The Marnie Tree

Claude and Joyce Watson had three children, a son named Roger, and two daughters: Diane and Marnie. They worked hard to forge a good living for themselves and their kids, and eventually they were able to buy a dream property at Christina Lake. It was undeveloped at first, until Claude erected a plywood walled one-room cabin to sleep in – a woodshed really, and an outhouse. Once the “shack” had been built and stained in a redwood colour, Claude got busy landscaping. He bought a cement mixer and using stones from the beach, built rock retaining walls along with concrete stairways. Joyce helped Claude select and move the stones into place. A poet and painter, Joyce took great delight in the spectrum of colour that the rocks reflected.

When Marnie, the youngest, went away to school, Joyce planted a little spruce sapling which became known as The Marnie Tree – a symbol that was never defined by any words except for the name that eventually became attached to it. Time marches on. The old shack was eventually relegated to the role of tool shed and replaced by a lovely well-equipped cabin. Later the shack was dismantled entirely. Through all renovations, the Marnie Tree was preserved. Claude, Joyce and their firstborn, Roger have now passed away, and the property has gone to Diane and Marnie. The Marnie Tree has come to be a significant monument for the family. Children get older and age lays claim to youth, but the tree grows more splendid year after year.

Christopher Watson and Amanda Watson, two of Joyce and Claude’s great grandchildren, sitting under The Marnie Tree.
Joyce and Claude’s Christina Lake home. The spruce to the right is the Marnie Tree.
Joyce and Claude’s cabin. The rock walls are still hanging in there.

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