At the end of summer, I’m asked, often enough to make it remarkable, did you close up the cottage? I imagine myself dressed as if from another era, maybe a kerchief on my head, pulling heavy canvas sheets over the furniture, putting up storm windows, whatever that entails, and boarding up the doors. So the question amuses me. Still, though we don’t ‘close’ our retreat, we do close something when September rolls around all too quickly.
Septembers are different then in years gone by. Our kids are scattered now. The boys are in Vancouver, one making the September trek back to school to study film production, and using his midnight hours to work with his brother producing an inquisitive documentary about youth culture.
Our daughters are here in the city, the youngest launching Midnight Train Photography (http://www.midnighttrain.ca/) and the eldest did buy the new September backpack – for her small daughter to bounce around in circle time, and learn the ‘clean up’ song with Miss Jenny at playschool. All six of us manage to reunite at Christmas, but it’s at the lake in the summer where we jubilantly celebrate family time – with campfires, and lazy hot days on the boat, and mixing it up with the tiny ones with buckets and pebbles on the shore.
We still try to make it to the cottage on the B.C lake for a respite from city life, on a few winter long weekends. So while we don’t close the cottage in early September – there’s no denying that we close ‘summer’. The dock is hauled up to the beach, where the stretch of pebbles will only get longer as the lake creeps back, the red canoe is tied up high in the trees, the fire pit covered from winter rain, the lawn chairs that had been circled around it on super- moon nights, hauled inside – along with a bundle of wiener and marshmallow roasting sticks.
Making the long drive out late in the year, we arrive in the dark and use the still ‘open’ cottage, huddling around the fireplace, stamping our feet until the place warms up to provide a cozy refuge from winter, but outside – we will have closed up the season of summer. I’ll miss the kids and send them that message, Text Me, Love Mom. If this blog resonates with you during these shortening September days, you will enjoy my recently released book – Text Me, Love Mom; Two Girls, Two Boys, One Empty Nest – available at Pages Books, Owls Nest Books, and Shelf Life Books in Calgary or your favorite online book seller. Welcome to Autumn.