The part of her book that related to Lake Koronis involves the one real vacation that her family was able to take when Clarys was young. As a farming family the luxury of leaving for a period of time just didnít exist. Her parents and another family decided to join together so that the combination of their eight children would have one ďgenuine vacationĒ in their childhood.
It must have been quite a production to gather all the equipment necessary for a weekís vacation at the South Koronis Community Park (now the Koronis Regional Park). A large tent, canvas, pillows, blankets, packed bags of clothes, and food prepared by the mothers were loaded in their cars for the seven-mile trip. The camp was set on high ground, close to Lake Koronis.
Each day the fathers would eat breakfast with their families and then head to their farms to complete all of the work. They returned in the evening for supper and then stayed overnight. During the day the mothers and the eight children were easily entertained by all the activities. I can picture the children in a whirlwind of fun running from the beach to the park, swimming and swinging all day long.
ďHub Haines had a huge flat-bottomed scow of a boat that he towed to our beach. It could not be tipped or swamped and there were no such things as life jackets. We simply looked out for each other,Ē writes Clarys. As I imagined eight children frolicking in the water, I wondered how they all survived without life jackets. I know how much commotion my two children have made in the water in the past, and I canít imagine adding six more and having eight come out safely at the end of the vacation.
As the week progressed other necessary supplies were brought from home. Clarys remembered that, ďLittle by little mattresses and even springs found their way for the two grown-up couples.Ē As an adult who has slept on the hard ground for a couple of nights, I know that for me a mattress would have been the first item brought out to the campsite.
Clarys shared that the most work the children had to do was carry an occasional pail of water up from the lake to the campsite. I can imagine that the mothers probably had a bit more to do than the children. More than likely before the trip began they prepared all kinds of food, readied all the gear, and then once at Koronis they manned the camp, prepared the meals, did the dishes, and supervised the activities. As a mother I can relate to each bit of energy that goes into a vacation being worth a hundred times as much in enjoyment. To see children appreciating the lake, each other, and exploring a different setting is a great reward in itself.
Thatís the beauty of Lake Koronis. The lake has provided a multitude of opportunities over the years for respite and renewal for all generations. In her book Clarys is obviously thankful for her opportunity at a young age to camp by the lake. Iím thankful for another wonderful summer of endless opportunities for my family to be entertained by a view from the lake.
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