From mid-June to Labor Day weekend, for all intents and purposes, I live in a city. Our dormant, sleepy town of 1000 grows exponentially with the summer residents who flock to Muskoka and our numbers burst at the seams sometimes feeling like 50,000 residents. Unfortunately, unlike a city, we are not blessed with more than one lane of traffic in each direction so something as simple as turning left onto the main street is most often unforgiving and arguably frustrating.
To keep up with the non-stop stream of unfamiliar faces, local stores expand their business hours to keep up with the ever-increasing population. Faces I recognize can only be found shopping for groceries after 9:00 pm long after the collective band of tourists have closed themselves behind their expensive doors for the night.
I wrote a post about how life changes in our little gem of a town but yesterday my world regained some semblance of normal. Yesterday I drove away from work knowing that my drive home was going to be different. My car meandered through the canopy of trees that mark my way home and when I got to the end of the road something magical happened. The echo of my car signal bounced through the car as I looked left and right and saw nothing. There was no waiting, only foot to the gas, the easing out of the clutch and a seamless entry onto the main street. I felt my demeanor change instantly because I knew we had survived another summer.
(image credit: margaretperry.org)
As I drove through town I looked at the lakes on either side of the bridge. There was no congestion on the lakes or a myriad of boats fighting for docking space. I’m sure if I stepped out of my car there would only be the distant hum of a lone engine or two. Peace had swallowed our town and digested any remnants of the craziness from the last two months. The silence will be short, however, as the masses will return for weekends until Thanksgiving, but, until then, locals can finally have a chance to regroup, to de-stress and to enjoy the sounds of nature that have evaded us for two months.
I’ve been way out to the tip of Long Island (Montauk, the Hamptons) in high season adn off season.
The difference is stunning.
Enjoy teh peace, and hope it was a profitable summer for your whole town!
It was a fantastic summer, but it certainly is nice to have some down time. 🙂
I live in Florida and we’re coming up on season soon. Not looking too forward to it.
Sorry we sent them all your way. 😦
Sometimes it’s the little things (like turning left) that show us how the big things have changed!
And make us really appreciate those small things!
Hooray for a manual transmission! 😀
Hooray for getting your quiet little town back. As much as I want to move to the places i visit in the summer (and winter) I can’t imagine having to put up with all those tourists year after year after year.
The decline in their attitude is directly proportionate to the increasing number in bodies. Bad math!!
Living in a tourist town myself, I know that collective sigh of relief that comes every Oct. 1, when the last of the caravanning RVs pass through and we have the town “to ourselves.” As a reward, it’s usually the best four weeks of weather of the year. Unless anyone else is reading this; then it’s just awful weather… 😉
Yes…and maybe I should add that it will be snowing here for the next two months….just to be safe. 🙂
We tell everyone it rains from late September through July 😉