My mother spent summers at her parents cottage on Lake Erie in Leamington, Canada with her brothers and sisters when she was a little girl. As soon as school got out for the summer, they’d make the two hour drive up north and wouldn’t return home until the day before school resumed again in the Fall.
Some of my mum’s fondest memories are those hot summer days at the cottage, walking down to the pier to get an ice cream cone and swimming for hours in Lake Erie, laughing and feeling the exhilaration of the waves and cool water. My older brother and I spent weekends there too when we were kids. We’d stop at the market on the way and my grandma would buy us a bundle of Tootsie Pops, a mixture of Chocolate, Cherry, Orange, Grape and Raspberry candy-filled lollipops! Remember how magical it was to get your favorite candies?!
Trevor and I would spend hours on the beach, building sand castles and running through the water, the waves crashing against the shore. What a hypnotic and wonderful sound to listen to while you drift off to the Land of Nod. And I can still remember the sweet, musty smell of the cottage, a flood of memories rushing back to me every time I get a whiff.
But our cottage days soon came to an end. Unfortunately, my grandmother couldn’t afford it any longer and her kids couldn’t either.
The cottage was sold.
A couple of years ago, my mom started yearning for a place on one of the Great Lakes. She longed to sit in her yard and read a good book while feeling the cool breeze off the massive body of water just beyond her front door, the lake stretching as far as the eyes can see. She began looking but was anxious about managing two mortgages so the search was short-lived.
A few months after her mother passed away, she began the hunt again but this time with the fury of fire and brimstone. It was inevitable that she would find a place.
And so she did.
It’s a winsome little cottage on Lake Huron, a place she’ll eventually retire to in charming Port Sanilac. Her and her hubby are making it their own, installing white scalloped trim along the peaks and painting it a buttery yellow. They erected a white picket fence, planted flowers around the yard and set up rock and flagstone pathways. Adirondack chairs sit in the front yard facing the lake, beckoning guests to take a load off. It’s a little piece of paradise with cheerful neighbors and the mesmerizing sound of the waves crashing against the seawall.
The Pig and I recently spent a few days at the cottage and we felt like kids again. We took the kayak out for a couple of hours with my mom, abandoning ship to swim and play in the crystal clear, Caribbean-blue waters.
We watched the moon rise, a breathtaking sight as the light danced across the surface, the melodic sound of the waves sending us further and further down the rabbit hole of relaxation, all troubles melting away.
The Pig and I walked to the pier with momsy and Kevs and watched as a bald eagle swooped and soared above us.
The sunrise over Lake Huron was captivating. Fishing boats were parked in their usual spots, front row seats to momma nature’s light show.
We drank mochas and ate ice cream daily. Littles loves her cone dipped in sprinkles. When all of hers were gone, she reached over and took mommy’s.
The city of Port Sanilac put on a spectacular fireworks display over the lake and we had front row seats. Nearly 30 family members took vigil on the lawn, a bonfire keeping everyone toasty warm. Below, my mum and Littles are signing “more” while they watch the show in awe.
As we said our farewells on the last day of our vay-cay, our chests puffed up in preparation for the big sigh.
So long, Port Sanilac. Until we meet again.
Where’s your favorite place to recharge your batteries?