2023: Visting Canton Lake

My husband has a new truck and it needed some highway miles, or maybe we did. Yesterday we made a trip to Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma. It is an area still near and dear to my heart. I grew up there on weekends. My family had a boat and my parents loved to fish. The kids just loved to eat the final product. The original mobile home was one bedroom for five people. Mom and Dad got the bedroom and my sisters and I slept on the couch, cots, or the floor. We were young and didn’t mind. It was an adventure.

Yesterday, the water level was low, due to the current drought conditions in that part of the state. Sandy Beach, where we played a children, had buoys laying on the sand. They were supposed to keep the boats and swimmers separate, but I didn’t see a boat on the water. And it was too cold to swim. It would be nice if California could send us some water since they have an overabundance. But Mother Nature has a plan—I guess.  

The place in the Canadian Recreational area, where my family had a trailer years ago, has been abandoned. I don’t know what the Corp of Engineers has in mind for this area now, but the neighborhood is gone. There is weekend camping across the road near the water.

One reason for traveling to Canton Lake was to see it again. I am writing a novel set at that location and things have changed. The way I had it in my mind I could sit on our deck and see the ruins of the old Fort Cantonment. That too has been razed and abandoned. The cove we fished and played in is full of weeds, but you can still use the boat ramp.

But it doesn’t matter that Canton has changed in the last 50 years. What matters is the story and the feelings it evokes for me. I love the area even though it is windy and cold one day and muggy and hot the next. My family was drawn closer together on those weekends. My dad did his best to rid the lake of fish, and we ate them. Friends were made and relationships bloomed. Canton made me feel like a part of nature. It was good for all of us to join together with a like goal. Dad could unwind from the week’s work, and maybe some sibling rivalries could be settled. Mom didn’t cook as much since most of that took place outdoors. We all relaxed.

Those were good days. You can’t go back but you can remember what once was. What did your family do when you were young that made a big impression on you?

What are you reading/writing this week?


About peggylchambers

Peggy Chambers calls Enid, Oklahoma home. She has been writing for several years and is an award winning, published author, always working on another. She spends her days, nights, and weekends making up stories. She attended Phillips University, the University of Central Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Enid Writers’ Club, and Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. There is always another story weaving itself around in her brain trying to come out. There aren’t enough hours in the day!
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