Fathers, Daughters, and Cottages

Strange things happen to a man as he reaches and almost passes middle age…especially when that man is a father….I know I have been a bit…well…I guess the word might be maudlin or perhaps pathetic as I come to grips with my daughter’s leaving for Alberta this summer to work at a Tim Horton’s Foundation Children’s Camp.

Of course I am more than a little proud of her, and of course it is fine and noble thing she has taken on, but…for a father, having his first born daughter on the other side of the country at the tender age of 21 is a bit of a stretch.

What it has done, rather unexpectedly, is take away some of my desire to go to the cottage. I’m talking about a desire I have had since I was a wee lad, and I mean a wee lad.

I suppose my daughter is doing something I would have done had I known about it then, she has a trace of me in her after all, an independent, adventuresome streak that work and family responsiblity has somewhat dulled in me.

When I was 13 years old, I boarded a bus alone, and went to our cottage, alone. I got off the bus at the end of the road and reached the cottage just before dark, locking myself in for the night. In those days there was no phone, and the nearest neighbor was another cottage, and they weren’t there…

I suppose my Dad went through the same thing I am going through these days, in that he knew he had to let me go, I wanted to do it, was determined to do it, and it’s something we occasionally talk about even today, close to 40 years later.

However, it pales in comparison to my daughter’s adventure, so far from home for so long. I know it’s only three months but that’s like…well…90 days…that’s longer than the warranty period on some outboard motors…

The cottage means a lot to my daughter, I know that, which is why we had to spend a weekend there before she left for the summer and why she wants to spend a weekend there when she gets back in September. I think it’s her way of staying connected to the place, which is something I can understand.

So this weekend the time has come. I have decided to bite the bullet and get my ass to the camp….it won’t be quite the same, but things never are, life is one change after another isn’t it. I think we are judged and strengthened by how we deal with the changes that life puts in our path….it’s time I got reconnected to the place.

Ok, that is enough of that…let’s have a song, how about Green Day and Time Of Your Life…I think it’s appropriate, this is for Kim…

OK…that is enough of that…tomorrow let’s build a skid way for a boat….or dig a hole for an outhouse….surely we can do something besides this…oh yeah, I almost forgot, did I tell you I bought a new swivel seat for my aluminum boat? I did….I will show you once it’s installed. I am pretty pleased with it.

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2 thoughts on “Fathers, Daughters, and Cottages”

  1. What a great bond you have w/ your daughter! Based upon my experience and the way my father put cottaging in my blood – you never lose it.

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