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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Aug/Sept 2019 > My So-Called Cottage Life

My So-Called Cottage Life

I hated my teenage summers at the lake. There, I said it. But now that I’m an adult, I find myself back there again. How did that happen?

i remembe r the exact moment

when I decided that I would never go back to my family’s cottage ever, ever again.

It was August 2000. I was 16 and sick of visiting the dusty, draty old place in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains. Its incessant mothball smell was getting to me, especially because it never seemed to keep out the moths.

My grandfather was also getting to me. In my mind, he ran the place as though it were some kind of WASP boot camp, setting out the strict daily regimen that my brother, myself, and our cousins followed on our summer visits. Between six and seven a.m., we had to be out of bed and in the freezing lake for our prebreakfast swims. Then, after choking back lavourless bowls of porridge, we played tennis (which I was and still am terrible at), swam some more, and did chores, the most onerous of which was raking the long stone driveway until its rutted surface was smooth and free of weeds—an impossible goal because we were kids not tractors.

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About Cottage Life

Dive into this special vintage edition of Cottage Life for a look at the cottage then and now. In this issue we’ll show you the highs, lows, wins, losses, and questionable cottage fashion of days gone by. Want to know what your cottage junk is worth? We explored dusty cupboards and sheds to find out. You’ll meet cottagers who have been going to (and DIYing in) the Thousand Islands for 100 years. We’ll share tips for buying, hauling, storing, and using propane, the super-useful fuel that does more than barbecue your dinner. Do you know a disaffected cottage teen? Or were you one? Take a peek into the mind of a teenager who had to leave the cottage to find it again. We found a cooler that can keep ice frozen for three weeks (but it’s not cheap). You’ll find answers to reader questions about ticks, asbestos shingles, and pressure-treated lumber, and we’ll deliver the fine print on using fireworks at the lake, plans for building a classic wooden marble game, and an easy way to scribe deck boards. Plus, don’t miss fun and delicious updates to your favourite summertime meals, from burgers to s’mores. Get the Aug/Sept 2019 issue of Cottage Life today for a taste of summer at its best!