Have you ever spent time at a cottage? I mean some real time, not just a weekend with friends where you spend half of your time too drunk to move. My family owned a cottage in Southampton, Ontario for four decades and it became a very important part of my life. I would spend entire summers at this retreat near the shore of Lake Huron and it really expanded my horizons. The appeal of small town living became crystal clear for the first time.
As I get older, that tranquility and comfort that comes from escaping the rat race becomes even more pronounced. After decades of sitting in traffic, waiting in lines, and dealing with a barrage of rushed and rude people every day, the slower pace of life in cottage country is immensely appealing. I never imagined spending my golden years in a small town, but now it is near the very top of my list of goals.
Even though I have been spending time in cottage country since my very earliest days of childhood, there is always a period of adjustment for the first 24 hours or so. The pace is slower—more civilized, if you will. I get a bit impatient at first, but then remember that, yes, this pace is the one we were meant to have in life, not the one where we run around like we’re on fire.
I also love the long walks on the beach (three very spacious and lovely beaches in Southampton), swimming in Lake Huron, and taking the tour boat to nearby Chantry Island, a bird sanctuary with a very lovely old lighthouse.
Everyone has their own form of escape and Ontario cottage country is definitely mine. I hope one day to afford a small home in the area where I can look out at the lake as the sun rises and sets.