So I didn’t write about this last week, I guess because I didn’t have much time on le net.
I went to an, ‘ancestral’ lets call it, cottage on Bob’s Lake – that’s near Sharbot Lake, that’s 40 min or so north of Kingston – last weekend. We used to spend a fair amount of time up there when I was a kid. My dad eventually sold his share (which I was sore about for a while) and I have only been back three times – last weekend, two summers ago for about an hour, and on the way back from Bishop’s one spring, for about 20 minutes – in the last decade. This was the first time I spent the day there in over a decade, I think.
Because I used to go there when I was young, I have a very strong nostalgia for it. Even though it’s really really old, falling apart, rustic and very isolated – wait a minute, what’s wrong with any of that? – I absolutely love it. Everything has shrunk (the buildings, the terrace, the islands), even seemingly more than last time – which makes no sense, since I haven’t grown in 2/3s of a decade – but aside from that everything seems pretty much the same. This probably reinforces the nostalgia as changes would disrupt my memories.
I was extremely happy to go back and I enjoyed myself immensely, except for one moment which I won’t go in to. With that much family together, its hard for anything to go super smoothly, yet I think it did (I could be blinded by nostalgia). I think with families the rough edges get exposed, because everyone knows the little quirks and tics and, consciously or not, everyone gets right at them. With people you don’t share genetics with, or people you don’t know well, there are more facades, or something like that. Forgive me, I am hungover, I cannot express myself.
In any case, I thought it was very nice, and I was very happy that my dad’s cousins invited everyone. It was something very special for me, and it makes me wish the cottage were still in our part of the family.
However, I see another side of things. I can now fully appreciate the reasons for selling. It’s far. I forgot. Worse yet, until you get to Napanee (or somewhere near there), you cannot really take back-roads on the way up and you’re stuck on the gigantic pain in the ass that is the 401 on Fridays in the summer. And it is painful. And the same on the way back. And the entire cottage country population has apparently forgotten about pass-on-the-left, slow-traffic-keep-right rule. Everyone drives in the left hand lane and you can’t get anywhere. It’s insane. It’s maddening. And it makes you think: I wouldn’t want to do this every weekend, as I’d probably kill somebody. Then there’s the drive in from the main road, which probably takes 10 minutes easy. Nothing much out on the main road, so you’re pretty much in there for a haul. You must bring things in. In addition, the place requires a lot of upkeep (perhaps more than your newer cottages). Now, as an adult, I guess I understand the problems of cottages in a way that I never could (nor wanted to) when I was a child and teenager. Still, it was very nice to go back, even if I was very tired when we got back to Oakville. (That’s another thing; you forget that Oakville adds so time to the Toronto-Kingston drive.) I’m very glad I went. Very.
The downside of all this is that I didn’t satiate my travel itch. I thought driving for a while might cure that. But apparently I need to go to places I haven’t been to in order to cure it. So I’m itching to go somewhere / anywhere yet again. It’s nuts. I keep thinking: ‘this time last year I was in…’ and it’s terrible. I need to win the lottery. I think about the places I missed last summer, or didn’t spend any time in, or I think about the huge amount of places I haven’t been to in the US, or the rest of the world…and on and on and on.
On a completely unrelated topic: I am so out of the loop right now, I have no idea what’s going on in anything. It’s crazy. Maybe I should buy a paper.