The Cottage

A Memoir by Judy Salcewicz

I was three when Dad built it piece by piece in our basement.  We carted it to the lake and nailed it to a frame. We stayed in it before it was complete. At three, I was afraid of the ghost-like images reflected in the silver coated insulation stapled into the walls. The knotty pine floor lived up to its name. Mom nailed can lids over the holes so snakes wouldn’t come in. Our dog scared a skunk wandering beneath the floor. Mom augmented the odor with Lysol until we gasped for breath.  A bat flew in. A cacophonous chorus of relatives cajoled us kids to put pillows on our heads. Dad raced after it with a fishing net. And now, fifty years later, it’s the most peaceful place I know.

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Judy Salcewicz, a retired teacher, lives and writes in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Her stories have been published in The Kelsey Review, six Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, U.S. 1 Summer Fiction edition, and Horse Network. 

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