The cottage. My family’s cottage. It’s been in our family for 41 years, ever since my Grandparents built it with the help of their family and friends. The cottage is located in Door County, a place know as Wisconsin’s thumb, known for it’s touristy towns and cherries.
Things have changed quite a bit in Door Co. since I was a child. I remember going to beaches some weekends with Mom, and us being the only ones around. I would get up at 5 am with Dad and go fishing, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa from the one place that opened that early in town, and the quietness of the Marina (okay, maybe at 7 years old I didn’t enjoy the quietness, but I sure do remember it). We would go to the Drive In movie theatre with a gigantic bowl of popcorn. We’d hike around Newport State Park, and climb the tower at Peninsula.
Most nights Mom, whichever friend I chose to bring on the trip, and I would take a walk down the “horseshoe”, or the driveway that connects the homes and cottages that are scattered among the trees near our cottage back to the main road. That walk would always excited me- knowing at one point on the path the trees were so dense above our heads that on a cloudy night they made it difficult to see even your own body below you.
Some of these things are still a tradition when visiting Door, depending on the season. The Drive In theater is still there, with the same 50’s style speakers you place inside your car windows. Newport & Peninsula State Parks are still there, but now you can hardly take a hike without running into other hikers as well. We still take walks around the horse shoe, but the fire department had to widen the path a few years ago, so that excitement of being in pitch black darkness is completely lost.
However, one thing that has hardly changed at all? Our cottage. Sure, it’s been painted a few times, inside and out, but aside from that, a new fireplace, fridge, and some knick knacks here and there, much of it hasn’t been changed a bit. My Grandmother loved the color orange, and even though the site of an orange sink in a bathroom may cause some people to cringe, it’s still there, and I will always love it. The furniture hasn’t been updated much, nor has the wallpaper, dishes, or light fixtures. Those are the things I love about our cottage. It’s like walking into a model home from the late sixties. It has it’s own musky smell from being vacant so often, mixed with the amazing freshness of air that you can only find way up north in the woods. I don’t think there will ever be anywhere like it in all my life.