Bittersweet Memories


Where do I even begin…

Members from my mother’s side of the family have been coming to Trout Lake since the late 50’s, early 60’s. My uncle Whitey & aunt Kay discovered this campground way back then. At the time it was much smaller, overgrown & quite rustic.  But my aunt Kay fell in love with this place, so each Summer they would return for 1-3 weeks & my uncle would clear away overgrowth along the shoreline. Eventually uncle Whitey had cleared away enough land to make 5 spacious campsites on the water. They encouraged other family members to come up with them & a family tradition was born.

Each July & August the waterfront sites were filled with family. Aunts, uncles, cousins. Later the cousins brought their children & grandchildren. With each passing year more memories were made. We’d often sit around the campfire as a whole & swap tales of old. The fishing here is good & at some point in time it became competitive, so much so that we held a Biggest Fish” contest each season. Whom ever caught “the big one” that year received THE trophy with his or her name engraved upon it, the year, & the size of their fish. In addition to this a picture would be taken of the individual with their catch. The album went along with the trophy. This trophy became a much coveted item & the names upon it grew.

My cousin Mark was the last to win the coveted prize. That was 5 years ago. Now the trophy sits on the mantel next to his ashes at the home of his widow Carol. The family is in agreement, the trophy should remain there. Maybe sometime down the road we may start another one. But for now….

So many relatives who once camped here are no longer with us. My uncle Whitey & aunt Kay are both gone. So is their daughter Sharon. Mark, his mother-my aunt, Barb, & our uncle Gil. When I was a teenager here one Summer, I met my “first love”, a local boy. A few years later we married & had a daughter. The marriage didn’t last & he too is no longer living. But I still hold memories of all of them being here. Good memories. Happy memories. Being here brings them a little closer for a while.

At the end of each stay we’d all gather together & take a group photo of all who were here. There’d be so many of us we’d have to cram tightly together. This year the photo will be just Don & I.

Writing today’s blog was tough but comforting in a way. Thanks for bearing with me. Here’s lookin’ at you kid…………….


Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Bittersweet Memories

  1. What nice memories. I can see why your Aunt Kay fell in love with the place…it’s so pretty and peaceful.

  2. Anonymous

    A very nice read Gayle, almost brought me to tears. I hope you find another trophy and continue the tradition.
    Scott & I will have to visit Trout lake, it sure looks beautiful.

    • Michelle, I did have a hard time writing this one. I put it off for 4 days not knowing how or what to say. Decided on the short version, it was easiest. Still cried while typing in though remembering my loved ones & moments that we had shared.

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