me all of Friday afternoon, and part of the evening, but I got all the rooms swept and the droppings and corpses disposed of. All the beds are now made, including the bed in the loft.

I took Saturday to clean the cupboards, wash the pots and pans that the mice had been into, and generally get things back in order. Graeme came into the lake late in the afternoon, around 6PM, and I waited until after dinner to go visit him. We chatted a little, and then went back to our respective domains to complete our respective tasks. I hung some solar lights in the porch, moved some small wall decorations around, and generally kept (mildly) busy for the rest of the evening.

On Sunday, I had a leisurely breakfast, and relaxed for a couple of hours. After lunch, I cleaned up the last of my dishes, packed the boat, locked up and motored back to the landing. Gone (but not forgotten) by 12:30 and home by 4:30.

I can't wait to go up again.