Anderson, Amy (Osterhout)

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
Amy's memories of growing up on Warner's Lake

Growing up, I think I took it for granted living on a lake (Warners Lake). It was just something that was there. I could swim when I wanted or skate during the winter. If I wanted to be alone, I would take a rowboat out to the center of the lake and sit there, undisturbed. I explored every inch surrounding that lake in the fall when the water was lowered. We searched for things. Treasures. All things were treasures in the mind of a child. The fall was always so beautiful around the lake. The colors inspired me to paint. The calm waters acted like a mirror, reflecting the beautiful colors of the mountains in its surface.

The winter was a different time. Back then; you could count on your hands the number of lights in the houses surrounding the lake at night. These were the year round people. There were kids at each end of the lake and a few along Jones Lane and Ridge Lane and us. We would get together, usually by skating or if we were lucky, snow-moiling. We were all about the same age and we would have a great time hanging out way past dark. We always knew it was time to come home when we saw the lights from our house flashing. This was our parent’s way of signaling us home.

It’s funny, spring on the lake was not only a time of thawing, but it was a time of activity. As soon as the first nice days appeared, the summer people would start to come up for the day. They would open their camps, turn the water back on, put their docks back in and the lake would start to come alive. We as the year round kids, anticipated this time. We would get to see some of our summer friends. We anxiously awaited the lazy days of summer when every house was full of people and there was tons of fun to be had.

During the summer, the Lake Association was in full swing, making sure that there was never a dull moment. We, of course, had Sunday night movies in my parent’s picnic area, dinner dances that you couldn’t wait until you were old enough to go to. We had sailboat races, if that’s what you called them. Some of the boats I recall may or may not have been sailboats. They floated, but I’m not sure that they sailed. I remember people laying on the front of the boats with their arms in the water paddling. We had family day picnics where we got to see all the different faces from around the lake. It was such a fun place to live, and to be part of.

Now, I bring my children there. I want them to love the lake as much as I do. I want them to have days of nothing to do but swim. I want them to dig clay from the lake bottom and make presents for me. I want them to fish with their grandpa and catch the biggest fish in the lake. I want them to skate until they are so freezing that nothing in the world tastes better than grandma’s hot cocoa. I loved my life on Warner’s Lake.

Steve and Amy Anderson with their twins Tyler and Kyle