Cottage Status Report 20240427


The dock spider was waiting when we pulled up in the tin boat to wake the cottage from its winter slumber. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. One of the dock spiders was waiting. The rest of the extended family was probably still asleep. Australian mutants not-withstanding, dock spiders reset anyone’s notion of what “big spider” means, although I’ll admit this particular one was more of a Mini Cooper than a Buick.

It was a cloudless day, calm and quiet. The boat motor had started on first pull. The dock was as intact as when it was last seen, unmolested by heaving ice. After we loaded the essential opening-up stuff into the Kawasaki Mule that hauls things up the hill, its engine turned over without complaint, even though it had been dormant since November. No trees had fallen to obstruct the path. Other than evidence that an animal had mistaken the mat in front of the kitchen door for a bathroom, all was well with the cottage exterior. The interior time capsule was also intact, pristine except for the usual collection dead flies on the window sills and some dishes that had spent their off-season in the dish rack.

After the power has been turned on, the next task on the annual list is to put the jet pump in the lake. This, too, was achieved with a minimum of muss or fuss, and the water was turned on at the pumphouse. My job was to report on the status of the upstairs shower, which may or may not have been properly drained in the fall, a topic of much discussion over the winter. There was no evidence of burst pipes and not an errant drop of water ensued, which I took to mean it had been properly drained after all.

“Easiest open-up ever!” we said. As you may suspect, these are not words that should ever be uttered, even silently with your inside voice.

“Does it usually take this long for the water to come out of the taps?” I asked. Because after five minutes, the water was decidedly not flowing. I was told to be patient. After all, it has to travel about fifty feet up to the cottage, then fill up the hot water tank, reservoir, and toilets. I picked up last year’s early summer Food and Drink magazine from the top of the teetering pile beside the couch and began to daydream about the fabulous things I was definitely, for sure, no question, absolutely going to make this summer.

“Any water yet?” No, I replied. Nothing. “Okay. I’ll take the Mule back down to the pumphouse. Maybe there’s a problem with the line.” I heard the Mule’s engine sputter, then quit. I heard words that should not be spoken in polite company. Clearly, I did not fall into that category. The water never did show up, hence the mission was aborted after 24 hours. Because me. Because toilets. The part for the pump might show up next week. It might even turn out to be the right part.

5 thoughts on “Cottage Status Report 20240427”

  1. Every cottagers life
    Will opening go smoothly or be a mitigating disaster after disaster.
    If we learn from our mistakes cottage life is a breeding ground
    Challenges and opportunities
    Some years I am up to my *** in them.
    Loved the post.

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