Fall is usually the season cottages are closed, docks are pulled in, and barbecues are put away for another year. Thoughts turn to school, preparing for the Christmas holidays and planning trips to the sunny south for a brief respite from the cold.
But my sister-in-law recently called with exciting news - she, her husband and our niece and nephew had chipped in to buy a cottage near Haliburton and were looking forward to taking possession in late October. Through the magic of the Internet we were able to get a peek at their new acquisition, which not only featured a series of still pictures of the various rooms and vistas offered by the cottage but a couple of 360-degree movies of the interior. It’s like we’ve already been there and we can’t wait to see it.
You’ve met Ray and Ron before in our Winter 2000 issue - they’re the snowmobiling nuts who are also big on boating. With this cottage, they’ve hit the jackpot. It’s roomy, winterized, situated near a number of major snowmobile trails and their new neighbour is one of the guys responsible for keeping the system groomed. And right across the road is the lake and the promise of countless afternoons of waterskiing, fishing and cruising.
The kids are all grown up now but share their parents’ love of the outdoors, making it an easy decision for them to get in on the fun. It’s also easy to imagine the years ahead and the arrival of grandchildren who will learn to love the snow and water like the grown-ups do. A new family tradition is born.
As for the tradition of freeloading relatives like us dropping in to play with their toys and eat their food, well, Ray’s got that figured out, too. There’s space to build a small second kitchen and that what they’re going to do. There’s your stove and there’s your fridge which you’re free to fill with your food and your beer. Have a swell time - we’ll be on the lake.
Sis is one smart cookie.
This marks my fifteenth and final edition as editor of CottageLink Magazine, bringing to a close an experience I have thoroughly enjoyed.
There’s a number of people I’d like to thank, starting with Craig and Kerry White who afforded me the opportunity to get my feet wet on the Net three years ago. For me, the CottageLink website will always represent the best of what this still-new medium has to offer, a shining success story in the midst of dot.com disappointments. They did it in a very low-tech way, too - they found a need, worked hard to fill it and deliver an innovative and quality product. It’s no surprise at all that a growing number of satisfied customers beat a path to their URL.
This magazine would not have been possible without the considerable skills of my web-savvy brother, Brent Garnett. Well, that’s not exactly true, but we’ve all seen those clunky, amateur hour do-it-yourself sites on the Net that I would have created, and Brent spared you all that. He resisted the urge to produce a jumped-up, gimmicky page and delivered a slick yet simple, easy-to-read website. And I didn’t have to tell Mom on him once.
In editing this magazine I had the luxury of enlisting the talents of a number of my friends and colleagues in creating some of the 60 stories we’ve presented here. So take a bow Rita Demontis, Rashida Dhooma, Linda Fox, Brent Garnett, Cheryll Gillespie, Maryanna Lewyckyj, Debbie MacLean, Scot Magnish, N. Glenn Perrett and Craig White. Thanks also to artist Tim Peckham and photographer Mike Savoy who have supplied some excellent images.
A tip of the hat to my dear friends Bill & Donna Rest, who, for the past ten years, have shared their cottage rental in Tobermory with me, providing me with my annual cottage fix while enduring my online reports in which they have figured prominently. They’ve posed as models, stood by patiently as I conducted interviews and share precious clothesline space so I can dry my dive gear. They’re terrific people…even if their cats are in the league with the devil.
Finally, I have to thank you, our readers, for your questions, comments and story ideas.
See you at the lake!
Glenn Garnett/Editor, CottageLink Magazine
For some families, Christmas presents an annual dilemma - “real” trees versus artificial. Sure, today’s manufacturered products have come a long way since the Fuller-brush style they used to make, but they lack the sweet scent and feel that just scream Christmas. Then again, you might be screaming for a fire extinguisher if the tree you bought off the lot gets too dry by the 12th day of Christmas. Trust our Glenn Perrett to come up with an eco-friendly solution that will please purists and is ideal for cottagers to boot - see story 1.
What to get the cottager on your Christmas gift list? Whether your friend has designs on building or decorating a place in the country or just loves to get outdoors, there’s a wide variety of books out right now that will put a smile on their face. Glenn Perrett checked out the best for you in story 2.
Over the past few years Craig White has processed thousands of cottage advertisements for this website and he’s become something of an expert on rental trends and the elements of a successful ad. With another season behind us and another one beckoning, here’s the latest from Cottage Central - see story 3.
Looking for a neat way to beautify your cottage next year? Want to do your bit to protect one of nature’s most unique creatures? Think butterfly bush! The monarch butterfly - the bug that acts like a bird - is on the lookout for friendly gardens featuring milkweed and bountiful nectar bushes. Why not your place? Flutter to story 4.
Illustration this page: Family Hikers, Grafton, Ontario. © Glenn Garnett
Cover photo: Cozy cat © Brent Garnett