When I was little we used to go (not terribly often) to my grandparents cottage on the Trent River in Trenton. Man, how we loved that place. The fishing was amazing...the swimming was a little scary (EELS & SNAKES) but somehow I became hooked on the whole cottage thing from a young age. Of course, as a child I had no idea about just how much work cottaging actually is for the parents involved, but I distinctly remember begging my parents for a cottage and their distinct response was a loud "NO".
When I was in first year university, I almost fell off my bed when my mum called to tell me they had just bought property on Lake Muskoka and were about to build the first of our 3 family cottages. WOW. The Lake Muskoka cottage was awesome--I was 19, Ade was 17, Mel was 13 and little Ash was only 9. We were perfect ages to truly begin cottaging. We loved that place and had a great 7 years there.
My family being who they are, were ready to move on to "bigger and better" after the first 7 years on Muskoka. Mum and Dad (from hereonin known as R & C) purchased a beautiful piece of property on the north end of Lake Rosseau where they built a gorgeous second cottage. We were on a small bay known as "Snug Harbour" and were actually right beside Martin Short & family (lots of great stories there, but I'll save them for another time). We stayed at that cottage for another 7 years at which point the family was expanding again. I was married to Sean, we had Tristan and Carter-Ade & Shiv had tied the knot too and so had Mel and Zach and Ash and Nickle were soon to follow. We loved the main cottage and the bunky but truly, there were too many of us. On a whim, R & C tried to sell the cottage, did and within seconds bought a yet unfinished cottage on Lake Joseph (we did all 3 big lakes in Muskoka).
The cottage on Lake Joe was enormous - 8-10,000 sq. ft. or something. If you left your socks in your room it was a physical ordeal to run around to get them. We had lots of fun, fun times there too and added Savannah and Fionnlagh to the family while there. I think baby Scarlett even hung out at Joe. R & C commissioned a painting of that cottage from me...which is shown here (if it actually posts where I want it to).
acrylic on canvas
60" w x 48" h
commissioned by Ron & Carol Carter
In September 2007, Sean and I spent our anniversary at St. Anne's Inn and Spa. It was truly an unbelievable location. I remember distinctly sitting around the pool with Sean saying, "Mum & Dad should do something like this...a gorgeous farm in the middle of nowhere." You see, at this point, we were all thoroughly fed up with the drive north on the 400. The cottage on Muskoka was 1.5 hours away, but Rosseau and Joe were more like 2.5 hours MINIMUM. We came home from our weekend at St. Anne's and told R & C about our idea. They laughed and then called us the next morning looking for more details.
I'm not joking when I say 5 weeks to the day of that conversation, the cottage was sold and the new "farm" property was purchased. They are seriously impulsive people. Little did we know that the sale of our cottage property was one of the last "big" deals in Muskoka before the market bottomed out.
R & C purchased an incredible property of 100 acres of farmland in Hockley Valley (just north of Caledon) and built the "farm". But that, my friends, is another story (and I haven't painted it yet).