Here's another thing to add to the list of completely unnecessary yet wonderfully fanciful things to own : an island.
For a brief couple of summers, we were the proud owners of an island on a lake in northern Ontario. Before you think this was a posh place with all the mod cons, think again (well, it did have most of the mod cons, actually, but only because we put them in). It was just a rustic little cabin, built in the 1930's , probably as a fishing camp, on a tiny island. These boat-access properties are actually a lot more affordable than road-access cottages, which have recently gone up very steeply in price.
This little getaway had been for sale for a long time, because it was in need of repairs, had only a hand pump in the kitchen as a source of water, and an outhouse. The lady who had owned it for thirty or so years had died, and her family was selling it.
Being the impractical fools that we are, we bought it. But only because the place had worked its charms on us from the moment we saw it. We set about to refurbish the cabin using mostly elbow grease and endless cans of paint. That was the summer of being very tired, but happy (although my kids did not enjoy the three-hour drive).
As with many things in life, though, we had to let the island go. A change in my husband's career path led us to the conclusion that it wasn't practical to have this extra place anymore. And so, though we are not practical people a lot of the time in many ways, we decided to sell it.
With the cold weather and never-ending winter I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately, and thought I would blog about it. So, if you'd like, please accompany me on this semi-sweet jaunt down memory lane (but I'm warning you, the post is rather long and picture-filled).
First, you have to jump on this large old boat from the '70's. It's noisy and makes a huge wake. Don't worry, the driver's very experienced.
Here we go.....and it's a beautiful summer day.
It takes about ten minutes from the marina....once I got lost on a dark night by myself, and had to spend the night at the neighbour's place....they were very nice and gave me tea and homemade cookies and let my smelly farm dog stay indoors....but that's another story for another time.
Here it is! Told you it was small!
This photo is out of order, but it shows you our little morning sunshine deck (that's where you bring your coffee and toast and enjoy the morning sunshine and the quiet beauty.
Here's the little old gangplank that leads from the old dock. The water levels fell quite a bit at the end of the summer.
Here's the main room. All of the furnishings came with the place, because of the difficulty of removing them. There was a lot of old smelly stuff (couches, mattresses,etc...) that we disposed of (we had to haul everything by boat). But there were many vintage pieces that made my heart pitter patter when I saw them. Did I mention we painted every inch of the place (including furniture)?
There was even a stuffed fish on the enclosed porch. And horseshoes over every door-if that wasn't an omen that I was meant to own the place, I don't know what was....
Pretty hand-hewn beams on the ceiling of the porch- and a water view out of every window.
The ceiling in the main room.
Interior windows with old rippled glass, old maps of the lake, a little bookshelf and two thick vintage wicker rocking chairs with at least 4 coats of paint under the final fresh coat of white paint I applied.
The original ice-house with the old ice tongs hanging inside (and every imaginable piece of discarded junk as well as vintage tools).
This tree was basically horizontal, but very much alive.
Even a wee little beach, about ten feet wide, but it was enough to build sandcastles on.
A picnic table for al fresco meals.
The little sunset deck where you could sit and read, and ponder (with a rickety old ladder to the water).
No tv at the cottage, so the kids were forced to watch the greatest show on earth:
Yes, I'm a sunset picture-taking dork...
Despite its small size, the island has huge trees on it...this part was sort of park-like.
And water, water, everywhere you look...the quietest, most peaceful spot...made for dreaming and napping and swimming and reading. You would have loved it.