Lake Erie, ON - Paul Tann
My Watermark is Lake Erie, Ontario.
I grew up in Leamington, Ontario, a lakefront community of Lake Erie. I do not remember a time where the lake or access to it was not part of my everyday life. It was a place to play, to be alone or to meet friends.
My father was an avid sailor and most summer weekends were spent on the lake, cruising and getting lectured on the finer points of the pastime. Weekends away were easy to pack for. My sister and I would bring bathing suits and dad would grab a bucket of chicken. Thusly prepared, we were set for 48 hours of trimming sails and learning that rope is actually "whats for sale at the hardware store! Once its on a boat its called a line".
I will always recall fondly my first cup of lake coffee. Around the age of 12 with no drinks left and having just finished off the last stale colemans cooler chicken thigh, I found myself very thirsty. My father upon hearing this, did not bat an eye, but simply dipped an old coffee cup into the lake, threw a spoonful of instant coffee in it and handed it to me. I drank, cautiously at first but ended with a gulp and a smile. My dark caffeinated master, where have you been all my life.
I still drink coffee, some would say to excess. But cold Lake Erie coffee on a hot June day will always have a special place in my heart.
The lake is part of me, I cannot be separated from it as there is no point where I end and it begins.