Retired Life

Hey Cottagers! It’s me, you recently retired cottage correspondent. Now that I am among the retired-not-working-set I apparently have less time than when I had a full-time job! I’ve been almost too busy to keep The Cottage Chronicles current, sorry about that…..

But I have been busy. In fact, I have been at the cottage pretty much nonstop since the day after I left the workplace for greener pastures.

We’ve been enjoying the blistering heatwave that came at the end of August just before Hurricane Earl which gave us a good windstorm and soaking on September 4th. We stayed at the cottage, no chickens here, no heading back to the safety and security of the big city.

Nope…we stayed right on the lakeshore, watching the waves and the occasional tree branch fly by. We were keeping track of the storm on my little crank radio, because the power went kaput on Saturday and didn’t come back on until Monday afternoon.

Apparently there were trees on the power line everywhere. We were lucky, only had a couple of trees fall over, otherwise we survived in fine style. I had my aluminum boat tied down…..

I left the outboard motor on it and the drain plug intact so it would take on some rainwater for added weight, and it did, although we didn’t get all that much rain, mostly high winds.

I also had lots of ropes on the wharf as well, and made sure that anything that could blow around was either put inside the shed or tied down. It also helped to have the rocks piled up under the wharf, they really provide some protection to the boat and the beach area where I keep the boat.

My neighbor left his speedboat moored in the cove beside our place, where it rode out the storm pretty well, unfortunately though, the canvas top ripped off, into shreds actually….Here it is as the storm is just starting.

We also had one of the screens pull out of the screen room, but I was lucky enough that it didn’t rip, and I was able to staple it back into place as soon as the wind died down.

 At some point in the afternoon our clothesline broke and snapped back, hitting the side of the camp with a resounding crack, that got our attention……

One thing I was worried about was the old picture window we took out this summer, but I got it secured behind the shed and it stayed put and didn’t get broken.

For all intents and purposes it was a good storm, fun to watch the waves on the lake and see the trees blow in the wind, the sound was unbelievable, a steady roar of the wind that didn’t stop, if it had of happened at night, in the dark it would have been exceptionally frightening, but during the daytime, not too bad.

I’d have to say it was an adventure and one that I would probably do again if the opportunity arose. When it was over, the skies cleared up and it was actually a pretty nice night, all things considered….except we were without power, which is fun for a little while, but I like my television, lights and most of all water pump…..

However, we made the best of it, we had our solar lights inside to give us some interior lighting, flushed the toilet with a bucket of water, cooked on the Coleman stove and used my new solar shower bag to have a hot shower…..that was the best part of all !!

So…after the storm, I started to work on one of the projects on my list of projects, and that is to take everything out of the shed, get rid of whatever is no good and re-pack the rest of it, in an attempt to make more room.

Since the power was off, and I didn’t have anything else I could do, I started lugging stuff out the door…..and then lugged some more stuff and then some more…..until it was empty…here is the front lawn during this episode.

This pic doesn’t really do it justice, but this is a sampling of what was in this little 12 foot by 20 foot shed…including a bunch of windows as well.

I opened the front doors and started pitching stuff out there as well, some of it right into the burning barrel we have, and much of it went up in smoke. It’s unbelievable how much junk you can accumulate over a period of some 40 or 50 summers…..We also had a bunch of tree branches from the hurricane to deal with as well. Needless to say, I had a lot going on that afternoon.

The power came back on Monday at suppertime, the day after we went with our neighbors to their other property where they had a gas generator. We brought that back and they got some power for their fridge and some lights etc.

I really think a gas generator is a good thing to purchase. I am going to have to get one if this hurricane stuff is going to continue. Here is some stuff I found in garage that I found interesting, a “hurricane lamp” and an old chamber pot…cool….actually I recently found the old chamberpot in the woods behind the camp. A reminder of the old farm that was once there.

We came home on Wednesday, and today I did some errands for my folks, and then spent the afternoon putting some asphalt coating on my driveway here in the city. It came out pretty well I think, I am pleased with the result.

I am looking forward to getting stuff packed up again and heading back to the camp as soon as possible, but the one thing about being retired, I may not have much money, but I got the time……..Yee Ha!!

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