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The Written Story of my Lake Youth

"I have always been a writer at heart."

The Written Story of My Lake Youth With almost 60 years under my belt at my lake, there are stories and memories galore. I have so many, many memories, some good, some tough, some made when I was young, some when married, and raising children, and some as a single senior. I have so many treasured thoughts and stories when I think about my lake. Tonight it is a chilly November evening, and the rain has been rather steady of late. I am home, all by myself, curled up by the fire, and dreaming of the lake and imagining myself there with the rain hitting the roof while still being all cozy inside. I think of the sound that I love of the rain hitting the waters of the lake, that unique tinkling sound, like bells that is so very familiar to me and much loved. As I sit here tonight, I still long to be there, though, truthfully it would be a very cold night. I have a furnace here in my city home, and my little fire, whereas my powerless cabin just has its little black cast iron fire stove. I would be burning up my fair share of wood to stay warm if I was there this evening. Of course, I fully admit I am never in residence at the lake in November, I only have gone there from Spring to Fall each year, but that doesn’t stop me from fondly pining to be at the cabin, to smell the fire, to hear the rain on the metal roof, to wake up to the birds chirping and the squirrels chattering in the morning, and to see the mists gently floating across the calm, lake waters. As I sorted through my bookshelf after dinner this evening, I came upon a white envelope, simply labelled, ‘CHILDHOOD WRITING’. It had my name on the front, which is interesting to look at because it was my maiden name, a name I have not used for 40 years. I smiled and opened the envelope. What I was holding in my hands were two items. One was a small, plaid fabric-covered steno book, and it was tucked into a larger, green coloured scribbler. Both were filled with my hand-written story. It is a childhood rendition of a story of a young girl, based on myself, of course, and the events are part real, and part the fantasies of a young girl at the lake in her summers. The steno pad was the first part I wrote, and I smiled when I looked at the handwritten words. Yes, I remember now I used to make my explanation marks look like a triangles fully filled in, and I did an unusual flip up and forward on my ‘t’s’ that remind me of a shorthand stroke. There it was, the story I started to write when I was just 13 years old, some 52 years ago. I wrote this tale off and on for a few years, and when I curled up tonight and started to read it, I found myself often laughing out loud to my words, my sentences formed and penned as a young teenager. It was simple, raw, authentic, had a few misspelled words, but it was heartwarming, and brought back so many memories of my youth at my beloved lake. Memories flooded back about my first dog, apparently, he had died just a month before I started writing my story about going to the lake on vacation that summer. The story talked about my brother, my girl best friend, who often came to the lake with our family. I read about the travelling to the lake, and how my mother was working and so we often went just with my dad, his work being more flexible. It mentioned we arrived often in the night at the start of a weekend, and how we loaded the boat, travelled the lake, and got moved into the cabin well after dark. It talked about the fact that my brother and I always slept in a tent, as our parents resided in the one-room cabin with their apparent need for privacy. I remember those wild and carefree morning where my brother and I, as young kids, ran free, but quietly, in the forest until my father would wake up, late morning, wherein we would beg for a waterski before the calm waters of the lake became churned up with the breezes of the day. It talked about my neighbours at the lake, that is, the other children, and how we hung out together. Many of these people have remained my friends and neighbours to this day over 50 years later. Their children often playing with my children as they grew up. I read about some activities that I truly remember happening, but, because this was a story, and not a fully a memoir, the tattered old pages also held some of my childhood fantasies and thoughts, which basically revolved around boys, boys, and well, of course, boys. After all, I was 13 years old, preparing to go into Grade 8 and high school in the Fall after that 1st summer mentioned in my book, and boys was what all the young girls typically were dreaming about in those days. It talked about me swimming and waterskiing, and when I first drove the big family ski boat to take my father for a waterski. I remember it was a 40 HSP engine and was not an electric start, and so I had to be strong enough to pull-start it. I was a very thin, tall, freckled, fair-skinned and red-haired teenager, but I was a tomboy at the lake and I got the hang of it with a lot of determination and practice, though I do remember the motor was finicky, and not always cooperative. I read my childhood story for an hour or so, and then I put it down, and ended up having one more very joyous laugh. It was a lovely read, and I will continue to read more of it soon. Yes...I guess I have always been a writer at heart.

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