Yesterday my Dad sent me several photos from our cottage in Northern Wisconsin. He and my stepmom have “moved” up there for the summer. This is what you do when you are lucky enough to a) be retired and b) have a summer cottage. When the “school year” is done (everyone in my family are/were teachers), you pack up your summer clothes and head “Up North” for the summer months. In the US, June, July and August are school-free. 3 months to do NOTHING. This is were a summer cottage comes in very handy.
Seeing these photos made me nostalgic and, truth be told, a bit homesick. It’s been 20 months since we’ve been back to the US. We attended my brother’s wedding in Wisconsin in October of 2009. Ella was only 16 months old at the time. We had a lovely visit but it seems like an eternity ago. We were planning on travelling back this year, ideally November time as it’s a bit cheaper at that time of year and now Ella needs a nearly full fare.
But then a funny thing happened…I got pregnant! Travel to the US in the summer is excessively expensive (more than double what it costs at “non peak times”) and my midwife advised that long-haul travel (the flight to the US is 8 hours) is not advisable for pregnant women (DVT anyone?). I most definitely would not be able to travel at the cheaper time as I would be way too close to the end of my pregnancy. So, flight plans to the US were scuppered. We’re going to have to go another year before we can consider travelling back now.
My family have been great and have been able to travel over here and thankfully Skype allows us to see them and them to see Ella, in particular. Still, nothing quite beats being able to see them in person. My cottage in Northern Wisconsin was a place that we spent a great deal of time when I was a child. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cottage when I was young. There were a LOT of mosquitos (approximately the size of a sparrow), the cottage wasn’t totally modernised then so we only had 3 TV channels (the horror) and there were very few children/friends on the lake at that time. It was more of a retirement village/lake at that time.
But we also got to swim the day away, go for pontoon rides, go water skiing, roast marshmallows & make s’mores around the campfire, eat fresh sunfish caught that day in the lake, eat so much watermellon that your belly hurt, run around in the sun and have lots of family laughs together. I began to gain an appreciation for our cottage when I was in my late 20′s- early 30′s. I started spending more time there on my own, started helping out to make things and leave my stamp (literally) on the cottage and grew to love it more.
Now I’m 4000 miles away from it. Unfortunately, it’s not really MY cottage anymore. It never was MY cottage but when I lived within driving distance I was at least involved in what happened there. My brother will one day inherit the cottage from my Dad. It will become his responsibility and his to enjoy with his family. I hope that it will always stay in our family, as it’s really a gorgeous place, but I won’t be able to have a say in it anymore. When you live 4000 miles away it’s a bit hard to say, “No, you can’t do that!”
So here are some photos from my cottage. It’s totally changed from the cottage I grew up with but it’s a place I dearly love and miss. I hope one day, to be able to take Ella (and Bump) to the cottage to go swimming, make mud pies and tour around the lake on the pontoon like I did when I was a kid.
Today is Flashback Friday on Cafe Bebe. I started this a few months ago for people to share their memories in photos and words. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to inspire bloggers to remember happy times and share them with the blogosphere.
I’m not going to run this as a Linky any longer as it seems to have run it’s course. I thoroughly appreciate the effort that many of you have put into digging into your archives to share bits of your life. Of course, you’re welcome to continue posting your own Flashback Fridays but with the summer holidays approaching and blog reading soon to drop off as a result, I figured we could all use a break from the pressure to LINK up or post something if you’re not 100% motivated to do so. In the autumn I’ll come back to you with a new challenge.
In the meantime, keep digging into your past or focus on your present and future for the next few months. Thank you very much to those of you who made such an effort every week to share your life with us. Happy Summer!