Winters at the cottage were entirely different. Our 5 year old son was puzzled when we planned a trip one January day. He had only seen the Bend in the summer and couldn't understand why he didn't need his bathing suit. Before we left for Saudi in '84 the woods behind the cottage flooded and froze -- a perfect skating surface for our daughters. Pulling a sled behind the car caused screams of excitement and exploring snow caves was a real adventure. Returning to the warm cottage for hot chocolate was a treat even when my sister-in-law tried to make it in an electric kettle!
As the years passed we have had many visitors from overseas and all have been brought to Grand Bend. Without exception they are astounded by the size and beauty of the lake and love the quirkiness of the village. On the first visit our son-in-law made, Cam awoke us all at about 2 am to see the Northern Lights. Phil has never forgotten and has developed as great a love of the Bend as any of us.
Last July Cam's great nephew and his mother visited us from Japan. Kai had never met any of his Canadian relatives and spent his 6th birthday here. On his first visit to the Bend his grandfather bought him fries at the Cheryl Ann, introducing him to a Taylor summer tradition. At first he was cautious of wading into the lake but soon lost that fear and cried when he had to leave. Lake Huron had captured the heart of yet another Taylor. Now we have a grandson, Luca, and he too has been to Grand Bend and swung on the same swing his father and grandfather did, erected so many years ago, played on the same beach and in the same cottage. There is a 5th generation of Taylors now coming to Bert's Kingsmere Cottage and soon there may be a 6th. His original dream of building an intergenerational gathering place has been amply achieved as the younger generations, who would have had little knowledge of each other as second and third cousins, have instead a central summer home at which to become acquainted.