It’s starting to feel like Spring, the backyard is getting muddy, the snow is finally melting and lonesome larry emailed me today to say he can’t wait to get back to the camp!
That’s the beauty of camps and cottages isn’t it? The waiting, the old “absence makes the heart grow stronger” feeling that all of us cottagers and campers feel when we are unable to get to the camp.
I always said the best part of the camp was getting there in the Spring, and Friday nights. Let’s face it, there is no better moment than when you pull into the camp on Friday night.
The weekend is in front of you with all kinds of promise, plans and hopes. The following two days, as good as they might be, cannot top the Friday night feeling.
Optimism always abounds on Friday night. You are about to have the best trout fishing weekend of your life, the best campfire of the year, the best boat ride. Whatever your plans, on Friday night they are yet to be busted by a sudden rainstorm, or a broken down outboard motor. All is right with the world.
The same is true for the Spring. Even if your camp is a year round endeavor, it is a great place to be when the ice goes out of the lake and Spring arrives, it’s like the biggest Friday night of all. The good weather is coming, the migratory birds returning, the ice melting.
It’s not hard to picture the coming months of summer, in fact it’s such a pleasant picture it becomes a day dream as you sit in your
prison cell office thinking about it. On the other hand, picturing the coming winter in September or October feels more like a nightmare than a daydream.
I have learned this about the Spring at the camp, getting stuff out is more fun than putting it away. Let’s think about that for a moment…..Ok….did you think about it, or did you just keep on reading….well if you did stop and think about it, Thank you. You can continue reading now.
Here are some random thoughts that I have about Spring at the camp:
I much prefer putting the boat in the water to taking it out.
I love putting the wharf in the lake in the Spring, I actually look forward to it, but I despise taking it out in the Fall.
I actually enjoy crawling around under the camp hooking up the water pump which is way ahead of disconnecting the water pump,
Taking off the window shutters, sure beats closing them up.
Piling up the firewood pile that fell down with the wind and snow of winter is good exercise. So is raking the old leaves and dead grass.
Carrying a full 5 gallon can of gasoline to the boat is much easier than carrying an empty 5 gallon gas can to the gas station.
Digging worms for fishing in the garden in April is much better than digging potatoes out of the garden in September, even if they are good to eat.
Lugging the groceries and “staples” in to the camp on the first trip of the year, or on Friday night, is much easier than taking home the empties on Sunday night, even if they are much lighter.
Filling the hummingbird feeders and hanging them up beats emptying them and putting them away. It’s nice to watch for the first hummingbird to arrive and pretend you recognize him from last year.
Mowing the grass is light years ahead of shovelling snow, even if you suffer from pollen and hayfever type grass allergies. I would rather sniff and gasp through a runny nose and watery eyes to mow the lawn than to shiver while I
watch Wendy shovel snow.
I dunno about you, but I don’t seem to mind raking the lawn in the Spring, but I hate raking leaves in the fall. I’d rather let the old leaves blow over to the neighbors.
Speaking of your camp neighbors, is it just me or do they even look better in the Spring, when you haven’t seen them for 6 or 7 months? It’s like an old friend returning, much better when you first see them in April or May, than they actually are….your memory has had time to fade…..you like them again….did I say that out loud??
The camp always has a much better smell in April than it does in October. It’s been closed up all winter, but the firewood piled in the box by the stove has had time to permeate the surrounding furniture and curtains. The place holds that magical camp smell that you won’t even notice on Saturday night, but it’s there for your first Friday night and it is better than the finest perfume. (Unless of course it is the smell of a dead squirrel carcess rotting in the ceiling, but that is another story.)
Speaking of “smells” have you noticed how much better things smell in the spring?
The smell of the 2 cycle outboard motor when it first comes to life in April is sooooo sweet, I always take a big old whiff of that blue smoke and say, “awww!!” because it is as magical as a magician pulling a bird out of your ear. Then I wipe my gas soaked hand across my face, wiping a little on the collar of my shirt, and enjoy the smell of boat gas all day, and sometimes all night, and sometimes all the next day until Wendy makes me change my shirt.
It’s hard to believe what an affect smell has on your memory, but it does. Just think about it, you seldom forget a smell.
Yes, camp smells abound, and one that always sticks with me, along with the smell of fresh fishing minnows in a can, fresh worms from the compost pile, newly turned soil in the vegetable garden, the aroma of dead leaves and God knows what under the camp as you hook up the water pump in the dark Friday night, the lingering scent of gas in the boathouse, is the smell of the septic tank when it needs to be pumped. That is another camp cottage smell that kinda stays with you, and when you dig it up and open the lid….well….let’s just say it’s a memory that will stick to your nostrils like Crazy Glue to your fingers.
Spring is the time for lists, lists of things you will need at the camp for the coming season. Time to get some boat gas and some outboard oil. Time for planning the improvements you might like to make to the camp. Perhaps it’s as simple as a list of food that you will need to take, or more complicated, like the camp supplies that will stay there until the fall like canned goods, coffee etc.
It’s time to consider the things you will need at the camp, especially for those first couple of trips. Time to look in the garage at home and check on the stuff you brought home and dropped in a pile in October, and haven’t looked at it since. Check that pile carefully, sometimes it contains important stuff, stuff you will need for your first trip, like the keys to the camp.
Now is the time to get the chainsaw sharpened, the lawnmower tuned up, the outboard motor greased and maybe a set of new sparkplugs.
Spring is also the time to go to the bank or other financial institution of your choice and get your personal line of credit increased so you can buy gas for the boat. Especially this year.
It’s also time to start watching the Spring fashion shows to see what kind of bikini’s the girls on the pontoon boat will be wearing this year….did I say that out loud??? I say way to much out loud obviously….Of course I only look at the bikini girls to see what kind of shape the financial economy is in…I read somewhere that the skimpier the bikinis the better the economy, or perhaps it was the skimpier the bikinis, the less we men care about the shape of the economy, either way, it’s time to check out the Spring swimwear fashions….c’mon, don’t try and tell me you don’t watch fashion TV.
That reminds me, it’s time to clean the lenses on the binoculars.
Cabela’s is my favorite outdoor shop !!
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