Lighthouse Story

“Point Clark 1963–1964”

We moved there (Lightkeeper’s House) in March, 1963. The ground was covered with snow. We lived there until July, 1964. The day we left was the only really hot day I can remember in that time. Blair, our oldest don, celebrated his first birthday there in April, 1963.

It was a happy time in our lives. Summer was busy, busy, busy! Sunday was picnic day. One week I made eighteen apple pies. Grandma Carruthers lived with us that summer and produced mounds of biscuits.

Elmer had a cedar strip boat with a seven horse power motor. We spent evenings in the boat. Blair loved the ride; it was guaranteed to put him to sleep for the night.

Other evenings the families fathered around and we had music, games and conversation. Bill Leanard would play the piano and Mrs. Leonard would treat us to homemade peach and grape wine. The Lowrys, Jamiesons, Johnstons and other family members joined us many times.

One day Bill Wharry saw Blair wonder into the muck at the edge of the lake. Bill waited until Blair was thoroughly stuck and crying, then fished him our and brought him home.

Sometimes we watched the lake freighters and the yachts. On starry nights we toasted marshmallows, sang around the campfire, told ghost stories and located the constellations.

Suddenly, it was Labour Day; everyone went home. Bill and Mrs. Leonard stayed. Peace and quiet reigned.

In September, the whole area was ours. Blair and I and his dog “Bite” walked for miles. We examined fossils, birds, leaves and shells. “Bite” proudly presented us with rotting fish. He chased sea gulls and fell out of the boat.

We watched the leaves turn to purple, yellow, red and orange, then fall. The lake became a dear friend with many moods. If it was smooth as glass and calm within twenty-four hours it became rough and riled. It changed colours from palest blue to darkest green to navy trimmed with white. It was quiet or very loud.

John F. Kennedy died; then winter came.

Winter at Point Clark was isolated and drafty. It lasted forever. I rocked my baby and huddled by the stove. The bluejays complained and the woodpeckers banged away. The wind whistled around the lighthouse and through the kitchen. The light flashed on and on. Dampness seeped into everything. Little mice crept in out of the cold. The waves froze.

Then it was Spring!

In Spring we fished for smelt and suckers, found the trilliums, violets and columbines. We sar ferns; the carp spawned.

Elmer then joined the O.P.P. and was stationed in Mount Forest. We have three sons. Brent and Craig were born in Mount Forest. I work at the Post Office there. When Elmer retires from the Ontario Provincial Police we hope to retire to Point Clark. It is still a special spot in our lives.

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