...napping in a screened porch, hazily hearing the buzz of bugs that want in, but can't.
...putting on a pair of dry underwear after a full 8-hour day in a bathing suit. Really, that feel of dry underwear hitting your nethers is a golden gift.
...long canoe rides with the Dotytron, exploring a lake's nooks and crannies. We've been doing it for so long...I think the end of our second year together we went up to his family cottage for the first time. No lake will ever be as magical as that one. The sun burning the mist off an abandoned beaver dam we happened upon; drifting into a mess of lily pads and catching glimpse of a 1 1/2 foot shell of a turtle disappearing beneath the canoe; bobbing beside a family of loons; hearing the reedy scrape of grasses against the canoe hull as we pass through a cathedral of fallen birches; watching a blue heron take flight off a rock; pretend-buying cottages. Healey lake is filled with so many fingers and inlets and bays - I loved that time we spent there with the Dotytron's mum and dad and sister, before we had kids, when we were still kids, pretending at being grown.
...canoeing with my kids now. Perfunctory canoe rides punctuated with constant sharp admonishments to the twins (mostly Lenny) to STOP LEANING OVER and to PLEASE SIT STILL. Loud canoe rides because my youngest (Lenny) is so pure of heart and without guile and filters and lives in a perpetual present, and therefore, the canoe rides are filled with: "I want to go over dare, wit the grasses. Ooh! We're going over there! Are we going over dare? Are we going over dare...wit the grasses now?" Endless loops of his stream-of-conscious narration, scaring off any potential wildlife for a 5km radius.
...being with my family. My crazy, loud, contentious, hilarious, inappropriate family. Building upon nearly 40 years (!) of sibling in-jokes and now inter- and intra-generational jokes and folding in outlaw siblings by marriage. Seeing my eldest nephew forge a special bond with Twin A (Quincess), the two of them thick as thieves. Little little Cuz and the Big Yam skulking around pretending to be spies and sitting, heads together, lost in their Minecraft universe. I have the best family in the world.
...being with my kids. The twins have a knack for finding frogs? And we never believe them, and each time, they find a bigger one. When we went camping we did a gentle hike on this path through an abandoned beaver village (?), and Twin A and Twin B ran up ahead and we saw them crouched over a bridge over a small creek and babbling away: "We found a frog!" The Dotytron and I were very skeptical and we walked up and sure enough, there was a tiny dark green frog head just popping out of the water. We showed up at the cottage this week and they immediately ran to the dock and when we checked in on them after unpacking, they were once again crouched with their little butts in the air, peering over the dock and yammering again about a frog, and once again, we were like, "Yeah, whatever, I'm sure it's a rock or something," and we look over and it's a GIANT BULLFROG THE SIZE OF A COW HEART. LOL! It's just so funny how these clowns legit can't "find" a giant toy that's right in front of their faces and meanwhile, are frog-spotting savants, and each time we doubt them and the frogs keep getting bigger and bigger.
...playing board games. Taboo, Catchphrases, Telestrations, Apples to Apples, Pictureka, Guess Who?
...eating a giant baked pasta dinner after a day spent basking in the sun, lazily floating on my back in the water
...floating on my back in the water. Ears submerged, my hair fanning out in the current, the sky above me, the sound of my breathing filling my ears, buoyant, relaxed...like I'm in a sensory deprivation tank.
...all the good food. Bags and bags of salty snacks, multiple desserts, big egg-based breakfasts, everyone trying to outdo each other in the cooking department.
...the mostly stupendous people in my life. My family, my friends, my bff. I'm in love with all the inspiring, beautiful people I've met and continue to meet, who are all so different but at some level all share the quality of wanting to unravel the universe with me.
...time to read, and write. Plowing through books. That little death you feel when you get to the last page of a book. Time to spend thinking about what I want to write, how I want to write. Time to let the words come to me, the things I want to capture, to reflect, to talk things out with smart people I love.
...being with the Dotytron. Always.
...turning 37 (!). Being firmly in the back half of my 30s. Spending my birthday surrounded by people I love, with the sun setting on a gorgeous lake, the smell of outdoors in the air, lazily working on a blog post while various people are splayed on in repose in various parts of this giant house. Being okay with my age and mostly okay with who I am at this very point in time. Settling into it. Feeling myself. Feeling so much love for the people I know. Just being in love with it all.
So basically, the cottage is great guys, is what I'm saying.