RECORD STORE TALES #948: Post-script
In this life, at least since 2018, we have learned to take nothing for granted. We treat every trip to the cottage like it’s the last, but I really didn’t expect to get back this late in the season.
With some Judas Priest on the stereo (Sad Wings of Destiny), we made one more uneventful trip up north. The weather forecast was not good, but the Friday was still lovely. We arrived early afternoon and I set up my laptop and speakers on the front porch for what really might be the last time in 2021. I did not waste a note of music. It was raining but the overhang kept me dry. Listening to song after song, I chose my Top 5 best album closing tracks for that night’s show. Finalized!
The best office you could want, rain or shine
I can’t remember the last time we made it to the lake this late in October. Friday I wore shorts. Saturday was another story….
I woke up early Saturday morning and went for a walk in the pitch black. It was wet from the rain but otherwise warm and dead quiet. A few hours later, the wind and rain picked up and Saturday became an “indoor day”.
I went down to the beach for a few moments to capture some video but I couldn’t make it further than the treeline. The wind was blasting the rain right through my clothes. It’s been many years since I’ve experienced that kind of weather. We battened down the hatches and prepared for a cold one. It was a good day for movies, music and toys. The heat went on and so did the long pants!
You can feel this picture
Sunday was the really interesting day. The reality was hitting me that it could possibly be months before we saw this place again. I was trying to really absorb the sounds, sights and feelings. I had two flashbacks, and they were intense.
The first happened in the early morning. I was cleaning the kitchen and put on some tunes to work to. I chose Rock and Roll Over by Kiss, as it had the classic Kiss vibe I wanted and strong cottage memories associated with it. The first time I heard Rock and Roll Over was there at the cottage – it was the last Kiss studio album I needed. I would have been about 15. As I was washing the dishes, singing and dancing to “Mr. Speed” I suddenly had the first flashback. I was in that very kitchen with my best friend Bob and I was a teenager again. We were doing the dishes and rocking out to Kiss. It was entirely in my imagination. We never washed the dishes to Kiss that I can think of. Yes the parents would usually ask us to help with the dishes, and any time we had company over, I conceded because I didn’t want to look like a spoiled brat. But we never did it with music playing, that I can remember. But we would have if we could.
It was such an intense feeling that I needed to stop what I was doing and take a breath. I could literally see us both, washing the dishes and rocking to Kiss. It probably never happened that way but my flashback didn’t care.
Once that intense experience had passed and the kitchen was clean, I went outside to wander and take some last pictures. My 49th season in this place. An awesome season and truly one of the very best. It was then that I had the second intense flashback.
I was walking around the side of the cottage, thinking about how awesome it was to be walking around shirtless in this paradise all summer. And then suddenly – I was. For a brief moment the sun was blasting my shirtless skin. And then it was over. It was like when Will Byers suddenly flashes into the Update Down on Stranger Things. In a blink it ended and was gone. I just enjoyed the experience. I’d like more flashbacks like this to happen. It’s all about the setting and the mindset.
Once Jen and I had finished packing, I was locking up and I noticed her at the end of the driveway staring at the lake. It is her favourite place in the world; she calls it her “safe place”. I joined her and asked if she wanted to take one more look around. We walked down to the windy beach one more time and just drank it all in. The sight of the churning lake, the sound of the crashing waves, and the feeling of the wind on our skin.
And that was it. With heavy heart we started the car and hit the road. If that was the end of the season, by God we had a good one! Some of the best tunes, meals, swimming, live shows and videos were had this year. An unforgettable summer, interviewing rock stars from the comfort of the front porch with Lake Huron before me. Top that, 2022.