Cottage Dreams, Cottage Reality

Growing up, vacations typically meant travelling to discover branches of the family tree. In adulthood, most of the vacations I took involved running from one tourist site to another with stops at cafés and bistros for something good to eat. Actually, the cafés and bistros only came about in my thirties. Before that it was fast food.

So, summers have always been packed and rushed with me arriving at September feeling as though I never caught my breath.

Enter summer 2010.

Andrea’s journey to survival has been therapeutic for our family. A big part of that has been making time for us. Evenings are about being together. Vacations are about connecting and relaxing.

Last week had us immersed in our second amazing spa-like vacation (the first was at the end of June, read Good Times, Noodle Salad). We spent the week at a cottage on Beaver Lake, just outside Kearney, Ontario. The cottage was made available to us through Cottage Dreams.

Cottage Dreams connects people who have been through cancer treatment with cottages that are vacant for one week periods. It’s simple. It’s genius. It’s mighty invigorating for the recipients and mighty rewarding for the cottage owners.

Besides being an amazing advocate for people who need the decompression time, Cottage Dreams is one of the few organizations I know of that you can call and always get a real person answering the phone — a real person who is passionate about helping people. And, their screening process is thorough to ensure Cottage Dreams finds amazing cottage owners who believe in being a part of this process, and guests who can be trusted to take good care of the cottage.

Our cottage hosts were committed to ensuring we had the best vacation, and they succeeded.

For six glorious days we enjoyed a view of the tops of trees leading down to Beaver Lake, went swimming, kayaking, read, played Euchre, picked (and ate) berries, listened to music, ate and slept — lots. We also hung out with Hummingbirds, Blue Jays, Loons, Merganser Ducks and one type of duck we weren’t able to identify but that can run very fast on water! Being the geek I am, I audio recorded a lot of sounds and will release them as part of my summer soundtrack later this month. At the end of the week, we managed to clean the cottage without any disputes (unlike being at home).

This summer is the best summer of my life — and there’s still a few weeks to experience.

  • janice

    What a wonderful place to be with your family. I am so happy for you.

  • Jen

    We're all so happy that you had a great time at the cottage – I've shared your website with the others in the office and they love it!

  • Thank you, Janice.

    Little did I know what I'd been missing all these years with my “Head down and power through” attitude to life. Better late than never!

    Now to find a dream cottage of our own….

  • steve

    This is soooo great, and so right!

  • Mare

    so glad you got to enjoy this getaway. it's always a wistful feeling, knowing that we have only a few weeks left of summer, yes?
    best to all of you — love seeing these updates.

  • Mare

    so glad you got to enjoy this getaway. it’s always a wistful feeling, knowing that we have only a few weeks left of summer, yes? nbest to all of you — love seeing these updates.

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