Pickle Lake

We are praising God for a good week in the north!

When we teach VBS in Pickle Lake, there are many things that remind me I am no longer in Elkhart. There are the mosquitos and black flies, dense clouds around the bodies, whirling and buzzing and biting ankles and hair lines and ears. There is the dog at the local restaurant, nodding pleasantly through the open door as Marnell and I drank coffee on a morning date. There is the sign “Pickle Lake Airways” above the dock on Pickle Lake where a float plane is tied, bobbing with the waves. There is the local store where I picked out a bottled raspberry Coke, where frozen pizza is for sale next to a couch and boat motor, also both for sale. There is a fluency with boats and float planes and helicopters, and the sounds they make, and the skills needed to manage them, as if those transportation forms are their own language and the people living here are bilingual. There is the wildness and bigness that is hard to define, like the startling music of a loon wailing across the lake, through the slender trunks of the scrappy pines and birches, and into the screened in cabin where we play games and eat snacks. There is the water, ever rolling and swelling. The lake reflects the sky and swallows the fat drops of rain and the churning white wakes of the boats, bringing Lord Byron’s ocean poem to my head. Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin; his control stops with the shore….

But the thing that always convinces me that I’m on the frontier is the sign close to Harvey and Carolyn’s, which I quote to the best of my memory.


Here are my favorite photos from the week. I don’t have many shots of VBS since I was a little too busy to be taking pictures most of the time. So you’ll see us in our more relaxed moments, such as our handsome VBS superintendent here by an Alberta water bomber.

Cousin Karonna heroically cut the onion and pepper for our cabin cooked breakfast burritos.

Niece Eunice eating two friends. (More handiwork of Karonna.)

Now that she’s eaten her friends, she needs to do something to pass the time…

The male crew chatting with forest firefighting friend Taylor.

Keith and Trishia cozy at the cabin.

Expert fish fryer Harvey with assistant Chandler.

Somehow Derek befriended Goofy, the introverted cat.

Our fearless host Carolyn on a beautiful night.

A little boat ride with my love 😍

And with the water bomber…

Good bye, Pickle Lake!

If you wake up in the middle of the night, pray for us… we will likely be on the road somewhere in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

Update: we made it home safe and sound today around 11:30.  Thanks for your prayers!


14 thoughts on “Pickle Lake”

  1. Lowell & Doris

    Sounds like you had a good time!! Any idea why we can view 4 of your photos on our computers, but the other 10 we can’t?

  2. Hi, wondering what VBS is?? Am enjoying your blog…… I read it every Saturday night while rocking my almost 2 year old son😊

  3. Hi, wondering what VBS is?? Am enjoying your blog….read it every Saturday evening while rocking our almost 2 year old son😊

    1. I’m sorry! Vacation Bible School… we spend the mornings teaching Bible stories, songs and crafts.
      And I live the visual of you reading the blog while rocking your son!

  4. My daughter is with a VBS team at Deer Lake First Nation this week. (only one degree farther north than Pickle Lake!) May God give the increase!!!! 🙂

  5. My daughter is with a VBS team at Deer Lake First Nation this week. (only one degree farther north than Pickle Lake!) May God give the increase!!!! 🙂

  6. I look forward to your inspirational writings each week! It would be interesting to go to Pickle Lake again and see what all has changed. When I was there Harvey’s cabin was still being constructed. I also wonder some times what has become of the little 3-5 yr. olds I taught.

    1. How interesting! I suppose the 3-5 year olds are no longer coming. Marnell wonders if you remember which year that was?

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top

Never Miss An Update!

* indicates required