Sunday, October 16, 2011

Closing the Cottage for Winter

It is October 15th and the cottage is closed for another season. I am always sad to shut it up, but at the same time I usually feel ready to get on with life in the city. All the fall activities are long underway and I am wearing out from wanting to be at both of our places at the same time.

As Fall goes on the weather becomes not only colder in lake country but much windier. The boat ride can get down right hellish. I get pretty panicky when the water is very rough and find myself muttering prayers under my breath the whole way. Yesterday we were banging so hard that I wound up with a sore back and a headache. Our poor little blue boat doesn't have shock resistant seats.

We were going to go out on the Friday. Our oldest girl drove out that direction earlier in the day and came home  without ever getting to our boat because the winds were obviously not safe when she looked across the water on one of the highway's bridge crossings.  Saturday morning there was a lull in the winds so four of us went out for the day and we just got on with closing it up.  The winds were NW 30 k/hour and the temperature was a chilly but tolerable 8 degrees C   (winds of 20 miles/ hour and temperature of 46 degrees F )

 Closing up the cottage is actually pretty easy. We are not in a location where we are terribly worried about waves and winter weather damage. Our big fear, because of past experience, is rodents. We have the cutest little mice on the island but inside they have chewed through food containers, eaten holes in a couch and destroyed our bedding. One little creature fell into Bob's rubber boot  and didn't make it out. The boot was quickly disposed of but smell lingered for a long time.  Rodents in our area can carry a respiratory disease that can affect humans, so it isn't just property damage that I am concerned with.

We drained the water tank and poured an RV antifreeze down the drains. We packed up anything food like to go home and made sure all cooking surfaces smelled more like disinfectant than  lingering peanut butter. We put the majority of the dishes off our open shelves into Rubbermaid tubs, and we took the linens and pillows and put some of them into the two trunks we have and tied the rest of it into a bunch of big garbage bags. We packed up the half read novels, the guitar and the clothing we might want over the winter. Bob packed up our little Honda generator, the pressure washer and any glues or paints or water seal that should not be left to freeze.  We grabbed my two pots of herbs and loaded up the boat to leave one last time.

We got to the cottage around one in the afternoon and we left there around 5 pm. We pulled the boat out at our mainland docking area in Poplar Bay where we will be leaving it on shore for the winter. Bob and the girls winterized the boat and tied down the boat cover; it was almost two more hours before we were ready to head for home again.

Dinner was at Drifters, a truck stop in Lac du Bonnet, and we got home a couple of hours later.

Now we get to figure out what to do with all the stuff we hauled home for the winter. We will sit and  make plans for what to take back int he spring and make plans for all the projects and adventures we want to have in lake country next year!

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