You are going to love the cottage. Love it! It has everything – the lake, the woods, the quiet. It’s awesome. Just don’t leave home any time between 1:15 pm and 9:45 pm on Friday or you’ll be screwed by traffic. You’ll want to head out with a full tank of gas and plenty of water. And maybe some snacks. And take a leak before you go.
The directions are easy. Take the 400 North to 69. Take that east until you pass the faded sign for the VandenMightenberg Christmas Tree Farm. The next left is Sparrow Lake Road. Reset your trip odometer as you make the turn. Exactly 3.4 kilometers later, turn right down Sparrow Bay Lane, which is a road that you can’t really see. Go through three bends until you get to a hill. At the top of the hill, make a U-turn and come back about 100 yards and you’ll see a sign nailed to a tree that says, “Campbells.” Turn right. We’re the third cottage on the left, but you can only see the first cottage and our cottage, so it will seem like the second cottage. Park on the grass near the tree swing.
You’ll probably beat me there, so let yourself in with the key we keep inside the chainsaw-carved bear. To turn on the fridge, plug it into the bottom plug on the wall socket and turn the light on in the bathroom. You won’t have any running water, so either bring a couple of jugs of your own or go down to the boathouse and prime the pump before you turn it on by holding down the “on” switch with your right hand and jiggling the connection with your left. Don’t drink the water. If you want to use the toilet, go ahead, but don’t flush, whatever you do. I can’t state this any more strongly – DO NOT FLUSH. When I get there, I’ll see if I can get the toilet working, otherwise, we’ll just bail it out at the end of the weekend.
If you forget anything, the general store in town should be open until about 8:30. Remember, I need you to bring hotdog buns. Not wieners – buns. A while back, I was up there with some other friends and we had four dozen hotdogs and not a bun in sight. I burned my fingers eating a mustard wiener.
To get to town, go back out the way you came until you see signs pointing to Camp Ichydermis. Follow the signs. If you do go, rent a video because I’m bringing up a VCR. They’ve got the Cannonball Run movies, so if those aren’t rented, grab one of them. Tell Mabel at the counter that you’re staying at my cottage and you won’t need to show ID or leave a deposit or anything. Just remind me to rewind when we’re done. Mabel hates it when you return a tape unrewound.
I haven’t been up in a couple of weeks, so the place could have a few mosquitoes in it because none of the windows close up properly since the walls warped during that last big rain storm. Anyway, under the sink you’ll find two dozen Raid mosquito foggers. Just put one of those in the bedroom section and set it off. Don’t forget to close the hallway door. That will kill everything so we can get a good night’s sleep and don’t worry, it has a nice lemon scent to it.
After that, have a beer, kick back and enjoy the view. There’s a couple of Doobie Brothers eight-tracks beside the Hi-Fi. You’ll need to wedge a matchbook in on top of the tape to make them play properly, but it works like a charm.
Don’t drink too much beer, though. We start early on Saturday. The lumber barge is coming around 7:00 am so we can have a full day to finish off the deck. That’s if I can get the footings poured while you unload the wood and bring it up from the shore. There’s only 54 steps up from the dock, so it shouldn’t take long.
So like I said, you are going to love this place. Love it. I can’t even tell you how relaxing it is to be up there.