So how many times have you said that to your parents? Me? Well…I’ve probably said it a couple of times (although usually a bit nicer) but I sure have thought it many, many, MANY times. I mean really, how many times do you have to discuss dinner plans, travel plans, or moving plans, or…? Actually quite a few with my parents. Like maybe a billion.
As a case in point, let’s consider their cottage.
My parents live in Southern Ontario and they have always either owned a cottage or had access to their parents’. Or they owned a piece of property on a lake where they had plans to build a cabin. Note that when I say cabin, I really mean cabin, as in perhaps 500-600 square ft. total. For four people. Well actually 3.5 as my sister was just a baby at that place.
So yeah, my parents (who are not quite eight decades old, but almost) have been cottage goers since the dinosaur ages, but the last several years have been worrisome, and we know how much I like to worry . Although picturesque, their cottage was on a northern lake (north of Muskoka and Parry Sound) that had a fairly small population of cottagers, especially regular cottagers.Half the time their land-line phone didn’t work, and they never quite remembered exactly how that new-fangled cell phone worked. They’re not quite as agile and nimble as they once were,
so getting down to the beach became a bigger and bigger issue, and the boats were used less and less frequently. My father is not the superb driver he once was and my mother can no longer drive the car at all. (she now has mobility issues) . So my sister and I were rather concerned and we chatted with them
several times, numerous times, a gazillion times about selling. But they are stubborn…especially my mom!
My parents just could not make a decision.What would they do instead? Who would they hire to list the place? How much should they charge? Would anyone buy it? The list of questions to be considered and debated was endless.
Finally after many years, and a bazillion conversations, they actually put their cottage up for sale! And guess what…low and behold they had some interest… AND A BUYER. Well, let me tell you, this sent them into a major tailspin.
It happened too soon!
We weren’t expecting this quite yet!?
What do we do now???
Thank goodness, however, they did sign on the dotted line.
But then the real work began, because they had to deal with all the things they had acquired over the years and years and years of cottaging. What to do with all the dishes, and towels and sheets? What about the dishes and glasses and mugs and cutlery? And don’t forget the games and photos and pictures. Once again, my sister and I had an infinite number of conversations with them – especially my dear darling mother. Did we want the salad fork/silver spoon/blue mountain pottery mug/macrame hanging/picture???
And on and on. During a weak moment I offered to go and help them sort through their
crap junk very important stuff…luckily they did not accept my kind offer.
Fast forward a year and they are happy that they are finished with the entire process. Thrilled actually.
Similarly my husband and I also own a cabin – not in Ontario, but up Indian Arm, a wild and magnificent fjord adjacent to Vancouver. We’ve owned this place for over 15 years, but have not used it much recently.We’ve had some technical difficulties – like having to replace the cement pilings that were falling apart, and then the rotten lower deck. Out place is water access only and the boat doesn’t always work. Lately the kids never want to go, cuz they want to spend time with their friends in the city, where there’s electricity (rather than a generator), computers and T.V.’s, (we have neither up there), shopping (the cabin is literally in the middle of nowhere) and warm swimming pools (as oppose to freezing cold, extremely deep, salt water).
So here’s the thing: a real estate agent contacted us a couple of weeks ago to say that he had a client who was very interested in purchasing property up Indian Arm. My husband responded immediately and showed them around. Meanwhile, I was – silently – freaking out! I’m just not ready to sell…I don’t think. I mean, we had so many great times there over the years, and so much fun. And even though we haven’t used it lately doesn’t mean we won’t go there in the future. Both kids have expressed interest in hanging out there this summer, with their friends...and without us. My son just turned 20, so has been “legal” in BC for a year and my daughter will be 18 very soon.But still, the thought of them going there with their friends with no real adult supervision...gives me the heebie-jeebies. Not happening.
But do I really want to sell the cabin? I mean, we have our house up for sale, but what if it doesn’t sell? The kids don’t want us to sell the house. And we do have a ton of amazing stuff at our cabin – photos and books and games and pictures. And since the cabin is water access only, it’s always challenging to transporting anything up and back. I just don’t know what to do! I can’t make a decision!
But I’m so not like my parents...really!