In the late fifties my grandfather bought a small cabin on a lake. He painstakingly restored it into a great little get-away-cottage. He died in the early seventies and the cottage was left to my parents. We maintained the cottage and land which became the site of many family outings. As a kid I would spend summers on the lake swimming, fishing and boating. One of my favorite memories was picking wild blueberries on the islands in the middle of the lake.
In the winter we would heat the cabin and spend the day ice skating the lenght of the lake or we would go ice fishing while someone manned the stove inside the cottage and prepared an endless pan of hot chocolate.
In 1997 my father passed away and my mother, approching the later years of her life, found it necessary to sell the cottage. I had just purchased Yellow Dog Farm and was already as far into debt than I was comfortable and my sister had no interest for the same reason. So the cottage was sold to strangers.
The last time I stayed in the cottage was June of 96 and the last time I saw it was just before the closing in 97. I had a free afternoon yesterday, I thought I would take a ride to see what the new owners had done with the place. I was dismayed when I saw the cottage in the run down codition that is pictured above. I couldn't believe it, all of my memories of the cottage had been stompped on. I felt like George Webber the protagonist in Thomas Wolfe’s Novel “You Can’t Go Home Again”.
George realized "You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."“You can’t go home again” has entered American speech to mean that after you have left your country town or provincial backwater city for a sophisticated metropolis, you can’t return to the narrow confines of your previous way of life, and, more generally, attempts to relive youthful memories will always fail.
The memories of the cottage will always be with me and they are grand memories.