In 1975 a friend’s son spotted a sign at the grocery store advertising a shack tent and lease for sale. The family phoned my parents Dan and Marilyn Moneo of Assiniboia and they purchased the cabin over the phone sight unseen from the Riddel family of Regina. Thus began our Waskesiu adventures.
This little green cabin was a tiny two room shack tent with a bedroom in one corner and an L shaped kitchen/living room combination furnished with a bed, couch, wicker rocker, table and chairs, kerosene lamp, knick- knacks and a totally awesome kitchen cabinet (hoosier) and and equally awesome woodstove. My first visit was on a Sept. long weekend. I arrived in the evening. It was cold and dark but inside my mom was cooking a lasagna and stoking the stove. My dad arrived shortly after with the boat and filleted fish from a day spent fishing.
To our family from the southern town of Assiniboia this cabin was far north and considered a totally different lifestyle from what we were used to. It was rustic and outdoors with lakes, forests and animals not found in our home area. All this made Waskesiu unique and we fell in love with it.
A tiny front deck and the lack of running water with communal bathrooms and shower facilities lent to meeting your neighbor and many impromptu conversations. Many say they miss that part of the communal water situation but only that part.
The little green cabin was soon replaced by a cedar cabin with a larger back deck and a fireplace, spiral staircase and loft. It was the first of many similar designs that were built in the late 70’s.
With this new cabin we were still stuck with only the letter and number that showed this was our cabin. The non-descript name of P2 was not the most flattering letter combination. My dad looked at our compact little cabin filled with fishing equipment and flanked by his ever present boat and named the cabin “The Tackle Box”. This was the most perfect name as the majority of our days at Waskesiu were centered around fishing and boating. Dan and Marilyn both loved to fish on Crean. Most fishing trips were day long affairs with travel time to and from the marina, passing through the Heart Lakes and trolling their favorite spots. Lunch was usually on one of the islands with King Island being a favorite.
The years passed with each of Dan and Marilyn’s children and grandchildren being given plenty of opportunity to immerse themselves in “The Tackle Box” and many varied experiences of Waskesiu.
After Dan’s death in 2003 the cabin was bought by their daughter Sandra and her husband Ray Styranka and as of the fall of 2017 the property has been sold again. With this sale “The Tackle Box” will be replaced by a larger more modern cabin.
Hopefully the love and memories will continue in the new replacement cabin on the original piece of land. As for the original “Tackle Box” it will be moved to another nearby lake. And to it’s new young family, it is our wish that they make lasting memories in our “Tackle Box” as their family settles into their new cabin.
Sandra Moneo Styranka
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