All of us who went back to the cottage, except for a couple of tiny new family members, have a connection to that place - that lovely undeveloped spot: the cottage which is much the same as it was in the 50s when many of the most recent renovations were made. Friends who live or who have cottages along the beach came and shared memories with kids now grown and their kids.
For me it was the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. For the past four or so years, I've spent time with my aunt at the cottage as she grew more frail and enjoyed companionship and time to reminisce. Those periods enhanced my knowledge of family history with funny, entertaining and interesting stories.
The cottage had been purchased by my grandfather for my aunt's mother-in-law who didn't want to take a brand-new baby and her two young step-daughters out to an island - my grandfather's traditional summer home from which he commuted to his office in the nearby town of Penetanguishene. He ran the family business - a lumber mill. Storms on Georgian Bay often made it difficult for him to get back to the island at night...no wonder she, also from a logging family, didn't want to stay alone with three small children.
As time went by, marriages and more family members came from being at the cottage, and the family grew and in some cases grew apart. There is a lot of history for my mother's side of my family tied up in that cottage.
I think each of us in our own way, saluted the family and our traditions on Friday during that celebration, and felt closer to each other and our roots. We have gone from sunset to sunrise, crossing into a new chapter as my aunt has crossed into her new one.
I have been profoundly moved for brief periods during that day and this past week or more.
May your days be filled with wonderful memory-making happenings and incidents that might move you in some way, today or down the road.
|Sunrise - looking forward|