Cottage life was different then. We had a hand pump, using lake water, and an outhouse. (A two-seater!) Mom and Dad cleared the land in 1960, then, when enough money was saved up, they had the cottage built in 1962.
This is a Viceroy cottage, with 4" tongue and groove cedar walls. It smells gorgeous.
When our kids arrived, we would all crowd in, rain or shine. Playing in the sand and water, or building tents under blankets indoors.
In 1991 Mom and Dad built their retirement home attached to the cottage. They had lived on Walker Ave., in Toronto, for at least 55 years, or so. But summers, we headed for the lake.
I remember watching the thunder and lightning across the lake.
Another storm in Muskoka. I set up the videocam on my not-so-trusty antique tripod and let it run.
Oliver came down to the cottage with me - to check for mice. He is an excellent mouser and nothing was to be had this day. It is our ritual. My late mother used to go into the cottage after they had the house built, and just sit in her swing rekindling memories of the long, wonderful summers here. Cousins, who were speaking to me then, 20-years my senior, took me water skiing.
Aunt Adie (1905 - 2001), who showed me how to paint and who left us many paintings, including one of our old Toronto home, as well as the Muskoka Lake scenery. This is her painting, I must have been about 13 years old. She was painting the 'climbing tree', a tree long since dead and fallen.
We met Dad every Friday night of the summer as he drove up from Toronto for the weekend. Rain or shine, we would wait at the highway for him, cheering as he arrived. He would leave early on Monday morning, to arrive in time for a 9 a.m. start for work.
I remember fishing with dad. Here we are at my cousin's dock.
I remember the sadness as we left the frog pond, lake and cottage for the last time in the fall. It is time for change, as the seasons change, our lives change. Many in Muskoka want to retire here. We did, too. And it was a delightful 4 years, yet our grandkids call. There is nothing more important than family. We shall leave this house, and find another place to lay our heads.