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.

Good times, noodle salad

We digital folk find it difficult to be without our online community. We love our digital relationships so much that anytime we’re presented with a decent 3G signal, we find ourselves temped to check our email. Frankly, Andrea and I have done pretty well over the last few days. Then, curiosity got the better of us.

We’re touched that since posts to slowed down we’ve been receiving lots of email asking how we’re doing; how our children and dog are.

I’m pleased to report that life is grand, full of celebrations, fresh air and the kinds of family and friends that make this life great! In fact, as I write this, we’re transitioning from one wave of celebration and relaxation to the next — which involves a fire pit, sticks and gooey mounds of sugar.

I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of summer as much as we are — whether online, offline or both.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Day!