Cottage rules

By Liann Bobechko »Liann Bobechko

June 6th, 2011

Time for dinner!

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In some ways, summers at my grandparents’ cottage were a celebration of wild abandon: baths and showers were strictly optional, shoes served only as decoration for the mud room or were worn reluctantly on trips to town, and we felt free to pursue our own interests (be they fort-building, leech-catching, or sailing).

Of course I was pressed into service to do age-appropriate work around the cottage (I remember—with the kind of nostalgia only 20 years distance can muster—a summer spent scraping the paint off the bunkie), but in truth, our time was our own.

While in some ways we lived like the lost boys of Never Never Land, there were a few rules—and we had to follow them, lest we get the Stern Eye from my exacting grandmother.

1. Dinner is at 5:30 sharp (see my comment on Penny’s blog for more on that)

2. No hats at the table (despite ferocious and hilarious hat-head)

3. Don’t be uncouth (this could cover a lot of territory from posture to belching, but I suspect it was inconsistently enforced, depending on how much fun the uncouthness was providing)

4. No food or drinks upstairs (to try to constrain the battlefield of our mouse warfare)

I guess there were other rules, like don’t swim alone, or in a thunderstorm, but I don’t actually remember these being articulated. You just wouldn’t do that. Obviously (insert eye-roll here).

What are the laws of the land at your cottage?

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Liann Bobechko