Saturday, August 22, 2009

Parents Visit to the Cottage

I realize I did not tell about my parents' visit to the cottage.

While my parents are an integral part of the story of our cottage purchase…..a long story for another post….cottage life is NOT for them. My parents are afraid of water. They do not swim. They do not go on boats. My mother is a fan of sheets with a high thread count and laundered each day like at the Hilton. Cottage life is not for them.

Each summer my parents invite my niece and nephew for a visit with them in Owen Sound. Now in their teenage years, it is becoming more difficult to entertain them. My mother thought a trip to the cottage might be interesting. I was a little fearful of the visit as I wasn’t prepared for the advice that often comes with a parental visit. To add on top the fact my parents really don’t enjoy “roughing it” at the cottage I thought it would be a long 24 hours.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Their arrival began immediately with my father taking the kids to the mini-putt place down the road. My mother and I did what we always do. Plan the meal. We actually planned supper using ingredients I already had and my mother didn’t make any comments about some condiment, appliance or something I shockingly didn’t own. (Some day I will tell the story of the salad spinner but I digress)

My dad and the kids returned so we went down to the lower dock. The kids swam. My mother worried but not as much as she usually does. My dad read the newspaper like he always does. Then we BBQd supper, ate, savoured dessert…..provided by my mother….did I mention she makes FABULOUS pies? Then we did what we used to do all those nights growing up. We played euchre.

It had become our habit when I was a kid to play euchre every night after supper. Looking back it was a great family thing and maybe a contributing factor to my brother and me growing up to be OK people. At the time I hated it. At the cottage I had a flashback to those many evenings as a kid.

Euchre is a four person game. So being the good host, I volunteered to sit out. My poor niece and nephew, years of bottled up euchre advice came flowing out by both mom and dad. Each card laid was analyzed and explained. A family tradition was carried on to the next generation!

After a few games we had a bonfire giving me a chance to burn lots of things in the overflowing “burnable bucket.” We also made smores. Can you believe my niece and nephew had never tasted smores?? My father seemed to enjoy the fire….or more precisely enjoyed making the fire so big as to “get a rise” out of my mother. Nothing is funnier than my father and mother bickering the way they do.

The next morning my father took us all in to Huntsville for a big breakfast. My mother got to buy her napkins from a certain store in Huntsville she had been talking about for a year. She was thrilled with her purchase of ten dollar paper napkins that look like linen. I also stopped at Canadian Tire and bought plastic bins with lids to protect my food from the chipmunk or mouse or whatever is invading my cupboard.

My father never stays anywhere too long. They left within the 24 hour time line my father always obeys.

I really did enjoy their visit…….maybe I finally am growing up.

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