In my family, when we refer to The Island, it means only one thing – the place of our childhood summers. It’s a small island on a remote northern Ontario lake surrounded only by trees for miles and miles.
It’s been in our family for about 80 years – passing from my father, to his oldest son, and eventually to the youngest daughter – a place where five generations of our family have built memories.
But now The Island is passing to outsiders.
Although “The Island Life” was not something I ever aspired to, the sale of this property triggered a need in me to make the 8-hour journey north for a final farewell.
The original tiny cabin from my childhood is long gone, replaced with a 3 bedroom house. A generator provides both power in the evenings, and running water, pulled from the lake.
My visits over the years have been very infrequent … quite frankly, I could count them on one hand. However, knowing that after next week, there will be no further opportunities to visit this place of many memories, I felt compelled to return one last time.
So Gilles and I made the trek north to spend 3 days with my sister, Tina, and her husband.
We told stories, played games, ate, drank, and laughed at ourselves and each other. Even the heavy rains on the first day, or invading mosquitoes, couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm.
The highlight of my weekend though was doing something I’ve never done before – paddling the lake.
As kids, we NEVER ventured to the far end of The Island which is shallow and reedy, but it made perfect sense on this visit to plow our way through there in kayaks. At water level, it was an adventure that had us giggling like children.
Ok – I was doing most of the giggling. Tina is considerably more refined than I am.
With the ubiquitous city sirens blaring in the background as I write this, I already miss the tranquility and quiet of The Island, but I especially miss the loons and their haunting calls throughout both the day and night.
Do they ever sleep?!!
So this is my final farewell.
May its new owners derive as many pleasures and precious memories as we have from this special place.