Sunday, August 21, 2011


Just back from a day and a night at a lakeside cottage, before that two nights at a seaside cottage.

The seaside cottage was the more primitive, but quite comfy and in a lovely setting. Its only downside was the terrible infestation of mosquitoes.

During the daytime with sun and a brisk breeze it was OK, but as soon as the sun dipped and the wind died, the bugs rose. We stayed indoors in the evenings, but there was no escape, they plastered themselves to every screen and when anyone went in or out, they scooted right in.

The owner of the cottage--Jean--is immune to mosquitoes, their bites cause no discomfort to her. She is mildly irritated by their buzzing around her, but that's it. Her sons seem to have inherited her immunity, but the rest of us suffered.

Anyway, it was a good time. We swam and paddled and sailed, and sat around gazing out to sea in the sun. In the evening we ate and drank ourselves silly.

Jean is 80 and still paddles her kayak regularly. She used to go to the cottage for 5-6 months every year, but now she is down to 3 months, the cold weather bothers her more. She has a paddling buddy and they regularly paddle back and forth between their cottages on opposite sides of the island. Her cottage is on a small island linked to the mainland by a causeway.

The outing to the lakeside cottage was a get-together of seven women, and the 13-year-old daughter of one of them and her friend, for nine in total. But the cottage was large and spacious with beds for all.

We noticed that all of our vehicles were red.

The lake was blessedly free of biting insects. Not entirely but a great deal better than the seaside location. There was a thunderstorm in the middle of the afternoon that we watched from indoors, but it passed and the sun came out again.

More paddling and more swimming. I love swimming in a lake. Nova Scotia lakes are very tannic which makes the water very dark. You can't see a thing when you go underwater.

I wanted to get the kayak into the lake to wash off the salt from the ocean. Three women paddled one canoe, and the two girls took the other canoe. We went down to the end of the lake and back, not very far.

We had a potluck supper the evening of the day we all arrived, and seven women can produce enough food to feed an army.

Our host was in a mood for mixed drinks, so we sampled her pina coladas, crantinis and watermelon-vodka slushes. Drums appeared and several women drummed away for an hour or so. I am not a huge fan of drums but whatever, to each his own.

There were loons calling in the evening.

Breakfast was interesting. Our host provided little 4-inch pastry shells and bowls. We each got two eggs and there were trays of chopped veggies and bacon. You mixed up your eggs and whichever chopped veggies you wanted, added a little cream and then poured it into your pastry shell. The little pies were collected on baking sheets and baked in the oven to produce individual breakfast quiches. With unlimited coffee and jugs of fruit juice, we ate our quiches and sliced cantaloupe on the screened deck.

As the sun warmed up we washed our dishes and moved to beach chairs by the lake. Chatted and swam and took group photos.

Eventually we all tore ourselves away to return to civilization. We were only a half hour drive out of town.

Isn't summer grand?


Anne said...

Oh, Annie, I am so envious! It sounds like so much fun. Except for the mosquitoes and the drums.

Rain Trueax said...

I also love cottages and lovely descriptions of them such as you gave here. I use a mosquito repellant that keeps them at a slight distance but like an invisible wall. I only use it when they are bad like you describe. One time we were camping in an area near still water (Malheur Lake area) and they were so thick you couldn't believe it. We rushed back to get repellant, then found it humorous to watch everybody else who arrived at that campground repeat our experience.

Wisewebwoman said...

Sounds like Good Times, Annie, so glad you had the women time, bugs and drums withstanding.
There's nothing like it!!