Growing up in Windermere meant that I lived in the heart of Winter Wonderland. It snowed, and snowed. To the adults living there, this meant a constant battle against nature. To us children, FUN!
I have several memories that specifically include snowbanks, tunnels and skating on the frozen lake. But the ones I will mention here are glimpses of my childhood life.
At 10 year of age, I had become very adventurous. And daring.
Next door to our house was the Windermere Fire Hall. It was no more than a hut with a corrugated mental roof, similar to one shown above. In winter time, it would have been more trouble than it was worth to keep the snow from accumulating on the roof, so this building did the job by itself.
Except for one thing, the snow that slipped off the roof, accumulated on the sides of the building, allowing the neighbourhood children a foothold for trying to scale the heights. I don’t think anyone ever got more than halfway up, but the slide down was precipitous and heart-thumping excitement.
Fortunately, no one ever got hurt.
The other game in town was climbing up on the roofs of the various summer cottages there. The top picture gives an approximation of what it was like.
It was one evening when I found out that being the son of a United Church minister gave me no special privileges.
As usual we had been climbing a snow laden roof, when one of the caretakers came along and told us to get down. (Obviously, we could have caused damage to the cottage or ourselves, for that matter.)
Anyway, I called down to the man, “My dad’s the minister…” To which he responded without missing a beat:
“I don’t care if you’re the son of God Almighty, come down.”
That put me in my place, with my feet firmly on the ground.
I’ve never forgotten, either, to stay humble in the presence of authority.