We celebrated the official start of summer—and my husband’s birthday, and the solstice, and amazing, lovely people—last weekend with a trip to a cottage on Lake Huron. Friends whom we consider more like extended family have a cottage in the area, and their daughter (who’s also like family!) owns the one next door to theirs. She and her sons weren’t going to use it for a chunk of June, and she very generously asked if we wanted to stay in it during that period. I presented the possibility to my husband, and he agreed (after determining that there was a hospital nearby). Our plans then evolved relatively quickly.
I don’t think that we realized quite how much we needed a respite from our city lives until we had some separation from our day-to-day existence. We’ve faced some new challenges lately, both medical and otherwise, and although I don’t advocate running away from one’s problems, I will say that taking the focus away from them for a while, especially via a couple of days with people I love in a beautiful place, was pretty wonderful.
My sister-in-law was able to fly in from DC to experience Canadian cottage country with us, so we got our rental vehicle, picked her up at the airport, and drove right to Lake Huron, with a brief stop at Tim Hortons for lunch. We were met at our destination by C, G, and their daughter, A, who came from Kitchener to join us for the evening, which was a lovely surprise. Since it was sunny and warm, we spent some time exploring the beach. Later, we had a delicious dinner and sat on a deck overlooking the water to watch a spectacular sunset.
The weather forecast had called for rain on Saturday. Although it was overcast, we lucked out—nary a drizzle. That morning, my sister-in-law went kayaking, and in the afternoon, C and G brought us for a car tour to see the Georgian Bay. We had a pizza supper and enjoyed one another’s company. Another great day.
Sunday proved that the weather people are, indeed, occasionally right: it rained on and off, more on than off. We made the most of it, though. My husband and sister-in-law took the kayaks out, I napped and played video games, and our hosts showed us Southhampton, one of the closest towns.
We left in the mid-afternoon to give ourselves a buffer in case there was lots of traffic heading into Toronto. The drive went smoothly, particularly for me since I sat in the back seat and read. We got home, unloaded our stuff, ordered take-out for dinner, and went to bed super early. Turns out that vacations are really tiring.
I’m so grateful that everything came together for us to have this weekend at the cottage. I’m grateful to our friends for their generosity and love; I’m grateful to my husband for being open to going despite not being 100% comfortable travelling in recent months; I’m grateful to my sister-in-law for flying to Ontario to join us. And a few days away from my usual routine gave me the space to be more grateful than ever for many aspects of my life here in the city that I tend to take for granted. Apparently the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” applies to apartments, daily schedules, and neighbourhood coffee shops, not just to people.
Again, however, I’m (most) grateful for, and to, people. Thanks, C, G, and A. We really appreciate your incredible hospitality. 💜