I was on the throne on Friday morning, a lavender throne with a wooden seat, perched on the shed deck (yes, our cedar log shed has a deck), not connected to any plumbing, just a lavender bowl, a plastic bucket, a plastic bag and a lot of open air. A lot, because our loo has no walls, no roof and no door. There were about a thousand kajillion trees in front of me. And suddenly, sitting on the throne took on a whole new meaning for me. Because, you see, I was the queen of all I surveyed!
I’m just grateful that the only surveying back at me was being done the pileated woodpecker that, frankly, was more interested in one of my dying cedar trees than my naked ass.
This is the bliss of camping on one’s very own land while one is waiting for the money and the many, many permissions to build one’s cottage. One makes do, and one is fine with it, but one hopes that one’s spouse will put up a couple of walls and a roof so one can use the lavender throne with a little more privacy and with a roof, so one can sit there in the rain and not get soaked!
(Sally, I promise, before you come up, there will be walls. And a washstand.)
We were only up at Miramar (that’s what we’re going to call the cottage once it’s built, so let’s get into the habit now) for two days. Jeff built half of the playpen for the grey cat, the chicken wire part. Two weeks from now, when he goes back alone, he’ll finish the sheltered part, so she will have her choice of being ‘outside’ and watching the birds and voles and rustling leaves or ‘inside’ where her bowls and bed will be kept. Given the fact that this little grey cat is the very definition of ‘scaredy cat’, probably inside. Although we do have to give her props for taking to camping in the tent pretty quickly. Her first night was spent completely under the bed, but the second night (which admittedly was a little colder) she was happy enough to sleep on the bed with us… poised at the foot to jump off at the slightest sound! She is turning out to be quite a good traveler, not making a fuss about being in the travel box – and even her resistance to getting into the box is now more pro forma. She knows she’s going, she knows she’s supposed to resist (she is a cat, after all), but she is not interested in being left behind when we hit the road, so….
I wish I could say the weather was uniformly wonderful, but the mix of daytime cool lake water, warm sunshine, a warmer air mass moving in and just plain old Mother Nature fooling around with us meant that we would see sun and then fog and then very damp cool breezes and then the sun would struggle through again and the sweaters would come off and we’d start sweating again. I have a sun burnt nose – which I know I should avoid at my age (or any age, for that matter) but getting some real vitamin D in the sunshine just made me feel so good, I couldn’t not sit out in the sun for a little while longer. And, oh my yes, it did feel good to soak up the rays….
My mother always used to say that the best sleeps came at the cottage, and I think she’s right. When my dearly loved and always missed (I haven’t see her in 10 year!!!) wonderful young friend Emma came to visit us the year after my mother died, it was over a weekend when several nieces and nephews were up. Ashley, with whom she shared the trailer, had persuaded her to polish her nails with some sort of glow-in-the-dark polish, or maybe crayon. Anyway, they finally trundled off to bed, and Emma fell asleep, as she always would, with her Walkman playing a little bit of soft jazz in her ears, thinking that it would take her forever to fall asleep, as it usually did. It didn’t. She fell soundly asleep very quickly, before her CD finished playing. But at some point, she hit the volume button on the player and the huge increase in sound woke her up. She was startled, and tried to sit up to figure out what was going on, but she bumped her head – on the bulk head of the trailer – where at home there would be nothing on which to bump her head. And then, flailing around, she thought she saw a cloud of fireflies swarming around her head. Her sleep had been so fast, so deep, Emma was rather discombobulated, but quickly figured out where she was and what the fireflies were, and in the morning said she’d never slept so great!
That’s pretty much how I feel about sleeping there too… although it’s a little more restful when you’re sleeping on a solid bed as opposed to a queen sized air mattress, even one on legs and up off the floor. What being at Miramar is really about for us is the quiet, the calm, the complete opposite of what our lives are like day-to-day. So, purple throne amongst the trees or not, you will find me languishing happily on our little plot in the woods by the lake, and knowing we are so lucky to be there, to have this place.
And to have a cat that likes camping.