The Daily Prompt has once again made me take a leisurely walk through my past.
It was the middle of three cottages, the anchor. It stood on a point of land that encompassed three family cottages, but my fondest memories of childhood fun were created in that cottage in the middle – the one that belonged to my uncle. Our family cottage flanked one end of the trio and my mom’s cousin’s cottage bordered the opposite side.
Our cottage was the last of the three built and was erected in 1911. The two other cottages were built in 1907 and 1908. Each of the cottages had rustic Muskoka charm and beautiful views of Lake Rosseau, but the thing I found most intriguing about my uncle’s cottage was the staircase that led from the kitchen to the maid’s quarters. Although there had not been a maid occupying those quarters for decades, that passageway provided many years of childhood entertainment.
That staircase was the gateway to the best hide and seek games, it was perfect for sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack and it was the best spot to lay in wait for the true element of surprise, either upstairs or downstairs.
As time marched on, my parents sold our cottage. Not long after that, my uncle sold his cottage and the structure that entombed some of my favorite childhood memories was obliterated. It was replaced by a four-story monstrosity that has no place on Muskoka soil. The new owner went so far as to rip out the century old trees to pave the driveway to his new eyesore. It honestly sickened me.
The remaining cottage of the three is still in the family and we gather there fairly regularly in the summer. Thankfully the trees are in full summer foliage and our vision of the spaceship next door is limited. It still amazes me how much a wooden structure could embed itself in my heart.