At Pinecrest Cottage, the Weather Didn't Matter Much

Submitted by lwrawebmaster on Mon, 12/16/2019 - 15:55

I was five and a half my first summer at Pinecrest Cottage. I am now 78 and I have spent at least some time there every summer.

The weather didn't seem to matter much -- if it rained we went to play pick-up sticks on Mrs. Hunt's veranda (Mrs. Hunts property is now were Jim and Zora Kightley have built their home). If it was cold, we huddled around the wood stove in the kitchen. (The fireplace smoked too much.) The kitchen was so small, four was a crowd. We could wash, dry and put dishes away without moving. If it was sunny we were usually in swimming.

Dad built a log boom in our swim area, and until Mary Hunt taught us to swim we had to stay inside the boom.

Grandpa Broughton build steps to the swim area. They lasted 40 years.

The first year we owned the cottage, dad hired my cousin, Bill Hutchinson, to build two small bedrooms on the west side. They were very primitive and tiny -- no cupboards or doors and one small window. Bill became a well known surgeon, but has now passed away.

Maianne and I slept in the back room in a double bed. The mattress tilted towards the centre so dad put a pole (a small sapling) down the middle so we wouldn't fight. (You're on my side!)

Every year we would mark our growth rate on the doorjamb of the back bedroom. One year I grew four inches!

Mr. Ernie Norton had several cottages he rented out and he brought milk from Huntsville for his renters every day. As a favour he brought our milk, too. We rowed the punt down to Wildwood (later Atwell's, Christie's place now) for a few years to pick it up, but then we had to go further, over to Norton's Beach for a few more years.

We didn't mind because going to Norton's we could wander through his "garden". It was swell -- lots of bridges leading to small islands, slides, a fake Indian in a wigwam and Dangerous Dan McGrew. Every year there was some new attraction.

We usually ate all meals on the verandah.  Mom made a curtain to keep the prevailing west wind from blowing through. Cant remember any particular menus, except lots of toast for breakfast (cooked on top of the wood stove).

There was no electricity so when it got dark we might light the oil lamps, but more likely we went over to Hunt's campfire or went to bed. There was always lots of singing and stories around the campfire.

Opening and closing the cottage was work.  When we arrived (it took all day to drive there), the cutlery and dishes had to be washed to remove the mice dirt. Usually the well had a dead animal in it and the water was unusable, so there were many pails of water to be carried up from the lake. The mattresses were slung over the bedroom partition to keep the animals from nesting in them. The shutters had to be taken off and the screens put on. Wood brought in for the stove, so dinner could be started. Then beds made up. Boy we were tired!

When we had our bikes there we would ride the three miles out to Melissa to get bread and mail and ride three miles back. Some days, if we had a dime, we would ride down to the gas station on the highway for a bottle of pop and candy.

Pinecrest, at the north-west end of Waseosa, was owned by my sister Marianne (still doing well at 82) after my parents passed away. She sold it to my daughter, Janet Ferguson. Mybrother Don has also passed away.

Maggie Cordingley

General Release