Some people think hindsight is everything. I think perspective is.  Everything is relative. Relative to where you’ve been. Relative to where you’re going.  When I packed for our 30 day condo adventure, I had concerns it would be too small for a family of five, plus a dog. I have since learned otherwise.

Normally, with each summer, I stress (a little) over what to pack for the cottage. We don’t want excess as it’s somewhat living in close quarters. Despite good intentions however, we usually end up driving north with the car busting at the bumpers… with “stuff” we don’t always truly need or use once we get there.  This was not the case this time. The car allowed room for us to breathe this time. And just like a cluttered house = a cluttered mind, the same goes for the car. Once again, we were feeling free.

This is our first true summer weekend at the family cottage.  With more bedrooms than the condo, we now have more space than we’re accustomed to.  What used to feel cramped and “cozy” now feels “spacious.”  The size of the cottage seems to be a happy medium.  One extra bedroom feels perfect. Both kids rooms have bunks, so with room to sleep four,  we even have room for a friend to sleepover.

One thing we didn’t leave behind however, was the view of construction outside of our window.

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It seems to have followed us. The cottage next door has been torn down and they’ve started construction. This time, the view was even closer and the boys feel like they’re site supers, with their Grandpa, overseeing all of the activity.

The boys were happy to get reacquainted with their small selection of toys. As always, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and everything that they haven’t seen in months, seems new again. Dinner was take-out, just to make unpacking and settling a bit easier for everyone (aka mom and dad).

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And as for the sitting at the dinner table.. maybe tomorrow. Pizza seems just as tasty in your PJ’s on the family room table, with no chairs, no plates, no fuss. Different town, different rules!

Being at the cottage sparked another reminder of how the condo changed something small in our day to day lives. The reminder came in the form of one of the boys wanting a late night snack.  Without thinking, we reheated the pizza in the countertop microwave. This is one convenience we’ve adapted to very easily in the condo. One that is fairly taboo in our house.  We strategically placed it out of reach in the basement at home, and only use it when desperate.  I am my mother’s child and still hear her warnings about radiation echoing in my ear when I see the plate spinning around inside from a distance.

Often in life, there’s give and take, yin and yang… and what you gain in one regard, you usually sacrifice in another, which tends to result in some type of balance that we learn to live with.

Likewise, we were reminded of the perk of ground floor access and egress, since walking the dog once again required less effort, without the need to go down an elevator.  Playing fetch with him off leash right outside the door, reminded us of the convenience of a backyard.

Once again however, and as expected, yin and yang prevailed. The convenience we regained in access, was mitigated by the inconvenience of finding a place to dispose of the waste.  Sounds simple enough, but garbage disposal in the country, contrary to what you’d expect, is even more daunting.  This is another example of the “different town, different rules” concept and they’re sure to let “cottagers” know the do’s and don’ts. Contrary to the city, pet waste does NOT go into the green bin. We searched the Waste Wizard.

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Finding a spot was more difficult than you’d expect.   Things in this regard were definitely easier in the city, with my choice of bins to toss it into.

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The day ended in a glorious outdoor shower, that while the same size as the condo, felt enormous and decadent.

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Despite a a leaky foot faucet, faded wood walls, splintered floors and unpredictable water pressure and temperature, I only felt the glory of the sun warming my face and the water caressing my back. For a fleeting moment, I thought to myself (and kept to myself) I could almost live here 🙂

Cottage summer days, lend themselves to more reading that normal. Still passionate about my new condo lifestyle, I did some more research. Here are some kindred spirits who braved the condo adventure, like us.

http://www.kveller.com/how-my-family-of-5-fits-into-a-2-bedroom-apartment/

http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2014/02/20/raising_kids_in_a_condo.html

http://news.buzzbuzzhome.com/2015/07/baby-boom-toronto-condos.html

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