My Happy Place: The Cottage

My brain is all over the place, and I’m not in the happiest spot.  There’s lots of uncertainty in my future involving Brody (who is still in the hospital….I know, insane) and the Madison Marathon (likely cancelation of the full due to heat and humidity).

Whenever I’ve been asked to think of my happy place or my personal utopia, I think of my cottage.  Growing up, my family went to the cottage EVERY weekend in the summer.  For the most part, I always enjoyed it.  Even when I couldn’t find a friend (or lots of friends) to come up, I managed to entertain myself by reading on a raft just past our dock.

This past weekend’s experience “up north” wasn’t as positive or relaxing as it normally is, but I still managed to capture a few images that can remind me of happier, calmer times and memories that put a smile on my face.

This isn’t my family’s cottage but used to be owned by my mom’s parents.  My mom and dad used to come up here when they were engaged and just married.  When I was a year old, they bought the cottage that stands directly to the left of this cottage (which I’ll share pictures of at a later date).

My parents bought this cottage from my grandparents ten or more years ago and had plans to tear it down and have a larger lot with no close neighbors.  Unfortunately, that plan fell through when my dad got sick, so they had to sell it.  Long story short, this winter, the roof leaked and the house is filled with mold.  They’ll be tearing it down this week, or may have already.

I have memories of the tree that grew through the middle of the deck off the house, having happy hour after all the boats couldn’t make wake (4pm on our lake), belting out 80’s power ballads with my sister on the floor of the room off the kitchen, and sneaking a wine cooler with a few friends (Risha and maybe Rena?) when I was in high school.  Although it was never the prettiest cottage, it was this cottage that led to my parents buying the cottage next door, and because of that, I am sad to see it go.


I miss my dogs.  They’ve been with my mom since Monday.  I took this photo Saturday morning before Brody had woken up (and obviously before the rhabdo situation began).  Moose is independent and Frankie is dependent, and this photo shows those qualities.

Up at the cottage, Moose loves to “fish.”  Notice how fish is in quotation marks; he doesn’t and never will catch anything.  He just walks up and down the shore line, occasionally lunging at a shadow, a minnow, or if he’s lucky, a small blue gill.  Boo, the dog I grew up with, did this EXACT same thing.  I swear Boo’s spirit embodies Moose’s body at the cottage.  Moose gets so into his fishing, he refuses to interrupt it with a trip to dry ground.  Yup, that’s him peeing.

Frankie isn’t into the whole fishing thing, but he does love to jump into the lake and retrieve balls. He could keep going for hours, and despite excessive panting, his tail wags and he wants more.  I’ll have to get a video of it this summer and share it.

The dogs eventually wear themselves out up at the cottage and crash on the cool, fake-wood floors of our cottage. On Sunday of last weekend, my mom got up at 4am (I’ll explain why another time) and Moose got up with her.  He whined to go outside and made a beeline for the sandy beach.  With it still dark, he laid down in the sand and waited until the sun started rise around 5am to begin fishing.  I believe I took this photo on Sunday morning around 10am, because after five hours of fishing, he was spent.


It’s interesting how the cottage has changed for me over the years, and yet I have always appreciated it.  When I was young, I loved to search the shoreline for cool rocks (sounds lame, but I swear it was so fun when I was seven).  As I got older, I brought friends up almost every weekend; we went tubing, skiing, and swimming.  In high school, it was common to have a bunch of friends (girls and boys) up for a weekend; my mom would feed us sandwiches, fruit, and Jiffy cake with Jiffy frosting for lunch.  Now as a married woman, the cottage offers relaxation and separation from a busy life.  Brody and I are (normally) able to slow down, read books, take naps on the dock, and go to bed early.

I’m looking forward to more positive, happy, and relaxing trips to the cottage this summer.


6 thoughts on “My Happy Place: The Cottage

  1. Oh the memories… I loved rock hunting 🙂 we used to save the pretty ones for mom and dad. Which they most likely threw back and the next weekend we’d find them again. We will get to have the same experiences with our kids there. Make sure our daughters don’t sneak wine coolers… Naughty!

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