by Karen McVeen
The word Lagoon, might hold an eerie connotation for some. For me, the very
sound of the word, brings alive fond memories of my childhood.
We were a family of six, of very moderate means. Dad, a paint contractor, grew
up with the tumultuous Lake Erie in his backyard, and was an avid swimmer and
boater, He decided long before we came along, that boating and swimming would be
part of our upbringing, And so it was. He saved what little he had, bought a 26
ft. steel cabin cruiser,and later bought a lot, upon which he built a dock. Thus life began on the Vermilion Lagoon. Every Wednesday (when not in school) and Sunday, come rain or come shine (whether we wanted to stay home with our friends, or not), we would hear mom’s broom beating against the metal pole in the basement. The sound would vibrate upward through the clothes shoot, beckoning us out of a restful sleep to get moving, put our swim suits on, and be in the car in twenty minutes, destination:The
Though the boat was docked on the Lagoon, it was but a tributary to the vast
Lake Erie, that my Dad loved so intensely, and that we grew to love, and do
until this day.
The Lagoon bonded our family in a way, of which some were envious. It opened
adventures to us that we unlikely would have experienced otherwise. We learned
to entertain ourselves and each other (while my Dad worked on the boat engines.We barbecued on the dock, and swam both in the lake and the Lagoon.
Camping out on the boat, was an exercise in futility for our parents(as we kids,
screamed about what we thought, were tarantulas crawling around inside the boat.
In reality they were simply lake spiders that were harmless.
That Lagoon, led us to places we would never have had the opportunity to
experience. There was nothing like a fun filled ride to Cedar Point, Put-in-Bay,
or to Canada. Excitement would mount, to get to our destination, as the engines
roared. We would scream with delight, as the wind blew through our hair.,and In
rough waters, the nose of the boat would dip down and scoop up a wave, tossing
it over the boat, drenching everyone in the back, to the bone.
As we returned from our ever exciting trips, the quiet Lagoon welcomed us home.
As kids, there were times when we wished we had never left the Lagoon. Storms
blew up fast, on a very shallow Lake Erie,often with no time to escape its
wrath. As the waves surrounded and bashed the boat, and obstructed the view of
the channel, you breathed a sigh of relief, as the Lagoon ( a safe haven),
welcomed you home.