Move Over Dear Abby – Cottage Daze has Some Cottage Advice!

Move over Dear Abby, I decide to give some practical cottage advice. With apologies to the late John Prine (folk singer) and the late Dear Abby (advice columnist).

“Dear Cottage Daze, Dear Cottage Daze, I can’t believe summer is done – No more swims in the lake, no more time in the sun. Can you not give us cottage days that always will last, instead of a season that goes by so fast?”
Signed, Unhappy Cottager.

Unhappy, Unhappy, you have no complaints. Summer is what it is and it ain’t what it ain’t. Instead of complaining, make the most of each day, and visit in winter instead of waiting till May.

Dear Cottage Daze – When my daughter-in-law visits the cottage she insists on putting the beer in the lake to stay cold. I have dipped a thermometer into the lake to show her that the water temperature is actually warmer than the air, but of course she doesn’t listen and keeps storing the lager there anyway. Sincerely, Why Won’t She Listen?

Dear Why Won’t She Listen? – You are going about it the wrong way. Drink the beer, pierce the cans and put them back in the lake. Blame the thievery on snapping turtles. If you would feel bad being such a sneak, then get rid of the leftovers in the fridge and give the poor girl some room for the beer there. After-all, the beer is more important than a Tupperware container full of old rice pilaf. CD

Dear Cottage Daze – The young fellow from across the lake has one of those jet skis, and likes to come into our bay and do figure eights all afternoon long. How can I get rid of the menace? Sincerely, My Peaceful Place is Ruined!

Dear My Peaceful Place – Next time he comes over, tell your wife and daughters to cover up, while you put on a speedo and hang out on the dock. CD

Dear Cottage Daze – A family member likes to visit our cottage, but he is a smoker. He tends to leave butts all around that I pick up for weeks afterwards. Not only is it a mess, but I worry about a fire. Sincerely, Gives Me a Butt Ache

Dear Butt Ache – We used to have an uncle visit our place and do the same thing. My mother tied a tin can around his neck with a shoelace and told him that all the cigarette butts were to go in there. It kept the island clean, prevented any fires and he made some extra money when other visitors would toss spare coin into the can. Otherwise, just talk to him, and ask him to dispose of the butts in a proper place – sometimes that works. CD

Dear Cottage Daze – I love escaping to our beautiful cottage each summer, but I could do without the mosquitoes, black flies, wasps, bees and deer flies. Is there a way to get rid of them all? Sincerely, I Hate Pests

Dear I Hate Pests – No. CD
In fact, “Dear Pest Hater, Dear Pest Hater, you have no complaints – your cottage is what it is and it ain’t what it ain’t. So listen up buster, I don’t mean to be rude. Cottage life includes nature and nature is good!”

“Dear Cottage Daze, Dear Cottage Daze, please don’t take this wrong. I pay you for columns not for new words to a song. In the future let Dear Abby give the advice – and if you stick to cottage stories, that sure would be nice.”
Signed ………Your Editor

(With apologies to folk singer John Prine and Dear Abby!)

“James Ross is the author of the books “Cottage Daze” and “Still in a Daze at the Cottage” (Dundurn Press) available in your favourite bookstore. The books feature the best of his cottage stories. Visit, email, or follow @cottagedaze.”