1994. Twenty years ago, we moved in to the new cottage. B and I had been married for just two years; though, we’d known each other for ten. But, that’s another story.
1994 was a busy time for us. I wasn’t teaching then, so vacation time was different, very different. I was working for Vie de France – the restaurant business and my restaurant had closed for a remodel, B was working retail and we had to coordinate vacation schedules. And, 1994 was BK (before kids). Times are different, now we have two kids – W and O, and a dog, Ivy. I don’t have to save vacation time for summer at the lake. We can come here when we have time – summer, winter, or a three-day weekend when we can get away.
The original cottage was a log cabin with four rooms – a master bedroom, another bedroom, a bathroom, and one giant room that was the kitchen, dining room, and family room. It looked out on to the lake through a couple of giant windows, that’s the cottage B remembers as a kid. I visited that cottage only a handful of times.
It’s been twenty years that I’ve been coming to this cottage and it’s full of memories.
1994 when we moved in the cottage had no lawn – just sand. The paths we had were sand and everywhere there was sand. B and I were careful coming inside but there were our nephews – three boys ages 8, 7, and 5 here to help with the move. Today, those boys are grown, out of college, and fine young men making their way in the world. Twenty years ago, they were boys – and where there is sand and boys – there is sand everywhere. It drove grandpa nuts, so he decided to build a landing at entrance to the deck. He was on his hands and knees piecing the flagstone to make a semi-circular landing. He worked on the landing and got her done. It’s still there and when I weed it I think of his vision.
Yesterday, all of us were hard at work with chores – weeding, restacking firewood, organizing, moving and shaking doing what grandpa would be doing. We finished the day with dinner on the deck and our first campfire in the fire ring he and I installed several years ago. Last night while O and I were sitting beside the fire we talked about grandpa and the cottage. She turned to me and asked, “Dad, what’s your credo?”
I didn’t have to think at all when I responded, “Make the Days Count.”
Grandpa was all about making the days count, he made every day, every moment count. Yesterday was a good day – a great day, but today is going to be a million and six times better. So, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Today is gonna be a great day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, building memories as I go.
What’s your credo?
EDITING NOTE: I was not clear when I wrote this post – grandpa is my father-in-law. He has gone by many names, but since our kids arrived he is grandpa. (7/4/2014)