With every passing day we become more dependent on our electronics and gadgets to get us through our everyday life. While I agree that with technology there comes some advancements in how we live our lives, we cannot ever replace the bonds and intangibles that having a good neighbor at the cottage brings you.
Technology allows us to be more closely connected to our cottages. We can log in and check footage to see who has been on the property, and what the weather is. We can adjust the cottage temperature, and relax knowing that our security systems and fire detectors are monitoring everything.
All that however still does not replace a great cottage neighbor. I can say that when I bought my cottage 7 years ago that I won the lottery. Not because I got a great deal on my cottage, or because I have the world’s best view, but because of my neighbors.
They were the ones that came over immediately introducing themselves, and to provide a helping hand. They have been there to help us with just about everything at the cottage. From minor mechanical repairs, to cutting away trees that fall down on our driveway when we are not there. They provide a watchful eye, or help pulling in the dock. Good cottage neighbors are willing to help by towing a stranded boat, or cutting the grass when you can’t get up there. They also have no problems lending a few items from their pantry to avoid another trip into town.
Just like any relationship we do need to be mindful of each other and respect each other’s spaces and privacy. While be willing to provide a helping hand where necessary wherever and whenever that time arrives.
Even more rewarding to me is making the trip up north on a regular basis, watching the kids get out of the car, and running over to our neighbors. The first thing they do is run over to say hello, and provide them with a nice warm hug. The children acknowledge them, not by their names but by “Gramma, and Grampa North” – that too me sums it all up!
I have been fortunate enough to create a lifelong relationship with my neighbors, and all I can wish for is that I have taught my children enough to continue forming generational spanning relationships with our neighbors and their grandchildren in the years to come.