We opened the cabin last weekend.
It had been almost seven months since we left the dock for the last time in 2010. Our hearts were heavy. It was a generous warm fall day and the boat was packed with all the leftover staples from the summer.
On Friday evening, we were back at the dock. The boat again was loaded with tools, propane, and a small supply of items for the pantry.
We had stopped at a local gas pump and the attendant joked with me about the cost of getting the boat ready for the summer. The dial easily spun past $100 as the tank on the boat filled to the brim.
There was some price shock.
The lake was almost still as we launched the boat. We didn’t really get to the cabin until after 7 p.m. and didn’t eat until eight. The time had been filled with opening the cabin, unloading the boat, and packing away supplies.
?The thermometer in the sunroom registered 21 degrees C. The cabin was cooler.
I think that starting up the cabin often is more complicated than closing it. Breakers had to be turned on and appliances plugged in. The telephone also was plugged in and began recharging.
We didn’t have to worry about the fridge cooling. It was already cool.
After supper, we moved to the deck and enjoyed the first sunset across Sand Bay. The evening was perfect.
Both my wife and I had brought books to the cabin—hers was on her new Ipad and mine on my Kobo reader. We don’t have a television at the cabin, so we spend our time reading and relaxing.
And after the sun had set, we went inside and read. I guess you can call it powering down.
We live on Second Street East in Fort Frances and there is traffic at all hours of the day. You occasionally hear song birds in the morning.
The silence of the lake on Friday night was deafening; almost too silent. The silence was broken twice by a pair of young eagles sparing or mating in a white pine across from the cabin. And then they swooped overhead just metres above our heads—their wings were thumping the air so you could feel the pressure of the air.
We didn’t hear another boat on the lake or see another light in a cabin.
Tradition at the cabin calls for a big breakfast. It started more than 40 years ago before the first cabin footing was put in the ground.
Now it may be potentially heart-stopping, but bacon and eggs, toast, and coffee and juice gives you a real start on the day. Nothing is better than that unless it is blueberry pancakes, sausages, and maple syrup.
It is too early for blueberries and the maple syrup hadn’t made it to the cabin.
Waking up, the cabin was cool. The fire was lit and we began to warm the cabin. The first pot of coffee was made, and the bacon and eggs found their way into the 60-year-old cast iron frying pan.
The first weekend at the cabin was unfolding perfectly.
Saturday morning was set aside for putting the water in. You never know how it is going to go. Sometime the water starts flowing almost instantly; other times you struggle for a whole day to move the water from the lake to the cabin.
I was lucky. The water flowed on the first filling of the pump.
But last year I had totally re-created the water system to put a purification system in. It was designed so that it could be quickly drained, and the design worked perfectly back in the fall. Alas, it required more work on Saturday morning.
New water filters were put in, and all those quick shut-offs had to be closed. Fortunately, everything seemed to work.
Over the past seven months, a thin, light grey dusting had settled over the counters, table, and floor. We really didn’t notice it Friday night, but with the bright sunlight of Saturday, the dusting was obvious. A little clean-up was called for.
Some rods were rigged. We then went fishing—and returned slightly sunburned.
Ribs had been cooking slowly all afternoon in the oven. The table was set. Everything was quiet and we still had not seen or heard a boat in our neighbourhood.
The first bottle of wine was uncorked.
Summer was beginning.
We opened the cabin last weekend.