It’s been one of those opening weekends where everything that could go wrong did. We got the boat packed with our gear and then a downpour started. The water is 48 degrees so putting in the dock was very chilly. We weren’t able to use the fridge or stove because because of a new leak in the gas line and propane was spewing all over the kitchen. We have to replace pipe on the water line because the mice chewed a hole in the pipe, etc. The list of mishaps goes on and on. At least the sunsets are still amazing. Here’s last night’s.
Posts tagged: opening weekend
So we opened the cottage over Memorial Day Weekend. Overall, it went really well with no giant issues. Victoria Day was the weekend before, so not too many people were around. The cottagers association dock was practically empty when we had to go to town for supplies and there was barely any boat traffic even though the weather was great. The water was a lot warmer than it usually is on opening weekend. There was no mice invasion since we were up in February, water was down even further and the only real cleanup was because some birds got into the outhouse this spring.
Sometimes at Action Island we have some pretty amusing mishaps. This opening weekend had a pretty good island blooper – luckily it was salvageable though. When opening the cottage, the first thing we do after driving all night to get there is to take the canoe off of the car and canoe out to the island. Once at the island, we get the boat in the water and the motor on the boat. We then go back to the mainland in the motorboat to get our stuff from the car. Once we get back to the island with our stuff, we pull the boat up on the beach as high as we can, we then start doing stuff like getting the dock in the water. We always pull the boat up on the more sheltered side of the beach – that way the current won’t pull the boat out to sea. That’s why we were so surprised when we saw the boat was gone. Luckily, the runaway boat ran aground on a nearby island, so we didn’t have to go too far in the canoe to go find it.
We drove up to Action Island for the long weekend to open the cottage. Memorial Day weekend is always the true start of summer travel for us. Here we are driving on the New York State Thruway this past Friday evening with the canoe on the car. We are on the road again with more summer blogs coming soon.
I finally uploaded the video of what the cottage and the island looks like when we get there for opening weekend. As you can see, it doesn’t look much like a cottage yet. Brush from fallen trees has to be cleared, the paths have to be cleaned, we have to get the boats out of the front yard and into the water, the shutters that cover the windows and the doors in the winter have to be removed and put in the ice house, furniture has to be moved, everything in the kitchen has to be taken out of containers, etc. Unfortunately I didn’t get video of the water line for the hand pump going into the water. To make up for it, I made a three-part video on how to put in the dock. I’m going to combine it into one single video and upload it soon.
Some of you might be wondering why we put everything away so well in the fall if we just have to take it all out again the next spring, and that’s a good question. There’s actually lots of reasons why we have to do it. The boats all have to get out of the water and way up into the front yard because we don’t want to them to float away in bad storms and because we want to hide them a bit so no one takes them while we’re gone. The shutters go on all of the windows and doors so the cottage is difficult to break into. The porch furniture goes inside so it’s not stolen and so it doesn’t have to deal with the harsh winters that are commonplace on the bay. All bedding, towels, and everything in the kitchen goes into plastic containers so the mice don’t get into them and the water line is out of the water in the winter so it doesn’t break or get pulled out with the ice. So as annoying as all of the work can be, there is a reason behind it.
Nothing says “welcome home” more than a tree blocking the entrance to your house. Honestly, this opening weekend wasn’t too bad though. Every opening weekend has some minor tragedies, like this year I scratched up one of the lenses in my glasses, the water was 40 degrees when we put the dock in, the husband mistook some mouse droppings for toast crumbs in the broiler, and we needed to replace a few screens that the fallen tree ripped, but all in all the trip was a success and we managed to have fun all along the way. That’s what opening the cottage is all about.
A special shout out goes to the wonderful law enforcement officers that we ran across during our journey. When we had to go through a mandatory sobriety checkpoint while getting onto the highway to start our trip, we were quite impressed with the Ohio police officer’s knowledge of famous hockey players’ birthplaces. He was fantastic and we were tempted to give him a high five. It’s pretty rare to find someone stateside who knows important information like that. Extra special thanks goes out to the Ontario Provincial Police officer that let us off for speeding today on the 400. Not sure how much of a ticket it is for going 135 in a 100, but the “you’re from the states, what were you thinking?!?” warning was much appreciated. You rock.
So it’s Memorial Day weekend, our first weekend here at the island. We’re opening the cottage so it’s pretty much a working weekend, but I’ve managed to make a few videos (to be posted once I get back). To amuse ourselves our last night here we decided to take the laptop out on the beach and see what, if any, wifi signals we could find; and we lucked out.
I made this short video to show how amusing it can be when you find wifi on the island.
So it’s almost summer. Time for the weather to start getting warm and to actually stay that way. There’s eight more days left of school with students. Memorial Day weekend will be starting shortly. My car has a canoe on top of it. We’re quickly approaching the time of year that I live for. Very soon I’ll be back on the island. I’m actually going there this weekend. This will be my first trip up to Action Island for 2009, but it definitely won’t be my last. This will be a working weekend for sure – my husband, dad, and I are going up north to open the cottage. After the weekend, we’ll come back. I’ll wrap up the school year with my students, and in just a few weeks I’ll be back on the island to stay.
This is the first summer in a long time that I’ll be able to stay on the island for the whole summer. I used to stay up there for 7-8 weeks at a time every summer when I was younger, but as I got older life got in the way. My goal has always been to get back to it though. The island is a big part of who I am. If you add up all of the time that I’ve spent there since I was a kid, I’ve lived there for years. There aren’t too many jobs out there that let you have the summer off. Luckily I found one, and I love it. I’m a school counselor at a junior high here in the U.S. This is a job that I’ve wanted to do for over a decade, and not just for the summers off. I absolutely love it. I’ve just finished my first year working as a counselor after going to school for seven years for it. While in school, I had to work and go to school year-round, which meant that for the past seven years I haven’t been able to get up to cottage country as much as I would have liked. That is all about to change though.
I plan on being at the island for seven weeks this summer. Yes. Seven weeks. This is going to be good.