Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

The Cottage Pile

As the evenings grow longer and the afternoons get warmer, I’m also noticing that a pile has started to grow in our house.  This pile is an annual tradition and it’s a well-known phenomenon to many families in North America.  It’s the “This stuff is going to the cottage” pile.

For cottage-owners, there are only three classes of ‘thing’ in your home.  There is a thing that is in good condition and still worthy of being in your house, a thing that is completely broken/soiled/destroyed and is only destined for the garbage (or perhaps Goodwill) and then everything in between, which is considered good enough for the cottage.  In some cases, this middle group is just a way of holding off on throwing out something useless that still has emotional value.

This class of object can include things like ugly lamps, slightly frayed towels, toasters that either over or undercook and pots and pans with loose handles or years of scouring marks.  Board games with missing pieces and tools that don’t quite work as well as the ‘good’ tools get the same treatment.

The outcome of all this is that you have a slightly older and less functional replica of your own home at the cottage, and you’re surrounded by things that might not work as well as they should, but you’re familiar with them.  Also, at the cottage, you have A LOT more patience for a finicky toaster or a circular saw where you have to hold the cable ‘just so’.

This year’s batch includes a new shipment of ‘cottage clothing’ (which the mice and moths will make short work of over the next few years) and a resupply of some of the basic kitchen implements which are near non-functional up there.  Shockingly, they also include some NEWLY PURCHASED items, albeit of inferior quality and on super-cheap sale.  Be warned friends, if you help prepare a meal at our cottage and use the new kitchen knives, you just might lose an eye.

Now I just need to draw some diagrams to figure out how I can pack it all in our Hyundai to get it up there, especially if our next trip includes a 60 pound four-legged kibble-eating machine.

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