For those of us who live North of the 49th parallel, an essential feature of Cottage Life is the sad process of “Closing Up”; acknowledging that you’re just not going any more till Spring. We did, but remain ambiguous.

This time of year in the Pacific Northwest, when your cottage is perched on the north slope of a minor mountain, it gets wet and stays wet and you just have to deal with that.

On the other hand, that means that most of the landscape you’re looking at us facing south and picks up any fleeting glimpses of the Sun in the most fetching way.

Looking at the South end of Howe Sound

That white stuff is on the same row of mountains that we’re going to be trying to hold the Winter Olympics on in a couple of months. The early-snowfall auguries are favorable.

Closing Up includes cleaning the gutters, draining the plumbing, emptying the fridge, and suchlike not-terribly-cheery tasks. They were duly accomplished, plus we deployed power saws on minor renovation projects with good results.

On the other hand, we arranged for a couple of days over there and the Closing Up work didn’t fill the whole time. Since I’m professionally stressed these days and Lauren just lost her mother, a certain amount of time watching the rain and listening to the fire and drinking tea and turning pages were definitely therapeutically indicated. Every parent knows that you can love your children totally and still welcome a couple of days away from them, entirely without guilt.

The morning we were to come home dawned rainy and blustery and worrisome. I regret that I didn’t try for a large-scale photo of the expanse of water heaving and grey, with the sky full of blowing leaves and some damn big branches too. Here’s one shot of a small piece of the Pacific in a snotty mood.

Storm waters in Howe Sound

But then the sun started coming out and a few of Howe Sound’s working boats were seen to be bashing through the waves in a businesslike fashion.

Marine traffic in a storm on Howe Sound

We put a call in to Tony Kristian, who runs an excellent water-taxi service out of Gibsons Landing in what looks like a replica of the African Queen; he said that as long as the waves weren’t breaking over our float we’d be fine.

So we came away uneventfully. I love the cottage in the summer but there’s part of me that loves it more stormy and deserted; the impossibly-dramatic light, and the sounds of the rain on the roof and the waves on the rocks resonates somewhere very deep.

Oh, and as we were finally Closing Up, a rainbow.

November rainbow over Howe Sound

author · Dad
colophon · rights

November 14, 2009
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