Monday, July 12, 2010

First Days: Settling in at Cedar Cottage

NOTE: I am spending a month in Door County, Wisconsin, and don't have wireless connection in the cottage. Periodically, however, I will go to an Internet cafe and add to this blog and respond to email. In case you aren't familiar with Door County, it is the "thumb" of Wisconsin, a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan and is often referred to as the "New England of the Midwest."

Thanks to my husband Bruce, who helped me pack my car Sunday afternoon, I was on the road to Door County by 6;30 Monday morning and four hours later I had the key in hand for my July home. I planned to offer a blessing as I crossed the threshold. I intended to sanctify the moving in, the unpacking. Really I did, but I confess my eagerness to feel settled surpassed sacred ceremony. Truth be told, I moved many times as a child and my parents were masters of the unpack the boxes, hang the pictures and "we're home" technique, and I know how to get settled.

Hang up clothes. Fill drawers. Make the bed. Zip. Zip. No more frilly, lacy bedspread, but instead an antique white quilt with a lightweight, vintage summer pink blanket folded at the end of the bed. Unpack the cooler. Fill the Lazy Susan cabinet with cooking basics. Check. Clear the coffee and end tables of romance novels and Door County magazines dating to 1998, replacing them with a small pile of current magazines and creating a book shelf and filing cabinet from a wooden bench for my writing materials. Done. Poor Teddy Bear is now stashed in the closet for the month. Finally, unfurl vintage cherry print tablecloths on dining room and patio tables. A flag here, a flag there, and I am home.

Many times while preparing for this month I thought about my mother who orchestrated our annual summer vacation at one of those old-fashioned family resorts in Northern Minnesota. The kind with individual cottages with lumpy mattresses and see through bath towels, but oh, how we loved being there. Instead of bins, Mom had the "lake box," which held beach towels and blow-up water toys, life preservers, swimming suits and a big car blanket, vinyl on one side and brown and beige wool plaid on the other. I am sure she nodded her approval from above, seeing me add a bedside lamp to my Door County pile. She always brought a pin-up lamp for the screened porch, so we could read after dark.

Thanks, Mom. You made it seem effortless, even thought I know it wasn't, could not have been. Many times these last weeks I've pointed out to family and friends that the privilege of going away takes a lot of work. However, that's not exactly what I felt. Instead of work, the preparations took considerable time and thought. And focus. Sometimes in the "making a list, checking it twice" stage, I wondered about this hurry, scurry to rest and relax, but in reality I loved the preparations that allowed me to daydream about opening Cedar Cottage's screen door every morning for a month.

No more daydreams. I'm here and I'm so grateful. May this be happy and holy time.

No comments:

Post a Comment