My Happy Place


When I was in labor with Amelia, my Doula Jessica promised to take me to “my happy place.”  Through out the constant contractions that made up the quick four hour labor/delivery, Jessica spoke calmly of the cottage our family used to own.  Of the waves lapping against the dock, the loons on the lake at night, the wind through the trees, the boats going by.  Going there, to the place I had known every inch of for 23 summers, the pain seemed to melt away and Amelia inched her way into the world.

My Great Uncle George Challies had the cabin built in Chaffey’s Lock, Ontario in the 1930s  or 40s.  My father and his siblings grew up at this place and then my siblings and cousins were the next generation, able to grow up spending our summers in a dream location. No one had a better cottage than us as far as we were concerned!

I remember the summer I first learned how to swim.  The first summer I jumped off the boat house roof and into the water below…I felt so brave.  The endless hours of playing Capture the Flag and Hide and Seek amongst the tree-filled premises.  The summer my sisters, our cousins and some dear friends spent every night sitting in the dark, down at the water, and singing spiritual songs like “Siyahamba” (an African spiritual song:  We are marching in the light of God, we are marching in the light of God!), “Love the Lord Your God” and “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  We were such harmless teenagers!:) 

In 2005, our little world was shaken.  Our home away from home had to be sold because my father and his siblings decided it was becoming too expensive to maintain.  What a lesson this was in placing our treasures in heaven rather than on earth…on not placing our hope or happiness in anything over God.  A hard lesson.  A painful loss.  I don’t know how many nights my dreams somehow encapsulate the cottage in some way. 

We know it no more but it can always be “my happy place” when I need to remove my mind from stress or pain.  I am thankful for all the summers we got to spend in this spot.  Knowing how incredible it was fills me with expectant joy of how awesome beyond imagination eternity will be!

Sometimes on this earth, God gives us a little foretaste of our eternal home.

Oh, and happy weekend friends!

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7 Responses to My Happy Place

  1. I love the picture of me, asleep with josh. And a bag of cookies beside me!

    these photos made me reminisce so much. i’m going to back and look again. miss that place.

  2. Aileen says:

    I’m so sad! Tiazzi is even in those… And we look so young! Maryanne…. Those are P.C. Cookies!!!!

  3. Franci says:

    So beautiful!

    I love the picture of you and Rick. Rick looks cool with longer hair, btw!

  4. Megha says:

    What an amazing place! Siyahamba is a beautiful song – I sung it either in elementary or middle school chorus :)

  5. Grace says:

    Of course I cried looking at these. Sigh. Miss that place so much and it is my happy place as well. I dream about it all the time.

  6. bchallies says:

    Like CS Lewis said – the little intimations of the joy of heaven….Mom

  7. Todd says:

    Do you home-school all three??

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