tiny, hairy, and perfect

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She is a gray shingled cottage with a blue door. Far smaller than our Maplewood center hall colonial, but each summer we fill her up and call her home for the month of August.

Two bedrooms and one bathroom is tight for our family of six. The dogs seem quite large when navigating around the space. And, Keegan’s hair can be considered an extra occupant, taking on a life of it’s own. Labs shed, and when contained within our small quarters, a thick layer of blond is added to everything within hours. Luckily, a benefit of a small home, it only takes a few minutes to pass the vacuum. It’s one of my only chores on Block Island.

The fridge is full of snacks and beverages and the closets are stacked with bathing suits, jeans and teeshirts. There’s always a puzzle in progress on the table and Anna has piles of summer homework littering the living room. I try to tidy up the mess, but it always looks a little chaotic. As we get into vacation mode, it bothers me less and less. On slow days, Dan often sets up a tent next to the clothes-line providing us an extra room, perfect for reading or taking an afternoon nap.

The number of guests in the cottage varies. With the exception of last summer (Dan’s magical Garden Leave), Dan is not able to come for the whole month. He dutifully goes back and forth on weekends from NJ to RI for the first two weeks. Anna opened it up further with her Outward Bound trip cutting into August. It allowed Jack, Keegan, Finn and I to have a few slow days of quiet and then Mymom (my mom) came for a visit. The following week Anna arrived with 3 of the 5 Mackays. The cottage was jumping as the amount of teenagers outnumbered the amount of old folks. Just yesterday, Anna’s friend, Natalie, arrived for her second time on Block Island. It’s great to have her here again, but Dan is now here full time and five humans gets a little tight. Thankfully, my in-laws are gracious enough to allow kids to stay in the bunk room. Five in the cottage might have just ripped the vacation mode right out of me.

The cottage is not the only house full of friends and family within the stone walls of the property. My in-laws have a house full from Memorial Day to Labor Day and we’ve gotten to overlap with tons of family. Their house is just steps away from the little cottage and it’s always full of commotion and energy. We head over for family dinners and too many cocktails on the deck. Such a treat to have some extra square footage and great family right next door.

A friend called last night and asked about our vacation, “How’s the cottage?”

I looked around the little cottage and smiled, “It’s tiny, hairy and perfect.”

Thank you PopPop and Sue for our August home.

Love, Jess

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