Ah, the cottage: the place where dad can relax and truly be himself. And while your dad is definitely a unique individual, chances are he fits—at least a little—into one of these commonly observed types.
This dad is never happier than when he has a (top-of-the-line) hammer in his hand and a mouth full of nails. You secretly suspect that he breaks things just so he’ll have something to fix. A less common sub-species of The Handyman is The MacGyver—just as handy, but twice as frugal, and with little or no regard for aesthetics. If he can fix a broken screen door with a twist tie, he’ll do it. If he can use the wood pulled up from the old deck to patch a hole in the shed, he’ll do it.
This dad works his fingers to the bone—in the city. Once he gets to the cottage, he knows that time spent upright is time completely wasted. For him, a change of scenery means moving from the deck chair to the hammock to the inflatable raft and back again. Regardless of where he’s relaxing, you can bet he’s got a good supply of cold drinks and snacks close by—because even getting up for a refill is wasting valuable chill time. Little known fact: The Lounger can sometimes be convinced to turn into a board game enthusiast when it’s raining or dark. Given his nature, he does best with long, drawn-out games that involve plenty of sitting—think Risk or Settlers of Catan.
Whether it’s a motorboat or dinghy, The Captain will be hanging out on the water all day long. Armed with a picnic, a fishing rod, and a bucket of bait, this dad has a poor sense of time but an amazing ability to pinpoint a decent fishing or swimming spot. Impervious to sun, wind, and damp, his motto tends to be “a little rain never hurt anyone”—which means you may catch him occasionally tearing across the lake in advance of a whopper of a thunderstorm. And while he may swear at his temperamental outboard, he’ll apologize—to the motor, not to his passengers—soon afterwards.
King of the Grill
This barbecue jockey thinks an indoor stove is only for the city, and believes that all food tastes better when cooked over an open flame. Soup? Fire up the BBQ. Pancakes? He’s got a grill pan just for that. Strawberries? They’re better grilled! This dad can expound for hours on the merits of charcoal vs. propane, and whether one of those Japanese-style ceramic cookers is worth the money. (Answer: yes.) If he doesn’t already have a smoker, he’s going to buy a smoker, or is reading up on how to turn his barbecue into a smoker. You’ll know the King of the Grill is close by his characteristic odour of charred meat and barbecue sauce.
For The Adventurer, sitting still indoors is something that he has to do at work. When he’s at the cottage, this dad wants to be outside and moving: the faster and farther, the better. Mountain biking, hiking, water-skiing, canoeing—if he’s not doing something active, he’s not happy. As a result, The Adventurer’s vocabulary is a little skewed. Just be aware that by “hike” he means “all-day march,” and by “canoe trip” he means “multi-portage wilderness bushwhacking survival ordeal.”
More from Cottage Life: