Cottage Memories

As I child, I remember spending a lot of time at my Grandparents cottage in Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Bobcaygeon is a small little village just around the Lindsay area. Bobcaygeon is mainly known for its cottages. My grandparents had a cottage on Echo Bay Road, which was just north of Bobcaygeon. Their cottage was located right on Sturgeon Lake.

Friday nights after my Grandfather got off work, I remember that we would all jump in his station wagon and off to the cottage we went. It was crowded in the station wagon because Grandpa and Grandma would always have all of their things packed up and then there would be the three of us, myself, my sister and my brother.

Bobcaygeon was about a 2 hour drive from Toronto, where my Grandparents lived. We would take Highway 401 to Highway 115. Many times we stopped for dinner at the Bonfire Restaurant and then continued on. My Grandmother used to pass the time away in the car by singing to us. She would make up her own lyrics to songs. I remember one sang she sang to us all the time was, “Oh Mr. Well Digger, dig us a well.” and we would sing along with her, probably driving my Grandfather nuts, but my Grandfather never complained one bit.

My Grandfather was a very patient man and very kind and generous. I never heard a foul word come out of his mouth, ever. I remember my Grandfather as being a very hard working man, also. He would work all week and then I can always remember that he would be working on some project at the cottage and end up working all weekend long too. Now that I think about it, I don’t know how he did it.

We would arrive at the cottage around eight or nine. My Grandmother would always make us a snack. My Grandmother is a very good cook. I loved her peanut butter and banana sandwiches, which she nicknamed peanie and blue. My Grandmother used to have nicknames for everyone, that is everyone, except me. I often think that the reason for that is that I am so much like her. My Grandmother loves to write and so do I. My Grandmother is very intelligent and, not to brag or anything, but I am pretty smart too.

I can remember my Grandfather bringing in arms full of firewood, once we got to the cottage, while Grandma was whipping us up a snack. I can remember that when we first got to the cottage, it would be cold and chilly but then Grandpa would soon fix that with a nice roaring fire in the fireplace.

My Grandfather built his cottage with his bare hands. Apparently, the cottage started out as an old 10 X 10 foot building that he moved onto his piece of property. He built addition after addition onto it until he ended up with a three bedroom dream home by the lake.

In the summer, would have get-togethers at the lake with family and friends. We would fish, swim and boat ride to our hearts content and then we would have a barbecue. I loved Grandpa’s barbecues, mostly because Grandpa cooked Grandma’s burgers and they were always the best home-made burgers around.

I can remember that Grandma would go into Bobcaygeon Saturdays to shop. Grandpa would always take her into town. Grandma always went to Junkins Bakery and bought the best chelsea buns ever! I remember the smell of them all the way back to the cottage. They drove us crazy until we were able to eat them! They were so good too, so fresh and so gooey!

In the winter we would skate on the home-made rink that my Grandfather made for us. He would take a wooden chair out onto the ice for my sister and I to hold onto and push while we tried to learn to skate. My sister and I have congenital chorea and we could never skate on our own, but my Grandfather used to have lots of fun trying to help us out.

I remember my Grandfather building addition after addition onto the cottage. He would always let us help him out as best as we could. I remember once when he took his level and placed it on my head, to see how level I was. As a kid, I never really understood why he did this, but everyone used to laugh at him, so I thought it was funny too. Now that I am all grown up, I think my Grandfather instilled a lot of good, wholesome values in me and one of them was to be level-headed.

The cottage is my Grandfather’s cottage no more because he sold it probably about ten years ago now. To this day, I miss the cottage dearly and the memories of that cottage will always be with me. I miss my Grandfather dearly too because he passed away on December 26, 2000. Even the day he died, he was so unselfish. He let all of us have our Christmas celebrations before passing away. That was just the kind of man he was.

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