Last fall, one of my gal pals called and asked if I'd like to go with her to her cottage about an hour north of the city on Lake Winnipeg.
Would I? YES!!!
It had been years since I'd gotten out of the city for more than a day trip.
I've always envied people who had a cottage - or access to one! I know people who own cottages but just never felt comfortable enough to try and invite myself - especially since I'd need someone to drive me!
My friend and I had talked about me going up with her before, but she also knew that I wasn't a fan of hot weather or much of a water person so hadn't asked me during the hotter months.
We left late Friday afternoon and were back early Sunday afternoon. Only two days but OH - how wonderful it was to get away! The weather was cool and mostly cloudy but it was just so relaxing!
Well, I must have been a good guest as I got invited back last weekend!!
Again we left on Friday afternoon and arrived around 6. The weather was sunny with temps in low 20'sC so quite comfortable. We dropped our stuff at the cottage and headed out for a yummy supper of fish and chips (fresh pickerel) then to get some groceries for the weekend. Back at the cottage, we settled in and spent the rest of the evening chatting. We turned in around 11.
I woke about 5 to birds chirping and the sound of rain. Naturally, I rolled over and went back to sleep.
When I did get up a few hours later, I could tell from the look of the puddles on the ground that we'd gotten a fair bit of rain during the night. Unfortunately, it continued to rain off and on all day! Not that we had really planned much outdoor activity - it just wasn't what we had hoped for either! We wanted to spend at least a bit of time outside!
We did manage a short walk between showers in the afternoon. We walked to the nearby beach, listened to the waves lapping the shore and watched some sailboats out on the water.
My friend's cottage isn't fancy - or even that modern. The original part was built about 50 years ago but has been added onto a couple of times. My favourite room is the spacious sun room with lots of windows, wooden walls, beam ceiling, comfy places to sit a spell and a fireplace in the corner! She had the fireplace installed after she bought the place a few years ago. Personally, I think it makes the room perfect! When we weren't in the kitchen or the bedrooms, we spent almost all of our time in this room.
There are lilac trees on the edge of the neighbours property. While the sun was out, there were at least twenty monarch butterflies fluttering around the blossoms! Even with my monocular, it was still a bit hard for me to see them but it was a lovely sight! The bright orange and yellow wings were so vibrant! I tried to take some pics, but even after I cropped them, they are still quite hard to see!
After a BBQ supper, my friend lit a fire. I love a wood fire! Even though I grew up on the farm, we never had a fireplace so that was something that I always looked forward to when I worked at camp or visited other people who had one!
There is something about the smell of the wood, the crackle of the logs and watching the flames dance themselves into an exhaustion of glowing embers that is so soothing and mesmerizing!
As much as I love living in the city, there is a serenity and peacefulness to being in a country setting. When you are surrounded by the sounds of city life, you tend to forget how quiet it can be. The roads in the area aren't paved, so you hear vehicles coming from further away as the gravel crunches under the tires. The sound kept reminding me of being on the farm and hearing a car driving in the lane and wondering who was coming to visit. I had to keep reminding myself that as quiet as this place was - there were also many other cottages nearby!
I fell asleep to the sounds of crickets. No screeching tires, horns, sirens, loud music or late night rabble-rousers!
On the other-hand, I was awakened in the pre-dawn hours by the cacophony of birds chirping. What could they possibly need to discuss so loudly at that time of the morning? Couldn't they possibly wait to have these discussions at a more civilized hour - when most humans are also awake? I mean, it's not like we actually understand what they are saying! Oh well, at least I was able to eventually get back to sleep!
So what else did we do besides talk, eat, sleep and take a short walk? Well, we both had our e-readers with us and spent some time reading. I had also brought backgammon, a crib board and a deck of large print playing cards. Neither of us had played backgammon in many years so we had to reread the rules first! Alas, my friend's luck was better than mine and she beat me 3 out of 5 games - and yes I'll admit it - she skunked me in two of them! I was the victor in cribbage though!
All in all, it was a wonderfully relaxing weekend despite the weather.
I sincerely hope that I am invited back - perhaps as soon as the fall?
I can hope! Besides, I want a rematch of backgammon and I must defend my Crib title!