8.30.2008

Cottage Report

I can't believe it's September already. The summer was but a sneeze! I guess that's why it's savoured all the more in these northeast zones where winter is expected to be fierce yet again this year, according to the Farmer's Almanac. (Expect higher than average snowfall.)

I used to rush through summer. I was never really a summer kid. My artistic sensibilities meant I spent a lot of time indoors drawing and dreaming up new worlds, creating landscapes with the blankets on my bed for my toy dinosaurs to roam. It was incidental that the sun was shining and the birds chirping. I really didn't care that much. As I age, though, I find myself more drawn to the summer season, the intensity of the light, the warmth of the sun and especially the amazing virtues of nature, which just jump out all over the place in the summer.

My parents have a place in rural Ontario - a cabin in the woods next to a calm, quiet lake that has the cleanest water you could imagine. All around it are tall trees and woodlands. It's a Canadian dream made real. We've been building most of it ourselves, under the guidance of my father, who has worked tirelessly to build this place, step by step by step. It's not finished yet. We have a bit more to do, but the process is enjoyable. (It makes a real difference when you build something yourself, when you can see and feel how it all comes together.)

Below are some summer photos I've taken at the cottage in the summer. Hopefully you'll feel as nostalgic for those long days, sweet scents and beautiful scenes as I do.
My mom's red clogs by the water. A glorious sunset on the lake.
Everything is rustic here, which is so much a part of the atmosphere.
No electricity yet means lighting with candles, like this collection in a galvanized tub.
My dad putting some finishing touches on the porch.

Baseboard moldings, improvised and made by hand, are still rough and raw.

My Nana enjoys a crossword puzzle on the porch.My mom enjoys a swim.
A mossy carpet on the boulders near the lakeside.
A morning cloak butterfly on my dad's hand.
An inviting vista. This is where we enter the lake to swim.
Sunlight through translucent leaves is a summer wonder.

A rain drop clings to life on the tip of a cedar branch. Still waters reflect the setting sun.
Birch bark, up close.
My dad surveys the cottage and assesses what still needs to be done.
All of the logs of the cottage had to be sanded by hand and then stained.
My parents' dog, Molly. Sweet as can be!

13 comments:

Maureen said...

Love your pictures of the lake. Just got back from Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park myself. Great place to relax and unwind.

Here's to a great Fall!

Maureen

Anonymous said...

Sweet. grandmajo

Kevin said...

What a beautiful spot, Andrew! I hope you'll keep us updated as progress is made! :-)

Kevin

will said...

better than skylands, i love it!

47cats said...

Gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing. Lynn

DowneastVintage said...

I felt like I was at the cabin through your photos and writing. Thanks for sharing!

Gloria
Winterport

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Maybe I'll have a Martha Moments party there one summer, and you'll all be invited: canoeing, swimming, a corn bake, making s'mores by the fire...

-Andrew

Carolyn said...

What a great place. Thanks for sharing your pics!

Brent said...

Andrew,

The pictures are amazing.
The cottage is beautiful.
Your mom is beautiful.
We may have to do a swap one weekend

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Thank you so much, Brent! Next summer we hope to have it all finished. A weekend swap sounds divine! (I'm sure my mom is blushing.)

Elaine said...

The photos are beautiful, Andrew. The cottage is going to be wonderful when it is done!

Anonymous said...

excuse me for asking but how big a chunk of change would something like that cost a flatlander??

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

I'm not sure, Anonymous. You'd have to ask my parents. Iknow cottage prices vary from region to region. Factors like lot size, cottage size, waterfront footage, indoor/outdoor features, 'winterizing' and such all play factors.

-Andrew