Staying in a seasonal cottage like we are this week, I've been ruminating on summer homes on the shores of lakes or deep in the woods. I've actually never stayed at a magazine-worthy one, but there's something uniquely charming about a place that sees life for only a quarter of the year and is promptly buttoned up come Labor Day.
Sure, we have all seen fully renovated and well-designed vacation homes of the rich and famous in the June, July or August issues of our favorite shelter magazines, but can't perfection take a vacation, too?
We are spending the week with friends on a lake in Ontario and the appeal of this place far in the woods isn't the decor; it's the friends and the connection to nature that a group of late-twentysomethings lack in our normal urban existences.
Seasonal cottages and cabins also possess the distinct ability to stop time, to hold a decade or age inside their walls, so that when you visit you're immediately transported to the summer before college or the time you proudly completed several thousand-piece puzzles at the Saarinen-like table.
I have to wonder, how many more memories does this place and it's decor hold?
However small the space, spartan the decor, or anachronistic the furnishings, the lure of the vacation home is the escape they provide and, perhaps maybe, it's a relief to overlook a shabby recliner or plush red carpeted spiral stairs and focus on the beauty of nature for once.