Door County — Take Two

welcome to the cottage

When we are up here for more than a week, it feels like the vacation is over even when there are about three more days left, which is really what a normal visit up here consists of.

We had a delightfully quiet and uneventful week together. Then before we knew it, we were no longer alone.

My dad and Dotti came into town. My sister who lives in Tampa came up too in a separate car. We have a tiny cottage, lest you get too jealous. It sleeps two comfortably. It sleeps 4, sorta kinda comfortably. It sleeps 5 when necessary. It’s equipped to sleep 6 when stretched to its limits, which is the case this weekend. It’s not a big place. The first room is the main room, the largest. It has a couch, a large chair (for two) and a small bistro table with two uncomfortable, little-used, bistro chairs. It has a coffee table/ottoman and the kitchen is one wall of the living room.

cottage living room
Facing north

cottage kitchen — renovated
Facing east

living room / cafe table
Facing south

bed room #2
The Green Room

yellow bedroom, new door
The Yellow Room

yellow bedroom, needs art work!

See the before and after photos here.

It looks a bit different today than it does in these photos, but you get the general idea. It is most comfortable when there are 2-3 guests, but it is most fun where there is a cottage full of friends and guests who add laughter and life to the cozy space. Yet, I love being here with just Oliver. It’s really a little paradise for us. We are so happy here. Oliver loves being up at the cottage. He never asks to go home. When we arrive, he’s very concerned with how long we get to stay. He gets sad when I tell him it’s time to go.

Being up here for more than a week served us well. I thoroughly enjoyed our intimate, sweet time together; we played games, tried new foods, watched movies, tickled, laughed, played, napped. All great stuff that produces absolutely nothing but sheer fun and happiness and hopefully memories. A reader commented I am creating long-lasting memories, and she’s right! I documented little adventures, little moments that I don’t want to forget for they are so very, very delicious. I’m certain Oliver will reflect back on his childhood and have warm thoughts about his time with his mother. I know he will feel my love forever.

I think of the comfort I offer my son — it’s something mothers are experts at. Fathers are wonderful too. Each parent has this special part in a child’s life; terrific memories will affect our children forever. I love being a mother with a post-prego belly, a really squishy middle. It gives Oliver a soft place to land, an engulfing pillow to rest his head upon. I remember my own mother’s softness, how her body was warm and comforting, unlike the muscular rock my father supplied. I love letting Oliver snuggle into me so he can feel safe, loved, secure — just like I felt as a child in my mother’s arms. That is something a mother offers, that feeling of ultimate comfort, love, safety, protection. I give. It’s my privilege to provide. The window of opportunity doesn’t last very long, so I take every chance I can get. We saw fireworks tonight night, and Oliver sat in my lap, curled up under a soft fuzzy blanket. I know he loved it. I cherished it. My heart sang, and he felt free to be who he is: a joyful, happy, outgoing, exuberant child.

I wondered how long it had been since my sister and I watched a spectacular sky together? And with our father? I was blissfully happy to sit back in the dark and ooh and aaaahhh over the color explosions of gold dust in the blue moon lit sky. The cool breeze kept my senses alert to how temporary that time would be, how it would be over soon, how I needed to soak up the moment and just be.

Afterwards we had homemade Door County ice cream, then scooted over to the east bay to see the blue moon over the lake. Another amazing visual experience.

Tomorrow, my sister leaves and my dad and Dotti stay. We have one more day together to travel around the peninsula before we wrap up this visit and head back for the start of school on Tuesday.


  1. Good Morning Andrea,

    Sounds like you are having a great time with family up there. This is so important and healthy to do. Sometimes they can get on our nerves, but now that I am getting older (43), I am panicking a little bit about how little time I have with my folks who live in Europe.

    I miss these spontaneous and unplanned gatherings of family so much.

    Oliver will remember all of this for the rest of his life and it will make him feel safe and loved in times of trouble. He is a lucky boy!

    Best, Jana

  2. So delicious. I would love a place like that.


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