After three weekends of Birthday parties, vacation plans and company coming, I was so looking forward to the quiet of the long weekend.
I packed up things to take to the cottage that I have been waiting over three years to finally be able to do. My painting supplies along with my drawing supplies, and finally my laptop to get back to finishing the second edits for Only with Him, the book I have been trying to finish writing for five years were packed in the car.
After three and half years of work, the Love Shack is finally what I had wanted when we first set out to get a cottage, a place away to write, paint and draw.
The big projects have been put on hold until the weather cools off from the high humidity we have had for the past four weeks. With that in mind, Husband packed up the smaller things to do that he hasn’t had a chance to do like putting in shelves in the bathroom and running lights in the shed.
He headed up with the dogs and I headed to the grocery store before going to the lake. As I drove to the lake, I noticed an increase in traffic that I rarely see.
When I came around the bend on-Lakeshore Road, I found out where all the traffic was going. We had been invaded upon on by visitors in cottages country.
Our quiet little cozy place where we mostly only ever seen the families who own the cottages had all invited many visitors, each.
The traffic was crazy. The beaches were full. Children were playing and yelling. There were dogs barking.
In the yards were tent and campers.
Oh My God… we had been invaded by City Folks!
My first thought was let’s pack up and go back to the house where it would be quiet.
When I pulled in the driveway, there were tents set up in my back yard!
Husband who is much more social than I am and who also spends much of his workweek working alone had told the neighbors who had guest that it was ok to put their tents in our yard.
Oh my god, the weekend party had moved into my quiet space where all I wanted to do was sit and write.
There were now children playing football in my yard…
The women who spends every day of her working life with over four hundred people was ready and willing to run and hide.
I turned on the air-conditioners to cool the cottage. Put the food away. Gave the dogs some chew bones putting them in the quiet and cool area to avoid the now stop yelling and barking. Then I set up my laptop to sit and write on deck.
My neighbor who is also a very quiet guy came out to his deck soon after and seen me writing. He waved and shook his head. He too was dreading what the next two days would hold. The expression on his face said it all as he looked around and quickly headed back inside.
You see there is a misrepresentation about cottagers that anyone who owns one for any period of time, quickly learns.
When you own a cottage, you learn that the commercials on TV and movies you watch have only the first year of cottage owning. That year you will have many visitors. After owning a cottage for a while, you learn that visitors don’t come to the cottage often. They come on invite once a year, maybe.
You also learn that cottagers are mostly the owners and cottage season for the most is a pretty quiet place.
Seasoned Cottagers are at the lake all the time. They have a bonfire every weekend. We have a few drinks on the deck at night.
We work on the cottages. Plant the gardens and sit and read. We spend a few hours playing on the lake and then we roll up the carpet at a reasonable time at night as most of us are up with the birds in the morning.
We learn quickly that one of the nicest parts of being at the cottage is the morning cup of tea watching the sunrise, surrounded by the sounds of the lake and the chirping of the birds.
City Folks don’t do what we do. When they invade cottage country, they are there to do things that are not what is normal for them.
The alcohol consumptions increase, with it, comes the raised voices. The children run loose. The dogs run loose. The personal space is invaded. The bonfires last till the beer runs out and there is noise, noise, noise.
Do I sound like the Grinch of Cottage Country yet?
No, not really.
As a person who didn’t get the privilege of growing up with a family cottage, I remember what an exciting time it was to get invited to go with families who had a cottage.
I also remember when the kids were growing up, saving to take them away on vacation to enjoy the lakes and have the cottage experience. Those are some of our best memories with our children and friends.
With that in mind, I braced myself for the noise that was coming. I smiled at the neighbors’ friends whose tents were now in my yard and watched the children run screaming all over my back yard. I tried very hard not to cringe when the ball went into my newly planted garden.
Then I got my self ready for the non-stop fireworks that would start at dark and smiled to myself.
You see, while they were making all their noise, what I didn’t tell them is that when I go inside, I can’t hear a peep of sound thanks to Husband with all that extra insulation he put in.
I also didn’t tell them that when they are all hung-over sleeping in their tents in the morning, is when I get up with the dogs and that’s when I let them play and the birds and the dogs are very loud early in the morning.
I know darn well that there is no way to change the dog’s pee time or their morning playtime.
I also know when the invasion leaves on Monday, they will be tried from the late nights, the heat and the increased alcohol consumption and Romeo and Juliette’s morning routine.
I tried really hard to stay, but by midday Sunday, the noise got louder, the heat got hotter, the children got crankier and the dogs’ volumes had increased. I had a choice of retreating to the solute of the inside of the cottage or the deck at home.
It took less than forty-five minutes to pack up and head back to the city to our quiet house in suburbia where I could sit on the deck and enjoy the silence. And where I could get back to writing, leaving cottage country to those who don’t get to go and do what we do every weekend.
As I sat on the deck at home with the laptop in front of me, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a retired couple who spends every Sunday evening till Friday morning at their cottage and comes back to the city for the weekend.
They had told me that the weekend was quieter at home and they had all week at the lake without the noise and they never go to the cottage on the long weekend.
They also said when I purchased the cottage…” You will soon learn why.”
This will be one of the last long weekends of the season. No one ever comes on the September long weekend except the regulars as we don’t have children to get ready to get back for school. The other three have now passed.
There are only two invasions a year. One in July and one in August.
As I sat writing, I considered maybe we might skip the July and August long weekends at the cottage. Though July was very quiet, and I smiled to myself remembering what Grama always said…. “And this too shall pass”.
And again I am grateful to Husband… who also had built me a deck at home.
5 thoughts on “The Long Weekend Invasion”
Man, all the commotion would drive me bonkers.
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That’s why I came home. The older I get the more I like it quiet.
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I feel the same; the quiet is like an old friend.
Working from home most of the time, I get a fair amount of quiet alone time. Although lately when I travel and when in noisy places, I have started using earplugs. They reduce the sound volume by about 30db. Traveling for work this last couple of weeks, I have used the earplugs so I could write while sitting in the airport and not be distracted. It has a funny side effect of creating a barrier of silence. Even while flying, I feel like I am disconnected from the intrusive sounds that invade my privacy.
Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy sounds, like my wife’s voice or music in the background. The sound of the ocean waves, breaking on the beach. I love those sorts of sounds.
But I detest the sound of a television in the background, people talking on their cell phones, overly loud announcements in the airport / on the plane.
Visiting at my Mom this week in California, I sat outside smoking a cigar enjoying the silence.
I enjoyed your article, keep up the excellent work!
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Thank you. I especially like your comment about enjoying the sound of your wives voice. It’s funny how we don’t notice the sound of someone till the sound is not there.
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As I get older, the earlier I go to bed. In our neighborhood this year, we had e new young families move in around us. They are all from the big city. When the 4th of July came, they had invited all their families to their new homes to celebrate in the suburbs with them. They went crazy with fireworks and loud music. But, I heard the kids playing and the laughter coming from each side of my home. I felt extremely happy for all of them as they were experiencing for the first time, what it was like to have a home and a backyard for their children to enjoy. After a very short time in my yard, I went inside to the peace and quiet of my world. I slept like a baby.
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