Bear N Mom - Sandpiper Cottage - Our First Day
Background for this series of articles.
Ever since my childhood, my neighbors had owned a cottage at Canadohta Lake. I had wanted to spend time with them. It was my fondest desire as a child to spend my summers camping in the cottage that they spent their summers. Camping doesn't describe the actual life in the cottage and it actually depends on the style of home in which you are spending your summers. My neighbor had built his cottage and it was originally a summer getaway for his Mom, his Aunt and his Aunt's family. They would spend their summer there and his Aunt's four children were my childhood friends.
As an adult with four small children, I longed for the comfort of luxurious vacations in which someone else would make the beds and do the dishes. I wanted to be pampered. I soon learned that wasn't an option when you are married to someone who in truth is a miser not only of his money but of his time. In the end, I reveled in the new found luxury of my time alone with my children at our own cottage, the Sandpiper, at Canadohta Lake.
First Day at the Sandpiper
Early in the afternoon, we arrived at Canadohta Lake after a long two hour car ride up Route 8 through small town after small town. This was the first time, I had made the trip alone with the four children and we were there to spend the summer at our own piece of summer getaway known as the Sandpiper Cottage on Sunset Drive.
Since we had traveled up to be with my long time friends and neighbors, our first adventure was take the children to my neighbor's cottage to dip in their in-ground pool. My four children were between the ages of two and six years of age and as you can imagine they were rambunctious after the long car ride. Their screams and childish pleasures were not exactly what the doctor ordered for my aging neighbors who were spending their summer in idle companionship. So after a short while, I took my brood back to our own little cottage which was situated two cottage lengths from the lake to get settled in and feed them supper.
Our cottage had the prime view of the lake and was within walking distance of the local beach area that boasted a dock with boats and the invitation for the children to be able to fish off the dock while I could watch them from within the screened-in porch of our cottage. In today's world this would have been considered child neglect, but in our era this was just good summer family living.
The car was unloaded and the children were happily watching the tv as I got the cottage opened and did the normal opening chores such as priming the pump for water and turning on the bottled gas to use for cooking.
I don't know what alerted me to the fact that the two year old was missing but a nose count told me that Bobby was not in the cottage. I swear I searched all four rooms and even looked under beds but he just wasn't there. Panic was setting in especially when he didn't answer as I called out the front and back doors of the cottage.
The other children helped me look for him and Billy watched them as I rode around the immediate area in the car calling Bob's name. In total dispair, I made the trip to a cottage that I knew was the home of a local fire fighter. I explained my situation and he called out the fire department.
Back at the cottage, my panic grew when I realized the fire department was getting ready to drag the lake area near our cottage. I had never even considered Bobby going in that direction because he wouldn't go into the water at the pool earlier in the day. He seemed to be afraid of the water and I had not even given the lure of the lake a thought.
As the fire department was getting ready the chief came to our cottage to give it one more search before they entered the water. To my embarrassment he found my Robert hiding under my bed in my bedroom. Talk about relief and humiliation all in the same moment. I had pushed the panic button to find my missing child on the very first day of my arrival as a new owner of property in this small community. Tell me that wasn't going to brand me for the coming summer.
To explain what had actually happened, Robert has spied a bunny outside the back door and had to chased happily after it. (Lesson #2, always lock the screen doors so that the children had to be let out.) When he heard all the excitement with his name being called it scared him and he hid under a large pine tree until it was safe to sneak back into the cottage without being seen. That brings another story to mind that I will write at another time also involving my Bobby (de ju vue).
In the end, all was well and I fed my children spagetios for dinner and put them all to bed in the bedroom that was to be theirs until we fixed up the loft and made the second bedroom into a guest room.
More by this Author
Continued memories of my school years as I grew up in a mixed neighborhood during the 1950's. Faith, family and family values are depicted here in a middle class home.
Short story about seven children who were preschool friends.
Old World Recipe for Croatian Nut Rolls as related to me by someone who baked these every Easter.