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Verses from my Kitchen: Cottage Weekend: Good Food and Good Friends

June 14, 2011

Cottage Weekend: Good Food and Good Friends

It started out as the week that would never end. Alarm snaps, get dressed, work, eat and sleep. Repeat. Each day bled into the one ahead of it and there was never really a chance to breathe or regroup. The dominoes fell one by one and I couldn't stop the negative momentum. It was move or get run over.

I had been wishing the last days of the week away. They couldn't come quick enough. We were invited to a cottage for the weekend and the gruelling pace of long work hours and late nights had been catching up to me. I needed this, deserved it even. So when I drove up the street and parked my car for the weekend, I sat inside for a moment and exhaled.

The stress usually peels off of me when I walk into my house and my wife puts away my work shoes for another weekend. This was just a little bit different. A little bit better. I walked through the door to see all the bags packed by the entrance and my dog bouncing around with extra enthusiasm. I was a drive away from the kind of weekend people live and wish for. It was now in my reach.

Our gracious hosts
The drive for a weekend away always seems quicker than it actually is. It's an amazing thing, really. My wife and I packed the car up and entered the address in the GPS. That little dot on the map was about to symbolize freedom. We drove with the windows down, the breeze swirling inside and keeping us company. We were finally on our way.

B having fun at the cottage
I remember when we pulled into the quaint town that housed the cottages where dreams come to live. Our hosts were outside working in the yard and I saw happiness painted on their face. I could read it from my seat in the car and I wanted that same feeling. I could touch it.

I grabbed the bags and walked with my wife through the front door. It felt like home away from home when we picked up the aroma of fresh wood and the barbecue. We dropped our things in our room and joined our hosts on the front porch. We weren't there two minutes when we had a drink in our hand and he had the burgers on the grill. This was the start of things to come.

Their dog C chasing the seagulls away
I have memories, a lifetime filled with memories, of cottages past. They are filed away and I reach for them every time I need a shot of happiness and I feel sentimental. The time I jumped into the lake a month too soon, staying up until the sun started to rise a beautiful shade of burnt orange while celebrating with friends, and laughs, miles and miles of laughs. Cottages bring dreams to life. This felt just like the others.

We shared a good meal and cocktails and stayed up late on that first night. The sky slowly turned a soft shade of black as the sun disappeared on the horizon while we all stared in amazement. Hour after hour we watched as it stretched out and changed from one deep shade of black to another. We lit a bonfire in the front yard and roasted marshmallows and shared a moment in time. Together.

My wife and I woke up shortly after eight in the morning when the rest of the neighbouring cottages slept away the previous night's activity. We revelled in the calmness before the morning storm and listened to the birds outside sing us a wake up call. We tiptoed down the hallway and started the coffee and I went to the market to grab food for my meals.

When I came back my wife had done the dishes and J had begun breakfast. He's been talking about these breakfast burritos for as long as I can remember so it was fitting that it took a trip to the cottage to enjoy his morning work. I put the groceries away and grabbed my coffee and waited. And it was worth the wait.

Saturday was spent walking the beach with their dog and writing love notes in the sand. We spent a good amount of time enjoying the sunshine and company before we made our way back. It's peaceful walking around in an area like this. Each person passing waves hello and welcomes you. Each neighbouring home invites you over like a long-lost friend.

You could see tents littered across the yards and people laughing and reminiscing. It was like a reunion of people at every turn and the walk back was familiar and reminded me of my old friends reunting for last weekend at the cottage.

My wife walking along the beach
We spent that night sharing more stories, soon-to-be new memories and some more good food and drinks. We ate out back of the cottage where J had set the table and we enjoyed nature in it's truest form. It was hard not to be overwhelmed at the beauty before our eyes and the aroma of fresh air and clean water.

Sunday came too fast. It always does. You wake up and feel yourself slipping from her grasp. You hold on for your life and she always slips away. Two days feels rushed, even though it wasn't. There's never enough time. We have breakfast and Sunday morning cocktails and sit outside with the warmth of the sun on us. And we wished the time would stand still.

When it was time to go we both took a final look at the cottage that housed our newest memories. We thanked our wonderful hosts for the chance to experience a beautiful weekend and we drove off before the sun set.

It's times like these that make every thing else worthwhile. The chance to get connected and establish yourself again. It gives you an opportunity to deepen friendships and strengthen your love.


At June 14, 2011 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

Looks like a wonderful weekend! Gorgeous pictures!

At June 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM , Blogger bellini said...

I am looking forward to going to a cittage with my brothr in Southgampton when I am in Ontraio this summer. Three days will give me a glimpse back into my childhood and weeks on end at the cottage.

At June 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

god, we need a weekend away like this . . . i know exactly how you feel Mike; owning a business, managing talent, managing The Professor's schedule, keeping up w/nearly an acre of gardens, blogging, deck cleaning . . . it never ends. this whole weekend sounds like a little bit of heaven - and that breakfast burrito? mmmmm . . . btw - you and your wife are a handsome couple!!

At June 14, 2011 at 11:08 AM , Blogger Lemons and Lavender said...

Getting away for a couple of days is just what we need to keep us going. It's our fuel supply when the tank gets low, and it adds clarity and perspective - just what you need for re-entry into your everyday life. And if someone is making a breakfast burrito for you, all the better!

At June 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM , Blogger wenderly said...

That sounds like a splendid weekend indeed! We are headed to our cabon this weekend!...now I can't wait!!!

And your wife is just beautiful! What a great shot of her!

At June 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM , Blogger Kimmy Bingham said...

Sounds like quite the fabulous weekend. I feel much the same way about going camping, which we're doing this upcoming weekend. It's our happy place. A quiet spot where you can just recapture your thoughts. And I agree with Wenderly - your wife is beautiful!

At June 14, 2011 at 6:22 PM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

This post has me aching for this weekend when E and I will be with some friends on the Cape. A beautiful, heartfelt post... and I'm so glad you had such a great weekend.

At June 14, 2011 at 10:37 PM , Anonymous Michael said...

Thanks for the comments! Something about a weekend away makes everything seem so much better. I hope you all get a chance to sit back and relax one weekend soon! And thanks, my wife is definitely beautiful!

At June 14, 2011 at 10:44 PM , Anonymous Marian (Sweetopia) said...

What a lovely post! You've really brought me there with your words and gorgeous pics... And have reminded me of my own memories. We are so blessed to have enjoyed these experiences!
Nice to 'meet' you and your beautiful wife. =)

At June 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM , Anonymous Carolyn said...

I heart cottages in Ontario so much. We rent a cottage up in Muskoka every summer, and it's always fantastic. Easy, fun, laid back, even with my crazy family. Sounds like you needed your weekend!

At June 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM , Blogger Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

Oh how I want every day to be like this weekend... I can't imagine a better life! I think I need to find myself a cottage (or a friend with one!)

At June 15, 2011 at 11:47 PM , Blogger Eliotseats said...

Hope you are refreshed and rejuvenated! Wonderful pics by the way.


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