WINTER IN HERB LAKE
By Linda C Butler
Told by Millie McLaughlin
Winter was a lot of fun in Herb Lake, and as soon as the swamps froze we started skating. Sometimes we played crack the whip, with the older kids taking the lead and the rest forming a line behind, with the younger kids at the end. The older kids would skate fast and we hung on as long as we could. The leaders would turn and crack the whip and the kids at the end of the line would go flying into the willow bushes. I was one of those little kids that usually landed in the willows.
When the lake froze, and before much snow had fallen, we skated on the ice, which was the biggest skating rink that anyone could wish for. The town of Herb Lake was spread out over a distance of about a mile and a half, from Stoltz’s place on the south to Bryenton’s Island on the north. People of all ages skated back and forth along the shoreline. On bright moonlight nights there would be skating parties with large groups of people on the ice. Sometimes people along the shore would light bonfires so we could warm up if we were cold.
Usually in February there would be a few days of warm weather and we would have winter bonfires, much like a picnic, with everyone joining in. We ate potatoes roasted in the coals with hot dogs and had a fun time. Herb Lake in the winter was never dull.