Written by contributor Emily Walker of Remodeling This Life.
When I was a little girl, my Great Uncle Mo had a cottage on a beautiful lake in the wine country of Western New York. My parents had a cottage of their own hours away, so we spent most of our time at that cottage; but from time to time, we’d spend a day or a weekend at Uncle Mo’s.
Uncle Mo never married, so the family of my grandfather (his brother) was all he had. He loved having a place where everyone could come to swim and play, celebrate Labor Day, and eat hot dogs.
Not many of my childhood days were spent there, but my memories are clear—memories of standing on the rock break wall and skipping stones, sitting at his long rickety picnic table on rickety benches and eating hot dogs. Getting sun-kissed and exhausted from days of splashing in the water and playing in the grass.
Uncle Mo passed away when I was 17 years old, 16 years ago now. The cottage was sold and when the new owners were remodeling it, it burned to the ground. A new building stands in its place now, a building that I have never seen.
I still like to picture the yellow two-story cottage with a big screened porch overlooking the lake, creaky stairs leading to a second floor full of bunk beds to accommodate overnighters, a tiny kitchen, a living room with a folding table for playing cards and dominoes, and one little bathroom.
In that little bathroom sat Uncle Mo’s chair.