Summertime Stories | The Cottage

Last weekend, I stayed at the cottage on the lake (the one my family and I visit almost every day in the summer... have I mentioned that?) and I had an amazing time. There were some minuscule malfunctions, but I could never complain. That place is a second home to me, a sanctuary where everything usually makes sense. There's just something that's calming about the lake, you know? And water in general for me is a huge part of my life. It's my source of energy, health and relaxation. In almost any situation, bring me water, -bottled, lake or sea- and I'll probably be a happy camper. 

But anyway, the thing I love best about being at the lake is the family. Sure, sometimes it's nice to sit out on the dock by myself and watch the sun slowly sashay its way to the horizon, but most of the time it's better with a good friend or cousin at my side. I love my cousins. They're some of the best people in my life, and I'll tell you why: we talk about everything. We talk about boys together, we laugh about ridiculous things together, we "gossip" and exchange stories from our schools and towns. And what's cool is we each come from slightly different backgrounds or situations, and we can always exchange anecdotes and tell tales of what we hope will be our future one day. We also like to fangirl a lot, but who doesn't?

I like watching my cousins because they each act differently in certain situations. Sometimes (actually, most of the time) they smack my arm when I say something stupid or silly, or give me a good shove. Other times we fall backwards in laughter, and I like to see the looks on their faces. One of my cousins has a ridiculously contagious giggle, and another makes this face where she wrinkles her nose before laughing so hard her stomach hurts. One of my cousins is who we call the bad-ass of the group, always on the defense and ready to kick ass if necessary. I didn't get to see all of my cousins this summer, so there were some missing faces in our usual circle of mischief, but it was still lots of fun all the same.

This year, we got a trampoline in the backyard of the cottage, and it was kind of a big hit. (It was also a huge source of anxiety for the parents...heh.) It gave us more to do, more outdoorsy choices that inevitably lead to exercise and wacky interactions between cousins and friends. It was really lots of fun. We were able to swim all day in the lake, and when we got tired of that, we'd wrap ourselves in towels, grab a snack and take a walk. When we came back, calves aching just a little from the hilly private roads, the trampoline would be there, laden with leaves and occasional rain water.

We jumped around like the spazzes we were, and when we got bored of that, we'd take another walk or go tubing or jetskiing out on the lake. By this time, the sun's usually just about ready to take a dip beyond the trees, but we're not ready to end the day just yet...
We have fires. Lots and lots of fires in that lovely, coppery bowl of a fire pit. We pull up some chairs, maybe pull out a few sparklers and some glow sticks (courtesy of my epic uncle) and chat and laugh and chat some more. 

Sometimes discussions get serious. Sometimes they get downright heated. But when the sun goes down and the fire lights up our faces, all we see and feel is the warmth and love and excitement we have in each other. It's really quite fantastic. The whole family sometimes gathers around, which is the best feeling: being surrounded by the people you love and who love you just as much. 

Yes, this summer of 2014 has been really different from previous ones, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's been bad. I've had a lot of fun and a lot of moments when I was just so grateful for everything good in my life... One small, maybe even a little delirious moment was when I was finally drifting off to sleep in my cozy bed in the corner of what used to be known as "Baba's Room" (my great grandmother)...

I had turned so I was facing the wall, and I could feel my brain finally give in to the cushioned cavern of sleep. I was just about to slip completely unconscious, when all of a sudden I felt something soft and warm against my forehead. It was the strangest feeling, like a loving kiss. My eyes flicked open and I looked around me, but there was nothing but shadow upon shadow and ceiling upon wall. I could have sworn someone had just kissed me goodnight, but then again, I do tend to let my imagination get the better of me...

It's just... in that moment, I felt more assured than ever. It was like someone was saying "Even if this summer is different from all the rest, I'll always be here with you." Or something along those lines. I jump to conclusions like that pretty easily, and could have many more, but for now I'll just let the interpretation be open-ended... 


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