Friday, November 14, 2014
A friend and I decided to take a couple of weeks away from regular life. After much discussion and checking our funds we settled on a cottage north of the thumb of Michigan's mitten.
The cottage was in a small community of cottages just outside of Oscoda. The location was ideal. I could step out of the door of the cottage, turn left and I was standing on the beach of Lake Huron.
I was usually the first one awake in the morning. I could either look out a window at the view or sit on the small landing that served as a sort of porch.
I could look out one window at the serenity of the lake. There is something so soothing and calming about a body of water. I think perhaps it might be a form of meditation because I can just look and not have my mind working.
Another window gave me a view of the picnic area in the midst of all the cottages. There were tables, lots of grass and a few flowers, and bird feeders. Hummingbirds were plentiful at the time we were there and I could spend hours watching them.
I had the same views if I chose to sit outside. The difference was that I also had sounds to accompany the sights.
In the morning there was a very slight sound of surf from the lake. The birds and small animals made all their little noises. Even though the highway was close it seemed very far away so the sounds of travel were muffled. It made for a feeling of well-being as I sat and soaked in the peace.
At night when I looked out over the lake I could see huge waves rolling in to the shore. I had not realized that the lakes enjoyed tides of that magnitude. Watching them roll in is awe inspiring. Again it gave me a feeling of contentment.
We could swim in the lake during the day. The water was warm that time of the year so it was fun to just get in the water and stay there until my skin was pruny.
In the evenings there was a huge fire pit on the beach. The cottage owners provided firewood and anyone staying in the cottages was welcome to sit around the fire. You could roast marshmallows and hot dogs. You could tell ghost stories or tall tales. You could sing songs that everybody knew and if you were lucky someone brought their guitar.
Our cottage was small. We had one living room/kitchen, one bedroom, and one bathroom. However it was comfy. We had to provide our own food but there were dishes and pots and pans. Nothing fancy but it was to provide necessities not luxuries.
They even provided a barbeque grill in case we decided to cook out. It was fun to cook my meals outside as I watched the activity on the lake.
We could see the occasional Great Lakes freighter. They are quite distinctive in shape. There were a lot of boaters. Some were fishing; others were just out for a boat ride in the sun.
As much as we loved being on the lake and in the cottage we did do other things too. Driving through the country is a favorite pastime of mine. Just to look at the trees and houses along a country road is satisfaction enough. But sometimes you make some unexpected finds.
One day we came across a nursery. It was buried out in the country but obviously did a booming business. We were not in a position to buy anything right then because we would not be able to plant right away. But we had a good time looking at all the things they had to offer.
We rented a canoe another day and alternately rowed and coasted along the Au Sable River. At one part of the day a beaver swam along side of us on his way to his dam. He was a cute little critter.
We tried some of the local restaurants too. My favorite was an "all-you-can-eat" buffet place. Most places like this provide you with a bit of meat and a buffet of several types of sides. This one served seafood.
From the buffet you could choose fish, shrimp, roast beef. Then there was mashed potaoes, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti salad, and several other carbohydrate offerings. Vegetables both raw and cooked were plentiful. They even had corn on the cob.
There was a separate salad bar. It had more than the usual lettuce, tomato and a few toppings. All sorts of fresh garden vegetables as well as sprouts, mushrooms, garbanzo beans, with shredded eggs, cheeses, bacon bits, and various nuts for the top.
What we did was each make a salad, and fill a plate with fish and all the sides we could fit on it. Then we took one plate and piled it high with shrimp to share. We piled another plate with crab legs. We not only ate all that but we had another plate of crab legs for good measure.
It was close to closing time when we arrived at the place. My experience with this type of restaurant is that as closing time draws near they begin to take away the empty containers of food in order to make for a quick cleanup when the customers have gone.
Not this place. They closed and locked the doors to newcomers but kept refilling all the food. A glutton's paradise.
I ate so much there that it is embarrassing to tell you about it. Everything was delicious. When we finally went back to the cottage we moaned and groaned our way in. I have honestly never eaten anywhere close to that much in my life.
My stay at the cottage in Oscoda was one of the happiest times I have spent away from home. I actually cried when it was time for it to end.