I was looking at the cottage garden this weekend, remarking on the size of the beans and the couple of cucumbers we have managed to grow. The garden wasn’t much this year but it did produce some great beans. But it’s not a good thing. A full garden, ready for harvest is a symbol of something much worse. The end of the lazy, relaxed, enjoyable days of summer at the cottage.
It’s not that summer is over, far from it, but nonetheless, there is a change in the air. No matter how old I get, August at the cottage will always be a kind of happy/sad time. Gone is the anticipation that comes with spring, the excitement of getting the boats in the water, the wharf in, the water pump hooked up, in it’s place are shorter days and longer nights, cooler mornings and evenings and a feeling, a feeling that never left…school is just around the corner.
The cottage garden finally starts to produce and we start to reap the benefits of the seed we have sown in May, enjoying fresh beans and lettuce, and a cucumber or two. But, always, nagging at me, is that expression, “it’s overrrrr” even if it isn’t. The change is there, it’s in the air.
Even the kids don’t seem the same, they are looking forward to, or dreading the return to school, depending on the kid. I know myself how much I dreaded giving up my leisurely summer afternoons swimming and running around the lake in my boat, or exploring the woods behind the old farm property where our cottage is built.
It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation for me. August has some of the best weather in these parts, but yet, it’s kind of the saddest time of year. It’s something I battle to overcome, not wanting to give in to the feeling of dispair that comes with late August. Cottage life slows down in September as the cottagers start to disappear or come less often, handing the place back to the locals, many of whom are probably glad to see us go, while others will miss us, particularly the store keepers and business folks who look forward to the influx of cash that the summer residents bring to cottage country.
I always remember my dear departed friend and next door neighbor at the cottage. Retired, he and his wife and family spent almost the entire summer at their cottage, from mid June on. But come September, he wanted to be gone, packed up and on to other things, I think because he too felt the change, and knew it was time to go back to reality, no matter how much we don’t want to go back.
Evenutally I will shake it off. September is often one of the best months around the cottage in terms of sunshine and fair weather. There will be weekends when it doesn’t seem like the end of summer, but one look at the garden and I will know it is…maybe I should get rid of the garden…
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