I’m sitting at a table I’ve known all my life. It was in my grandma’s house and got moved down to the “Little Place” some time ago. She’s been gone 20 years so it’s been down here that long. This little cottage has been where I’ve always preferred to stay. Even when my grandma rented it to a local drunk who had parties every night and I’d sleep up in the loft. The Little Cottage is mine.
Two years ago when my dad was starting cancer treatments I asked him what he needed from me. Should I stay and help he and my mom? Whatever you want, just say the word. He said without hesitation. “Someone in our family has been on that spit of land for over 150 years. Take the kids so they can have their time in Erieau.” So I cleared my calendar and that’s what I did.
The little cottage is exactly that. Maybe 800 square ft. 400 smaller than “The big cottage”. I’m told my grandfather and friends put it together from two different boathouses in the 50’s? Ahead of its time, it has an open concept, mostly because it’s a box. Low slung ceilings and mismatched wood and paneling, it’s no different from what people in Louisiana call a camp. A serviceable kitchen, two small bedrooms downstairs, a bathroom and an old wooden ladder leading to a small loft upstairs.
The loft is my favorite. It’s an attic sized room that you have to duck to walk through, but it’s magic. Filthy with mold or dust or whatever, for a decade I battled itching eyes, sneezing and a lack of sleep just to stay up there. I remember my dad helping me learn to move the ladder. To come down slow, his hand catching my butt halfway. I’ve known that when the time comes to write a book. Part of it will happen here. It couldn’t be any other way.
Today I’ll just cover this house because for me, it’s my Erieau, ON. Tomorrow, or maybe the next day. I’ll tell you about this little town and why I travel 1000 miles every year for even a couple days.