Summertime and the Living is Easy, or, Cottage Life is Wrecking My Back

Recent conversations with the boys

Daddy, can we go to the cottage?

Yes, in the spring after your grandparents open it up.

Daddy, when are we going to the cottage?

When the weather warms up. You remember the weekend we went and it was only 16 degrees and we had to come home because it was too cold? Well, it was only 14 degrees this weekend.

Daddy, I want to go to the cottage.

We can’t go this weekend, your (other) grandparents are coming over for Father’s day brunch.

Daddy, I hope we can go to the cottage again before it’s sold.

Don’t worry, I promise we’ll go again before it’s sold.

Okay, boys, we’re going to visit Granny and Grampa at the cottage this weekend.


So, as you may have surmised from the above, this weekend we’re visiting my parents at their cottage, which is for sale, and we may not be able to visit it much longer.

I grew up spending summers in this place, and bring the boys up time I can, for as much time as I can. I love it up here, they love it up here, and when it’s gone, it will leave an enormous hole in our lives. But…there’s one thing I won’t miss.

The beds.

The beds in this place are mostly old, broken down, and dusty. Now, I’m not dusty, but I am getting old and broken down. In spite of that I think I’ve got a few useful years left in me.

The cottage beds? Eh, not so much.

I love this place, and when I can sleep in one of the newer beds, on a reasonable mattress, I don’t get a better night’s sleep anywhere. The days are spent in the fresh air, swimming, walking, running, canoeing, fishing, and generally doing nothing but unplugging from reality and playing with my boys.

In fact, the only concession I make to the outside world up here is this. I’m into my third month of daily posting, having missed not a single day. I want to keep that streak alive so, after reading a little bit of the Narnia Chronicles (I’m on Voyage of the Dawn Treader), I popped open my laptop, loaded up Word and…stared at a blank screen.


Nothing came. No inspiration, no idea. And then I realized that, for a guy who’s all about healthy movement and posture, the cottage is a treasure trove of topics. There is no place on earth that is better for my stress. Nowhere I spend more time outside, and less time with my face in front of a computer screen.

And nowhere worse for my back and posture.

  • It’s a 3 hour drive
  • It was built 80 years ago, and is scaled for much shorter people than I, so I have to hunch over for everything
  • Every chair in the joint is terrible for my back
  • I spend almost the entire time in flip flops or crocs
  • Almost every activity with the boys requires bending down to help them and
  • Beds. Suck

Once upon a time, I wrote about the importance of your bed setup to your posture. Well, around here, that ain’t possible, as my aching back and returning slouch can tell you.

In spite of that, when I have to leave tomorrow to go back to real life, I will hate it, because I know that I have one fewer visit left to this little island of peace and tranquility. Worse yet, my boys will also have one fewer visit left.

Sometimes a little back unhealthy something is still, on the whole, a good thing.