|Mona at the cottage|
It was wonderful to be at the cottage. It's the one place where I don't feel obligated to really do anything most of the time, and I need that periodically. It's a place to just kind of be.
The kids slept in a giant tent set up in the living room as practice for their first ever camping trip coming up. Quinn caught fish that we admired in a little tank before setting them free. We saw wild turkeys and deer and osprey.
|There are lots of turkeys in this photo, I swear.|
I got to read just to read. We worked on a giant puzzle.
|2000 pieces! Left it out to finish on the next visit.|
After the day of getting sunburned we picked up DVDs at the library so we could just stay in. (Thumbs up on Big Hero 6, The Penguins of Madagascar Movie, Tangled, and A Simple Twist of Fate.)
Mona loves the natural world. She spends long stretches at the cottage on her own, exploring along the edges of the water and in the grass. She's our best animal spotter. On this trip she caught the smallest toad I've ever seen (the kids named it Poppy) and when she went to set that free she found a mole (which they called Star). The mole was surprisingly soft. I always imagined them to be sort of bristly, but it felt like a chinchilla.
|Curled up mole|
We used the opportunity to make a dinner in honor of my grandparents who built the cottage. My grandpa only ever cooked a couple of things, and one of them was chili. I'd never made his chili before. It was simple and really good and we'll be making it again. My grandpa would have been 100 this year. It pains me that he never got to meet Ian or my children. I think he would have been happy to know they at least got to try his chili.
For dessert we made a cake I remember grandma making for my brothers' birthday when we were small. It's just angel food cake frosted with whipped cream mixed with crushed pineapple. It's good, and it's amazing how certain things can take you right back to a different time. Damn I miss my grandma.
|Quinn running off ahead of the dog toward the sand traps|
The only real problem with our trip was it was too short. I dream of being able to go up there for a straight month like my grandma used to. It's hard to leave a place that peaceful. It's hard to go back to having to care about what day and time it is. Home is good, too. But I like that we have a mild-mannered alter-ego home tucked somewhere in the woods to visit.
|Me and Chipper, relaxed in the woods|