Cabins and cottages I have known. Some I have loved.
The one room cabin up highway 11 ten thousand years ago that we arrived at by flying over the top of hills with my dad yelling hang on, here’s another one! then laughing like crazy as I screamed from the backseat and my mother in the front held on to her cat’s eye sunglasses with one hand and her Sweet Caporal with the other. My dad’s cig was between his lips the whole time. We found the place by luck and chance after thinking it was fine to go on a summer holiday without a reservation anywhere. We ate radishes and rye bread for our supper and listened to the rain fall.
The place on Oxtongue Lake where we went a few years in a row and I met an older girl named Lucy who I thought wanted to be friends with me but really she just wanted an alibi for the hours she spent with a rather slimy fellow who worked on the property. I was reading Archie comics in those days and my idea of a good time was getting up before anyone else and taking the rowboat for a spin. Some things don’t change…
Where we used to stay with friends on Rice Lake but too many people kept dropping by and the dock always needed to be fixed.
The surprise of a place on PEI that I swear is magic.
The other place on PEI with a view of everything.
The one near Leamington where they left baked goods and fresh fruit on the table for our arrival and where rooster song woke us in the most cheerful way. I’d always assumed waking-by-rooster would be jarring. It’s not.
The place near the farm in Ganonoque where flies covered the insides of our windows BUT we *did* get to see the pigs fed each evening. Plus there was a canoe.
A friend’s cottage up north where no one dropped by and the dock was fine.
The haunted one near Bobcaygeon, which, apart from that detail, was brilliant.
Two in Nova Scotia: one, on the Cabot Trail that I barely remember except it was an A-frame and we only stayed a night because it was better than sleeping in the car and who would have thought there weren’t a hundred places to choose from on that route? And the other, also a late night find I can’t remember where exactly but in a town so small everything was closed at 5 p.m. The owner of the cabin made us a sandwich. Such kindness.
The place I spent a day each year visiting people who had a paddle-boat and ate marshmallow fluff straight from the jar.
The one on the land in B.C. that is tiny, ancient and decrepit and was once home to a family of five, who travelled on foot through god only knows how many kilometres of thick forest, up and down hills to get to *town*. And back. It’s not actually habitable but we camped near it and I liked imagining the family’s life, the Okanagan people before them, the life of the land.
Other (not always) wordless friends: