My family has always been cottage-goers. Growing up, a few relatives had cottages, but one in particular had very special memories, and always felt like home.
My Aunt and Uncle owned a small cottage on a quiet little bay. It wasn't anything extravagant, but I have some of the best memories of my childhood from up there. This cottage sat on a small cliff with about 50 stairs that led down to the water where we spent many hours fishing, reading, swimming, water skiing and just enjoying time together as a family. I remember my brothers used to catch crayfish and chase me around the dock. I remember catching fish that my dad or my brothers would have to take off the hook cause they were 'ewwwwww'! One day I got brave and decided that I wanted to try it take the fish off the hook myself. I did exactly what my dad told me to do only to realize after the fact that sunfish (which I didn't know I caught) have little spikes on their back... it was the last time I ever considered touching a fish again!
I remember having our family dog up there. He hated the water and would avoid it at all costs unless it was in his water dish. One day he took off after my cousin's dog, who was a spaniel and loved to swim. Off the two ran, Benji chasing Morgan. Down the stairs, out to the dock, where Morgan happily dove into the water. It was like Benji realized half way down the dock that if he didn't stop he was going in for a swim! It was cartoonish when he tried to put on the brakes, but couldn't stop... slid and 'plop', into the water he went. That was his first official swim.
My cousin had a great ski boat and actually could water ski barefoot. It was amazing to see! I didn't start water skiing until a little bit later in my childhood, but loved every minute of it. We used to 'surf' behind the motor boat on an old table top - yes, I said table top. It really was a dangerous thing to do as it was not uncommon for the table to slide out from under you and if it ever hit you in the head... well, let's just say, you had to wear a life jacket! There was a neighbour that used to put a chair on top of their 'table top' and surf that way behind his boat... it was crazy. The more daring it was, the more fun it was!
The family game nights, puzzles, barbecues and fun! I loved this little cottage with all of it's charm. Unfortunately, the time came that it had to be sold and the new owners tore it down to build what would be considered a very elaborate home... certainly not a cottage. My brother now has a cottage in the same area, so to see the spot where my Aunt and Uncle's cottage used to be... brings a tear to my eyes! At least I have the memories!