My first cottage trip was both a blessing and a lesson. A blessing to just be outside all day, basking in the beauty of nature. A lesson, because I was not at all prepared for the weather and the drive. (Read Part 2 for my revised cottage trip packing list).
My first mistake: not eating breakfast. My super reliable, usually on-time, friend chose that day to come 2 and 1/2 hours late! Which meant I kept getting up to eat and sitting down worried that I would finish making breakfast just as my ride showed up. I got so bored I decided to do my nails. Which, of course, meant that my friend arrived about 2/3rds of the way into my impromptu manicure session. I got in the car starving and spent the 2 hour journey imagining the food awaiting me.
Close to the cottage we noticed winged creatures amassing in hoards. Not pretty birds and majestic falcons (though there were a few). Bugs. Swarms of creepy crawlies. Luckily my reliable friend redeemed himself for his extreme tardiness by bringing both bug spray AND sunscreen.
Once we disembarked from the car and made it to the back of the cottage, the bug count plummeted to practically zero. Yay! What awaited us, some would argue, was worse. Unrelenting and uninhibited gusts of cold air coming right off the lake. I knew (and was initially thankful for) that particular day’s forecast called for mid-20 degrees Celsius. The naive girl in me had heard stories of spending days at the cottage sun bathing, wading into the water to cool off and frolicking along the beach. I (an infamous shade seeker) was strategically seating myself IN the sun, watching rather tumultuous water (which completely detailed my grand “first time on a boat” blog plan), thinking that this was not the day to put my extremely rusty swimming skills to the test.
Now what? Well, I parked myself in a deck chair and decided that today was a day of firsts. First time wearing bright nail polish (what if my ride comes before I go up and grab my own stuff), first time at a cottage, first time sitting in the sun on purpose!
So I opened my book and snuggled as best I could in my light sweater. Despite the many distractions (the boys shouting as the played, the aromas wafting from the grill, the nagging thought of taking pictures to post here) I managed to read until an errant frisbee practically took my head off.
I concluded that it was too dangerous to engross myself completely and decided to eat and lounge around.
The feeling of not having anything to do is an interesting one. Watching the waves roll in, the breeze and sun on my face, people talking and playing around me was both uncomfortable and liberating. Wasn’t there something I should/could be doing?
The rest of the day was spent alternating between the lawn and the cottage. We sat on the dock for a spell and it was lovely.
I think we get so caught up in our schedules that we forget to be still and take in the world around us. And so, as I watched the sun set, I realised all my stress and worries were gone, for a short time at least, taken away by the wind and water.