Look what I have picked from our raised garden beds. The strawberries plants were shipped to BC from Prince Edward Island two years ago. Now they are at the peak of their production. A bowl a day provides a healthy collection of jam, cake topping, or just the pleasure of eating them
Located near Essen is the beautiful lake Baldeney, a dammed reservoir of the Ruhr River. It was the destination of one of our first family excursions on a sunny spring day. It would become our favourite recreation spot. Lake Baldeney has personal significance for me because it changed my life forever. But I won’t get ahead of myself.
My dad, who loved nature and, above all, water sports, was delighted to have this jewel of a lake in our vicinity. It would still take some effort to travel there by bus, but these outings were recreational highlights and brightened our otherwise drab existence in the Old House.
My dad and I walked approximately 16 km distance through forests and fields a few times. I felt very proud to keep up with my dad on these long hikes. My brother, who was not fond of swimming in cold water and hated exertion, seldom accompanied us.
My dad and I would often daydream about the future on those hikes. We envision a beautiful home built on a hill surrounded by forests and overlooking a big lake. Far, in the end, this dream would come true for me at the Arrow Lakes in Canada. On his last visit to Canada before his death, my father experienced the fulfilment of our vision for a short time with us.
The first time we walked barefoot at the shore of Lake Baldeney, we were puzzled that our feet were sooty black even after a swim in the clear water. At that time, the coal industry was still in total production, and there was heavy pollution around Essen. As seen in these pictures, blue skies were rare in my childhood, but I appreciated it when we had them.