My Watermark is Lake Huron, Ontario.
In the 1960's, the Cross family rented a tiny pink cottage on Second Street in Southampton, Ontario. There were two bedrooms, a kitchen and a small living room/dining room. The bathroom was a two piece bathroom without a shower or a bathtub. We were on a septic tank system and we had a well for water to drink. Every summer, my Dad, Mom, two sisters and brother stayed for two weeks in that tiny pink cottage.
Our athletic activities included golf, tennis and roller skating. Our social outings were trips to the Southampton pier to watch the fishermen bring in the catch of the day with the seagulls closely behind. We also made trips to the Port Elgin dairy to drink Ginger Beer and Chocolate Soldier soda at the dairy bar. But most of all, it was our five minute walk to the Lake Huron beach, that brought the whole family together. We packed sand toys, balls and our sun tan lotion for our time at the beach. We put our towels on the hot sand, played in the water with balls, built sand castles and jumped off the swing in mid-flight to the hot sand below. We stayed for hours on the Lake Huron shore.
As I write this Watermark, I look down at the kitchen floor at the National Water Centre and I note the pattern on the floor. The tartan pattern is the same as my two piece bathing suit worn on our family trips to the beach.
Our family, who walked to the beach, also cleaned up in the lake, as most families did. Every second day we were adding more phosphates into the water. It was a time of innocence. Now some 50 years later you would be shocked to see a family take a bath in any lake.
We as Waterkeepers must continue to be diligent in our quest for clean water so that we are able to swim, drink and fish in the years to come.
By the way, the pink house on Second Street is now painted a beautiful shade of blue.