I = The Island

In spite of living in a small community that has a lake in the middle of town, every summer we spent our Sundays as a family at a small cabin on a lake about 30 miles away from town.

We called it simply “The Island”.

I

We never questioned how my father came to own a small island on a lake surrounded by Crown land.  Personally, I like to think a poker game might have been involved. Regardless, the end result was that we were the only people on the lake, with no one around for several miles.

The Island

2003

As kids, it seemed kind of cool to have this private place to go, but as we got older it lost its cool factor. All our friends, and the things we wanted to do, were in town.

It was here that we spent endless hours in the water swimming, learning how to water-ski, and exercising our imaginations with games of make-believe.  We had a homemade swing made from logs and rope, a small sand beach, and stacks of board games and comic books. We were never at a loss for ways to amuse ourselves … even it was simply annoying one another.

The Island 2

Around 1964 – with my brothers and younger sister (hidden).

On the flip-side, it was a dark little 2 bedroom cabin with no electricity and no running water.  It was here that I developed an aversion to any bug or crawly thing. The outhouse was a place of horror where I fine-tuned my life-long dislike of spiders.

It was at The Island that I discovered I wasn’t really the ‘outdoorsy’ type. I was a magnet for mosquitoes, black flies, and basically anything that would bite.  I was constantly covered in itchy welts.  The moment I stepped outside, my blood seemed to shout to the insect world that the free all-you-can-eat buffet was open. I wasn’t going to mention the leeches and blood-suckers in the water, but they too loomed large in my summer nightmares.

The original old cabin was torn down years ago and a new, larger cabin was rebuilt by my older brother with large windows overlooking the lake.  He added a generator for electricity and an indoor port-a-potty.

The Island is now owned by the youngest of my siblings.  She’s kept it in the family as a legacy for her children who lived a number of years in the North and developed a love for The Island that I never did.

She calls it Alcatraz.

April A to Z Challenge 2015

Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you will enjoy today’s treat of an Ice Cream Sandwich.

ice cream sandwiches

Image from tablespoon.com

 

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in 52 New Things, A-Z Challenge - 2015, Family, Nature, Outdoor Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to I = The Island

  1. joey says:

    That’s really neat. We camped many weekends of my childhood, and then when I was in high school, we stopped traveling to camp and my parents set up the camper on a rented lot by a creek. We had that second place, too, and I felt exactly the same way about it in terms of “I don’t want to go to the creek for the weekend, my friends are all here!” I managed to get a few friends to come with me from time to time. My parents thought there was nothing better than a quiet day at the creek, and I probably would now, too, but that is not what teenagers want.
    Also, twice the chores, am I right?!?

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Exactly!! I’ve never been the cottage type. I just saw it as 2 places to take care of .. not how I want to spend my summer!

      I do occasionally envy my sister’s relationship with The Island and then I have to remind myself of all the reasons why I didn’t like it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hihih to Alcatraz, and yeah to a poker game that wins you something like that! 😮 😮 😮

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      I haven’t been there in a dozen years, but I understand it’s no longer the desolate little cabin it once was and is now a modern *home*.
      Funny how we tend to become nostalgic about our past … even the stuff that we didn’t particularly like at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Good to know what you like and don’t like…I was so taken in by your initial description but then out came the bugs! It’s the flying, biting ones that always made me wonder about the attraction of country retreats.You had a great place to forge childhood memories though – thanks for sharing!

    Like

  5. Mrs. P says:

    It’s funny how something that seems apparently fun can have so many negative things connected to it that it is not really that much fun after all.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      There are people who love that type of rugged outdoor stuff – including my sons who go away every summer with a group of friends deep into nowhere. They come back cut, bruised, bitten, and absolutely filthy. I fail to see the attraction :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mrs. P says:

        I do like the outdoors but I also like flushing toilets and showers. I am okay with no electricity for a few days, though.

        When I was teaching we would take the kids out twice a year on camping trips. I made sure they had enough bug repellent to scare any away and generally most came back unscathed.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. treerabold says:

    What a cool place to grow up!!
    We travelled to Northern Ontario every summer (from Ohio) it was my Dad’s favorite place in the world. I remember the year it went from being awesome to “but my friends are in Ohio!!’ Fortunately as an adult the love of Northern Ontario returned (I love the outdoors!) We will head up to the same area (where I grew up going) this summer and Tina and I will be getting married!! 🙂

    Like

  7. LB says:

    Hello Joanne! I’m visiting for the first time in weeks, and I appreciate the sharing of this story. We do tend to idealize memories sometimes, so I had to chuckle at your comment “nope, still not interested”.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Hi Laurie! Glad you could visit. You heard about the cookies being served, didn’t you? 😉

      It’s funny that memories get either ‘glamourized” or “demonized”. The ones in the middle fade into the fog 🙂

      I come from a family that tries very hard not to step on anyone’s toes. When my sister was considering buying the Island from my brother, she called me to see how I felt about it. Although I appreciated the gesture, it occurred to me that I had absolutely no interest in it … but I was happy it was going to stay in the family. It was perfect!

      Like

  8. kimlhine says:

    Ha Ha @ Alcatraz, it sounds heavely to me ugs and all, itsmy lifesmission to run away to such a place!! Thank you for sharing your childhood memories.

    Like

  9. M-R says:

    NOW YER TALKIN ! – I bags the plain one !!!!
    Isn’t is fascinating the way different people attract insects ?
    [grin]

    Like

  10. Alex Hurst says:

    That last line!!! XD I think I would have that aversion too, if there was just a dark outhouse to use. I’d sooner go in the woods. Yuck. As it stands, I’m a modern camper, I guess, with all the comfort equipment. 🙂

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Funny – it never occurred to me to simply bypass the outhouse and go in the woods. Now, of course, I wouldn’t give it a second thought, but back then girls just didn’t do that :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex Hurst says:

        Well, there were a few occasions where I actually got locked out of my house in the middle of the woods (by my older brother)… necessity sort of dictated that for me, haha.

        Like

  11. The family island is lovely, it is nice your sister kept it I. The family but I agree running water and electricity are necessities for long term stays.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      They are two things that we tend to take for granted … until they are not available.

      As an adult, I now have a deeper respect for mom and her management of meals, cleanup etc for 7 people + the occasional guests with no running water and electricity … not to mention the fact that she was afraid of open water and the boat rides to and from the Island terrified her.

      Like

  12. Your island looks lovely but I know it is filled with bugs and black flies. 🙂 I’m not the outdoorsy type either when it comes to Cottage Country. It’s nice that its still in the family. Thank you for the yummy ice cream sandwiches! They’re my favorite! Have a great weekend and enjoy the nice weather we’re experiencing. 🙂

    Like

  13. Heyjude says:

    ice-cream sandwich? With sprinkles? Ooh yes please! These remind me of wafers filled with a marshmallow filling when I was a very small child. Do they really have ice-cream in them?
    See how you have distracted me. Island. How fab to own your own island. Or even live on one.Oh, yes I do 😉 but not a small island in the middle of a lake. Now that is real ‘Swallows and Amazons’ territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Corina says:

    Like every paradise, there were spoilers on your island. It would be fun to look into how your father got a hold of this property. I’m glad it is still in the family.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Isn’t that the truth that there are always 2 sides to every coin?
      I could probably find out some of the history of the Island since my brother did a title search a number of years ago. I prefer however to hold onto the romantic theory of a poker game 😉
      As you say, I guess the part that matters is the fact it remains in the family.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sammy D. says:

    Alcatraz 😆

    First – i want ALL those yummy looking ice cream sandwiches!!!

    Isn’t it amazing how many places, people, small interactions come back to us now from our past that we never questioned at the time?

    I have a cabin/cottage background as well. Some similarities; some differences. It’s ‘in the hopper’ for eventual posts. Our photos are almost identical!! I love finding out about all our past connections!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Don’t those ice cream sandwiches look amazing?!! I immediately started to drool 🙂

      I think that’s one of the best things about blogging is to compare other people’s experiences with our own. I’m looking forward to hearing about yours!!
      I’m not surprised we have almost identical pictures – trees, water … it all looks the same 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  16. sunsetdragon says:

    I think the island look slick paradise and could spend days there with my camera taking photos.
    Love the deserted beaches here on the Washington coast that the tourists have not found yet.
    Have a good week end.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I would imagine that exploring the Washington coast beaches would be an amazing thing to do … especially with a camera!! I’m like you though – I would prefer the quiet without the thundering hordes.
      Hope you have a great weekend too! 🙂

      Like

  17. We used to go upstate every year and it was outdoorsy, but the fact we stayed at a resort meant no lack of amenities and we were constantly entertained, beyond the factor of entertaining ourselves. When I was older, my sister and I went to a secluded get away with some of our friends and quickly go bored. If I had been younger, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it as you did!

    Like

  18. It sounded idyllic to start with then less and less so. Alcatraz?

    Like

  19. Lynn says:

    I am curious Joanne, is Alcatraz still as rustic as it once was or is now a modern cabin complete with electricity & running water?

    I am happy to “rough it” for a few days but I think my camping days are over!

    Like

  20. Sounds wonderful but then again, I’m not the out-doorsey-type either. Like you, I cannot stick my head outside for fear of being devoured by flying little cannibals, sometimes called mosquitoes. Ugh.
    A wonderful post, though, Joanna. I try to picture you avoiding the outhouse and slapping yourself silly or scratching to beat the band. Nice someone is still hanging on the the ‘new’ place. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      I love that expression “flying little cannibals”!!! That is definitely the downside of warmer temperatures outdoors 😦

      Like

      • Sure is. I used to do ladies weekend at a children’s camp not too far from Toronto years ago. A couple of times we went in June. Soon changed it to September. It was a cheap get-away to do nothing or anything offered from spas to Tarot readings, sunrise canoeing to campfire singing. It was Camp W something (Indian something or other).

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Sue Slaght says:

    For not being an outdoorsy type you certainly are out there a lot! Many special memories on your island.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I’m definitely not the go-camping-and-rough-it-outdoors kind of person. It’s one of the challenges my hiking partner and I have in picking new hiking challenges … I won’t do the camping thing. I can survive on a hike of several hours knowing there is a hot shower, clean bed, and prepared meal at the end 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Hang on. You had a real life Famous Five or Swallows and Amazons and you’re complaining? Geez.

    🙂 I’ve stopped being jealous of your snow so I need something new to unrealistically covet.

    The ice cream sandwich was nice but I was hoping for an Iced VoVo, queen of the posh afternoon tea.

    Like

  23. It’s wonderful that Alacatraz remains in the family. Rustic retreats really can be overrated, I agree. A few years after the photo in this post was taken, my family made a trip up to Canada on our way to a move to Minnesota. We stayed in a cabin on Batchewana Bay. I have no idea if that’s spelled correctly or which province it was in. That was my one and only experience with leeches. Why I feel compelled to tell you this, I have no idea. LOL! And Good Morning, Joanne!!!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Good morning Barbara!! We had thunderstorms and pelting rain last night – how about you? 🙂
      So does that mean you don’t have leeches and bloodsuckers in the South? I might need to move.

      Like

      • Here’s the thing: my sister-in-law, a Mainer who now lives in South Carolina ,was remarking how she wouldn’t dream of sticking her big toe into a Southern lake. They are not pristine clear blue lakes like up in Maine. Rather murky and sinister and there might be far worse than a harmless leech lurking in their depths. BTW, I’m totally in agreement with her.

        Like

  24. lovetotrav says:

    Yes, as kids we tend to glorify the isolation of it all. And I think as adults, we tend to see the work in it all. Great though that it has stayed in the family for those who still enjoy it. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl who is a also a bug and insect magnet

    Like

  25. An island retreat – isn’t that what everyone craves? But when you get down to it, there is more to the package than you realize. Including all the negotiation around transport of goods and materials from dock to dock. I have to admit my first response to reading this, was, “Oooh, how jealous am I?” But then, yeah… Alcatraz. The name, says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

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