Friday, March 30, 2012

Curator - of a cottage

Do you remember the cottage I visited last summer?  I wrote about that visit here, and also about a special chair that lives there.

Well, guess what?

It is now mine.

Until some papers passed under all our hands over the winter, the cottage belonged to my aunt and uncle, who bought it about 40 years ago.  When I was a little girl I visited every summer for a week, the most blissful weeks of my childhood.  They have always been the best hosts, and to me, its not-too-rustic comforts in its forested setting at the rocky shore of a peaceful lake is the ultimate definition of 'cottage'.

They were around my age when they bought it, as were my parents and the two other siblings in mum's family, give or take a few years obviously.  And they photographed diligently every visit over all those years.  You can actually see people maturing as you flip through albums of the same people on the same sofa or deck or forest floor.  At the cottage, they are the only things that really change - the people, and the date.  The cottage itself is still the same, right down to the lamps on the tables at either side of the sofa (also the same, and none the worse for wear; they sure knew how to make upholstery in the 70s.)

That lack of change is something I really treasure.  I love that I will be unlocking the door with those keys this spring to find the same cutlery and lamps and books that either started when the cottage did or were slowly added in as the need arose.  Yes, the kitchen counters and floor covering are new, and the woodstove has been updated, and some of the books - my uncle is a huge reader as well as an amazing writer - will be gone.  But the curtain doors on the bedroom closets will be the ones another aunt made as a gift when avocado and blue were popular colours for bedding.  The orange, brown, and cream knit afghan on the back of the sofa will be the one that aunt and the aunt-in-residence made together over the course of a summer.

How many people get the opportunity to unlock a door into the happiest part of their past and just live in it for days at a time?  I am so excited.

And, um... I might be showing off a bit more sewing in the next few months.  Because even though I fully intend to curate the cottage so that it continues to be what it always was, I am still a person who makes things, and I am not going to be able to resist tweaking a bit here and there any more than my uncle could resist bringing in more books. 

I don't think the cottage will mind, do you?


justmeandtwo said...

Oh, Mary! CONGRATULATIONS! What a splendid thing to look forward to! Owning a memory in anticipation of making so many more. Wow!

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks so much! I'm SO excited... not least for the excuse to buy really cool retro kitchen fabric ;^)

Kathleen Taylor said...

how wonderful!!!!!!!