Monday, June 26, 2017

Living Small?

Bonjour et Bienvenue `a My Little Paris



Circumstances and chilling weather kept us from staying at the farm this past weekend. Living in the camper out there works really well for my husband and I, but not so well for our two tiny maltese , they really feel the cold. So we opted for a trip to the city and spending time at the lake house instead. On Saturday morning we were enjoying coffee together, something we only do on the weekends and we got talking about the lifestyle at the lake........about how, over the years,  we've seen such changes in the way people "live" at the lake.


The property we're on was purchased by my grandfather in 1939. They stayed in tents on weekends for several years, cooking in a stone oven on the beach. I have pictures from that time showing lots of family..........fishing, out in the boat, playing horseshoes.........working on the yard and cutting wood. In 1942 they built a one room cottage .........my mother used to talk of making paths through the trees, of secret sunbathing spots, of fishing with her aunt..........it was fun, they looked forward to going to the lake every weekend and returned home to the city on Sunday nights feeling tired, sun burnt and totally relaxed. 



My parents built a permanent home on the side lot spanning the years from 1984 to about 1987, working on it on weekends themselves. They moved there permanently in 1992 when my dad retired. Things were different though..........the family that used to drop by never came, and the yard became a lot of work........one went for a swim at the end of the day to cool off and clean up after working all day, but the days spent in the water seemed to be part of another era. No one fished and for most years there wasn't even a dock.

My husband and I and our kids used the old cottage on the adjoining lot for years and finally built a home of our own there in 1998...........and again, noticed that things changed. I used to say that the washer, dryer and vacuum cleaner followed me there. I've always been a water duck, but now, I hardly spend any time even down by the water, unless I have the grandboys here, it's still our special thing. We used to have a small old fishing boat and we'd pile in there and spend the day on the water, often.We decided we were living here full time, so we'd get a bigger, nicer boat, and if I was in it twice a year, I was lucky. We hardly ever used it. We don't even sit on our beautiful deck anymore, unless we have company, which is seldom. 

I've noticed it too with our neighbors. They used to have the little old cottage........like our's, and then they built a house on the lot, and the same thing seems to have happened to them. They used to have lots of family functions there and be out in the boat and in the water, picking raspberries and going golfing.............just like us..........but not now. Not now that there's "a house". 

And so.........I wonder, "why?" Are the houses too big........do we spend all our time cleaning? What do we spend all our time doing? Because it certainly isn't enjoying the sunshine and the water, or relaxing with a coffee and a good book. 

I wonder..........when we move to the farm, if we do build the big old farmhouse that I think I want.........will the same thing happen there? I have ideas of living at the farm, same as I did regarding living at the lake........will the same thing happen? I've been feeling kind of sad because it seems that I will never have my farmhouse............but, do I want it? Will that ruin my idea of "life on the farm?" Am I better off just being in the little cottage, will that keep life simpler and more joyful, will I actually get more out of "life at the farm" living "small?" My great aunt raised three kids in a tiny two bedroom bungalow in Regina, and you would never have found a warmer more welcoming home. There was always family there, always big family dinners, and it didn't matter that everyone didn't have a chair at the table or that the little galley kitchen was four thick in women. We had wonderful times there...........and you know, I'm all about how a place makes me feel..............

As Always..........
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