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At the cottage

Russian River
May 30, 2004

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The kids down at Highcroft, my mom told us, refer to Dead Man's Beach between Summer Home Park and Hilton Campground as Bad Man's Beach. Whether this is the result of some well-intentioned correction made by overly protective mothers or merely a blip in hearing, passed down through the ages -- on their side or ours -- we may never know. But the difference raised another question for my mom: "How and when did we stop calling it the "cottage" and the "landing" and begin calling it the "cabin" and the "dock."

We didn't know, but she thought it was our generation because, as she and Aunt Claire had agreed, her generation would not have been so rebellious as to change those New England names.

"I think I stopped calling it the cottage," I confessed, "because I don't like cottage cheese."