I’m blogging every day in April (except Sundays) from A to Z! Be sure to check back daily for a new post.
Today’s topics are inextricably linked in our family. We’ve camped since the children were little; it’s an economical way to see a lot of different places, and most children far prefer having room to run as opposed to being cooped up in a hotel room. More recently, we’ve joined some family members at a cottage in Northern Ontario two years in a row. The cottage is so small and so rustic, it’s a lot like camping – in fact, we even sleep in the tent!
This little tent has seen a lot of places. When my husband first bought it, I wondered at the extravagance; the box said “sleeps 6” and there were only four of us then. It seemd huge! In fact, it’s officially a 2-room tent, with a removable “wall” in the middle. I think the wall’s been up once, and I don’t know what it sleeps 6 of, but it can’t be normal-sized people. For the first few years, we’d set out four sleeping bags nice and neat, and wake up in the morning like a litter of puppies, all piled on top of one another. Later, the “big girls” got their own tent, and our tent was for the two of us and “the baby.” For the last two summers, the tent has housed the two of us and the dog – and it’s still crowded!
I also require a few comforts when I camp, such as an electrical hook-up, a Mr. Coffee, and a nice reading lamp inside the tent. Other than that, I’m pretty easy to please, I think.
The cottage, as I say, is rustic. Electricity, but no running water. The setting is beautiful though, right on the water near North Bay, nice and secluded. Our days are spent swimming, reading, paddling, reading, fishing. The best part is being surrounded by extended family, and gathering around the fire at night to talk and laugh. At night, we crawl into our tent and fall asleep to the sounds of the night – no car horns, no sirens, and best of all no phones. It’s a welcome time-out from everyday life.
One of the things I like best about camping and cottaging is that my husband’s so darn good at it. He knows exactly where to put the tent, exactly when and how to cook our meals, exactly how to start and keep the fire going. All of these are things I could manage myself, I’m sure, but it’s much easier to sit back while he takes charge. I’m a bit of a control freak, and letting go at home doesn’t come half as easily – but when we’re away, I just don’t feel the same compulsion.
That little tent has lasted about 17 years now – turned out to be a good investment. Yet another example of the husband knowing exactly what he was doing.