Say It Isn't So

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Okay I'm not quite done with the worms yet but I am going to lay them to rest.

My Father belonged to a fishing club. A group of guys who all went in, kind of time share like, on some land with 3 lakes on it. It was nestled in the middle of nowhere near a place north of Montreal called Mont Tremblant. They had a big log lodge built on a point that separated 2 of the lakes. It was an immense thing with a top floor that was one huge dorm style bedroom filled with single beds/cots. Downstairs was the kitchen, a dining room, a lounge and a game room. Once the fishing day was done the drinking and poker games took over. They hired a couple to look after the grounds, etc. and keep the place stocked and of course do the cooking. There were about 100 of them and it cost them each $100.00 canadian a year for their membership dues. It was so well liked by these men that one could only get in when another one died. You could say they were life members!

Every one would have a meeting and hash out (book) their week and/or weekends when they would have their lodge time. There was a rule that no one was allowed to break. NO WOMEN OR CHILDREN ALLOWED except during the month of August! So my Dad would get a week when he and his buddies (other members) and my brothers had the lodge, then he would book another week when we women could go. I looked forward to it every year. This place was fabulous!

I learned to fish. This entailed taking a wriggly earthworm and affixing it to a hook. I was a little squeamish about this (not as much as the worm was) but got the deed done. Of course I never caught a fish until I became a teenager, but I got in lots of practice. The best part was being out on the lakes in a motor boat (small 5HP engine) and exploring. There were beaver, bear and moose along the shores. This was Canada! This was the North! This was the middle of nowhere! (I forgot to mention that the only way to get to the fishin' lodge was by boat.)

We kids had more to do than just fish and explore. There was a dock that we could swim off of. The water was not shallow, so there was a little ladder to get back onto the dock. The water there was covered in spiders. Water spiders. They actually walk on the water. They weren't too small either so it was kind of intimidating when just your head is level with the top of the water and these arachnids are waltzing around in front of you. Luckily, no I think they knew what they were doing, they always got out of the way. There was also a big wooden box on the platform. It held salt, massive quantities of salt, and a scoop. You'd wonder why they would need all that salt. It wasn't winter - it was only August - winter was next month. But you knew what it was for the minute you crawled out of the water and your body was covered in these squirmy, writhing little things that looked like chicken livers!. You knew what it was for when you realized that you could not pull these little creatures off your body. You knew what it was for when your father laughs at your attempts to rid yourself of these little suckers and shows you how to take the scooper of salt and remove the critters one by one. Leeches, an ancient form of medical wonder, lurking in the deep dark waters of northern Quebec.

Fascinating place. My love of this world we live in was further enhanced by this place that I will never forget.


At 10:14 AM, September 26, 2005, Blogger mdmhvonpa said...

Heh ... leaches ... I remember those buggers. Kinda makes me miss Minnesota when you talk about that stuff. Really!

At 10:09 PM, September 26, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

It's like the further north you go the bigger the bugs get. Except, I've never seen a cockroach as big as some in Texas!

At 9:14 AM, September 27, 2005, Blogger mouse said...

Just to set the record straight, I have never actually seen a cockroach in Texas, but my nieces who live there told me all about them.

At 5:20 PM, October 13, 2005, Blogger Amy Byrd said...


I loved this story! My family went up to Manitoba to Lake of the Woods for a vacation once. My father is an avid fisherman, and each day he spent most of his time trolling for walleye. One day he took the three of us, and to this day, we all still laugh about it. After us being too squirrelly and eeewey to put the worm on the hook, he spent the whole day putting worms on hooks and taking giant fish off our lines. We caught tons of walleye and northern pike.

It was another world up there! I lived for six years in New York state near the Canadian border and know well the atmosphere you speak of. I also know about leeches. I never got one in our favorite swimming hole in the Grass River, but some of my friends did. I think if some doctor, trying to put a severed finger back onto my hand, suggested leech treatment to aid in the healing, I'd decline. I am so grossed out by those things just reading about them gives me the willies.


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