• Jillian Bleackley

The Candy Store- A Sweet Memory

Updated: May 12, 2020




When I was in school and my teachers asked me what I did over my summer vacation, there was only one answer; visited Totem Pole Resort on Shuswap Lake.


Since summer is fast approaching, I thought for today's blog post I would share with you some of my sweetest memories of those summers on the lake. We would rent an a-frame cabin that was, of course, not wheelchair friendly but that didn't matter because my dad and mom used to carry me upstairs all of the time. I remember that we didn't have a dishwasher, so my parents would wash dishes by hand. I slept in the loft with my brother and sister. I remember the people too; John, the neighbor next door and Nick Grey, the boy that I had the biggest crush on.

I remember packing up our earthly possessions and filling the trailer with whatever we would need including my dad's old boat, so he could catch fish on the lake. My ultimate favorite memory was when after supper our parents would take us down to the candy store because we ate all of our supper. We could pick anything we wanted from the candy store. My favorite candy was always the wax Coke bottles, even though they were a little slimy. My other favorite were called Ring Pops. They were made up of a plastic ring with a hard candy center in the middle. I sucked on those things until they were finished.

It wasn't only the candy store that I remember. I remember the mixtape we used to listen to while driving. I specifically remember one song called La Bamba by Ritchie Valens. Every time I hear it now, in my mind we are driving down that old dirt road and turning into the Totem Pole Resort. My brother, sister and I would always ask if we were there yet because we were three kids anxious to get our summer vacation started.

I also remember my first real crush. His name was Nick, and I got to hang out with him every summer. He was thirteen, I was five. I don't think he ever knew I had a crush on him, but he does now. Nick- if you're reading this, I hope you like it! He was more like a big brother to me, but I'll always remember his lanky frame and freckles. Sorry Nick, but that's just how I remember you.

We had weenie roasts and campfires. We even had sing-a-longs on the beach. There's a video of me trying to sing Puff The Magic Dragon. At the time I thought it was simply about a dragon, but now I know that song could have a double meaning.

We stopped going in 1995 for one reason I don't recall. Perhaps it was just the fact that we all grew up, but I'll always have the delicious memories of Shuswap Lake and the candy store. Thank you mom and dad. You have no idea how sweet those memories are.

What is your favorite vacation story and why?

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