Posted - 12 Oct 2017 : 17:13:44
| Goodbye to the lake
We took a chance, our first year, and booked a little motel on the lakeshore. It was perfect. My son rose at 6, even on holiday. I made a pot of coffee while he ate breakfast. Then we walked a few steps from the door of our motel room to the beach.
After a quick survey of the sand, we would choose a spot for the chairs and beach umbrella. He would chase ducks, build sandcastles, investigate the lake bottom in the clear, still morning water. Set up on the beach's best real estate, we would wait for the world to wake up. I would read for a while, sip coffee, study the water, consult on sandcastle design, engage in construction. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-install-speakers-car-installing-5-simple-steps-music-land
Then as others slowly filled the beach, a sea of children took control of their kid world of sand, candy, inflatable plastic and water. It was the kind of holiday I remember. It was the kind of holiday I wanted to give my three kids. And it had to involve water.
The swimming area had a dock anchored a few metres offshore. The lake had minnows and frogs. And it was hot. In the heat of the afternoon, we would rent a boat from an old lady and ride out to the middle of the lake for a swim.
We were there for a couple of years, and then someone came in and ripped the motel off its foundations and began to prepare the ground for condos. No problem, we thought. We'll just go to the campground next door and stay in one of their cabins.
Summer, 2004. The feel of our new destination was different but similar. A little cabin in a family campground in a park designed and built by the owner of nearly 35 years.
There was a tepee in the middle. At 7 each night there were videos in the tepee for the kids. A homemade mini-golf course was lined with jig-sawed, painted cartoon characters. Handcrafted by a man who loved his land. The candy store carried items for a single penny.
In the late morning a local baker would drive into the campground with fresh-baked goods in a beat-up station wagon, a speaker mounted on top, blaring the daily specials. The owner of the campground had a car with a speaker (https://medium.com/@carspeakerland/what-are-the-speaker-sizes-in-my-car-speaker-size-for-my-car-c32cccff8dbb) stuck on the roof, too, and he would roll slowly through the tents and cabins announcing an activity or the daily plans he'd made.
On his property, kids ran free in hordes. They roved from site to site, collecting bottles and cans to return at the candy store. Early in the evening, the owner would light a beach fire and supply marshmallows and sticks. One night a week was fireworks night and most of the tenants would buy a stick or two and contribute them to a show launched from the beach.
We tried to book a cabin there the following year, but couldn't. The owner had sold his property to a developer. They were putting in condos.
So we moved to a little lakeside motel up the lake. It too had a lovely culture, with a trampoline, a candy store, water and sand. And some time while we were staying at this little rundown motel, it sold. The trampoline, we were informed by the developer, would be shut down soon because of liability issues. The old lady we rented boats from had to move off the beach and was looking to sell her boats. Beachfront was too expensive, she said.
Construction crews ranged up and down the roads. Real estate agents picketed property. Massive concrete footings were dug into the sand. Sounds of saws and straining engines wafted over the water.
One of our last nights, we ate supper on the roof of the pizza-gelato-photofinishing-fireworks-video rental-drug store and went to D Dutchman Dairy for ice cream cones. On the way home I decided to tour our old campground (bad idea).
The gates had been knocked down to allow construction vehicles free access. I drove in. The grounds had been razed. Trees cut down. Tent sites bulldozed. Candy store windows smashed. Along the mini-golf course, the remaining cartoon figures scrutinized a man who seemed to be intoxicated staggering toward them. He set his drink down so he could swing his sledgehammer with both hands. While we watched, he knocked a hole in the candy store wall.
The children leapt into rage, which crested and fell into guttural sorrow. He wasn't bashing a building: He was hammering our holiday. Like a funeral for a friend where someone assaults the corpse.
See Also: https://github.com/Carspeakerland/carspeakerland/wiki/How-to-Replace-Car-Speakers-Change-Speakers-in-Car
In four years, the lake utterly transformed. The kitschy motels and campground disappeared, replaced with gated communities and concierges. The old holiday at the lake was grubby, loud and social. The new is clean, quiet and insulated. The old culture let my family live on the lake for $100 a night. I can buy my piece of the new, beginning, as the advertisement declares, in the low 400s.
Edited by - adrienne224 on 19 Dec 2017 10:53:32