I’ve spent the last 15 minutes reminiscing about all our summers at the cottage. Washing off with the hose outside. Running up and down the sand dunes. Walking to the playground with Joel and Rachel. Joel and I teaching the younger cousins how to play poker. Grampa sorting endless baseball cards and giving the damaged cards to Chad. The old rusty swingset under the oak tree. And speaking of the oak tree, those darn acorns. Man those hurt when you stepped on them barefoot. Wandering the woods across the street, avoiding the poison ivy. Going to the Willoughbee’s (sp?) for some candy and visiting. Those bunk beds too close to the ceiling. Hit my head almost every morning when I woke up. The carpet walkway to the beach that wasn’t ever long enough so we still had to endure the hot sand. The sand all over the carpet, defeating the purpose of the carpet. Gramma ALWAYS baking or cleaning or cooking in the kitchen. She NEVER stopped. Doing puzzles at the kitchen table. Building card houses in the living room. Gramma hanging our underwear on the clothes line. I never understood why we couldn’t just use the dryer.
There was a park about ½ mile from the cottage that we walked to a lot when we couldn’t go swimming. And there were sand dunes. We’d run up them as fast as we could and always run out of steam halfway up. And then run down and fall and end up just sliding or rolling down the hill. And come home covered in sand in our clothes. In our pockes and undies. There was a hose on the side of the house with a shower head type attachment and we’d all have to clean our feet (and the rest of ourselves) there. All the little kids would get totally naked and wash off. It was embarrassing when you reached a certain age. Then we go inside. The bathroom had a direct door to the outside so we would just go inside and shower without tracking water or sand throughout the cottage. One year in early July, I was marching in and out of the house. I had found a small American Flag and was carrying it. I think I was even wearing my blue shorts and red shirt, I don’t remember for sure. Anyway, I was marching all over the place. Grampa got so upset. “Quit slamming the door. In or out.” Gramma said, “What are you doing Chris?” “I’m marching in the 4th of July parade Gramma.” And she had a brilliant idea. She decided that Nicole and Megan and I would get all decked out in our best patriotic clothes and grab flags and march in the parade that week. As the parade came by our cottage (we were pretty early on the street I think) she just found a hole and shoved us in. I think it was Megan who freaked out and refused to go in, so Nicole and I marched alone. Or maybe they both did. I don’t remember very well. But I marched in the 4th of July parade for the cottage. My first ever parade.