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Ladies of the Lake

Updated: May 4, 2020

‘I am blessed to personally know and have known and loved several amazing ‘Ladies of the Lake’. I am humbled to even be part of the incredible lineage of women related and connected by the fact that we have all become part of this beautiful West Coast lake.’

This Lady of the Lake relaxes in morning sun.

Someone called me the ‘Lady of the Lake’ once and it sort of stuck. However, it is the many incredible women related to the beautiful body of water we share that also wear this title, I am only one of many. There are the matriarch women and founders, followed by a core of dedicated and incredible women who now reign here. The Ladies of the Lake are women who can make a meal in a forest setting that can out rank any trained hotel chain chef, they can sew, mend and fix things around a cabin that make include a tablecloth or a boat’s sail. They can dress for dinner and mix a perfect bevie, or navigate a boat in pounding rain in the dark, they can cohabit with a strong man and work as a team, or they can stand alone and live in the remote elements. Such are these incredible women of the lake. I am humbled by so many of them. There are also the Honorary Ladies of the Lake, the friends and family who come after year by invitation and who have been claimed by our lake as Ladies of the Lake as well. One of my dearest and oldest friend from the city loves to come here, and she is one such Honourary Ladies of the Lake. She has returned over and over with her lovely husband to enjoy my little piece of paradise.

As I am second generation in the genealogical trail to my property, and must honour and mention the true matriarchs of this lake, the generation of women before me, including my mother who came here. They are the founders of many properties, the original inhabitants of some of the raw land here who forged the way to later become this kind of lake living. (I realize we are not the Native peoples who owned the lands of our country in the beginning), but the people who came here to be the ones who saw a gem in the rough, in these lands by our lake, and who fell in love with the beauty of it, settled on it, if only seasonally, preserved it, and then shared it and passed it down to those like me, who picked up the torch and blessedly have carried on.

My family came here because one woman, her husband and her family came here, they were close acquaintances of my parents. This woman, who developed the lands on a large lakeside acreage, I often considered to be an incredible Lady. She was a lively, joyful, charismatic woman who would brighten a room when she walked into it. I admired her strong spirit for life and her playfulness about life and living at the lake. Going to her property, being in her presence, was always fascinating for me as a child, and it was always a light sort of fun and welcoming atmosphere to visit her place. Her property was much larger than my family’s, a sprawling piece of property with numerous structures and views from several places across or up the lake. There were even individual cabins for her daughter, a girl about my age, and a boy, a little older. Later in life she built a newer little cabin just for herself when all her family was in residence she had her own little retreat away from the main house. The main cabin and two kids cabin were round, and were considered very ‘avant garde’ when they were built. Over the years her daughter and I had so many adventures at the lake, and to this day are in contact with each other even though we live in different cities. Just the other day we had a lovely phone visit and talked about old times at the lake. It is so incredible to have these wonderful live-long friendships. She, like her mother, is certainly a Lady of the Lake.

Many came to visit the round cabins retreat, including another woman who, with her husband, were dear friends to my parents as well. She and her large family, would also come to stay and we would all share food and good times. This wonderful Honourary Lady of the Lake was a woman who had this very kind and gentle spirit about her, and a very ‘hippie’ and ‘gypsy’, way of being quietly sweet. I remember she had such a natural beauty and grace about her. I am also in touch with her daughter, a special friend of mine, and we all have this incredible friendship, all be it, at a distance, because we were connected by our parents and the lake.

Even my mother, always in my heart and a true Lady in my eyes. Although she felt a little out of place at our raw and basic cabin without the usual more affluent influences of amenities and social graces, she still brought a level of beauty and class to the world around her. Bless her soul, I miss her, but I can still see her big smiles as she laughed as she spoke, often accompanied by a waving arm, beneath the giant hats she wore to protect her from the summer sun.

I remembered ‘Happy Hours’ in my youth with parents, friends and neighbours who still dressed for the event, even at the lake. I remember the style and grace of these many woman who came to our lake first. I still like to ‘dress’ for dinner, often in a long dress, hair up, beads and jewellery on. I am so sorry our current generation doesn’t seem to make the extra effort to want to dress up.

Today, there are several amazing ladies who come to the lake, and there are several who even live here year-round. I admire their strength and their guidance, as they are the true Ladies of the Lake now for my generation. I am also blessed to be connected with women who have come here for as long as I have, or have married men whom I have known since I was small because their families had cabins here. These women are now long-time very dear friends, and I am grateful. We have seen each other on and off the lake upon occasion, and so will always be connected. One has been a dear friend for years, and was living on the lake, and did so for many, many year, but in the last handful of years she and her husband moved back to city life for the bulk of the year, and then return to their spectacular home up on top of their lake island. It is an incredible lake home, with every amenity you can imagine. I am in awe every time I visit. This Lady of the Lake can create a meal like no other, (yes, kudos to her incredible hubby, too, a dear friend of mine since childhood). I consider this Lady of the Lake a fabric artist and an interior designer, to name only a few of her many creative talents. I have spent too many incredible nights to count at her home wining and dining and having the most wonderful of evenings over the years.

Another Lady of the Lake is a friend who ‘married’ into this lake as well, her husband being another close childhood friend and neighbour of mine here. This Lady of the Lake now lives here full time with her fabulous husband, and they too, have built a spectacular lake home. This friendly, and lively fun-loving woman can welcome you in and keep you for a meal, that she might have just caught in the lake. Just this week she posted on social media about her fishing successes. You go, Girl!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the young Lady of the Lake next door, who has become a friend since she came to her husband and then to the neighbouring property. They are physically my closest neighbours and this lady is a natural beauty, with a style and grace who has connected with me and become a kindred spirit to me. Although she is a ‘newby’, and only been here for 25 or so years, she is immediately on the property next to mine, and so she understands, and often shares the common trees, rocks, water and views I love. How wonderful is that? We love our little spots on the lake, nestled side by side. Her delightfully sweet husband is a lovely man and neighbour. I will certainly miss her, and my other Lake Ladies very much when I pass the torch and sell. However, I am sure I will return, as this place will always be in my blood, and will forever remain tucked away prominently in a special place in my heart.

One other Lady of Lake I have been blessed to have in my life, is the neighbour to my left. This is another multi-generational property. The founding woman and her husband there became close friends with my parents and often got together in those ‘Happy Hours’. They had several children and when tragedy struck the family, this incredible mother, obviously a very strong Lady, carried on and kept the property in the family. I have remained friends with more than one of the children, but one, in particular, is married a Lady I am still quite close with, and I am so delighted to share time with she and her husband (my childhood friend, though his younger siblings were closer to my and my brother’s age). Many lovely afternoons have been spent next door enjoying time with this delightful Lady and her sweet husband. Other family members are also good friends to this day, over the span of 55+ years.

I will always consider myself a Lady of the Lake, but truly humbled by so many Ladies of the Lake before me and standing with me today at this beautiful forest and lake. We all share this incredible bond of a lake paradise, one that fully holds our hearts and always will. We are truly very blessed and very grateful women.

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