Wednesday, May 30, 2007
My wife told me that next time we hear a bang like that, we need to run to the corner. Forgive me. I've done that now several times. I can only stand seeing so many dead people. I can now count at least 5 deaths at our corner. I feel like a bad civilian to hesitate to help. My rational is that there are 2 house closer to the scene than me. My conscience kind of hurts to think that I wouldnt run out to help. Its just that I DONT WANT TO. It took me almost a year to get over the last death. It sounds selfish of me and it hurts because I pride myself in being a good neighbour.
SO....... I guess I am just going to have to pray that if another accident happens, that I will be up north getting bitten by blackflies....because if I hear the bang again, I will look sadly at my wife...and get my clothes on, and head to the corner to help.....darn
Last Friday night I was making the big trek up north for another weekend of Northern fun. It was 9 pm and I still had another 4 hours of travel. I thought " I need to pick up a hitch hiker"
As I turned the corner, there he was. A hitch hiker in all his stinky, unkept, unshaven glory. He was a street man and he looked it. Thank goodness I had the top down on the convertable....he really really stank! As he climbed in my car he said " All my belongiongs are in this bag...heck of a way for a system engineer to live" I asked him where he was going. He told me and I calculated that it would put me an hour out of my way.
What the heck. Whats an hour? I asked him why he was heading to Midland. He told me he was starting a new job. He said he had to rip apart and rebuild some operating systems. He was in the process of analyzing and computer mimicking a particular voice. I know a bit about computers and I knew he was lying to me, but I went along with the game. He had a cell phone with him which he used to call "Emily" I learned by eavesdropping that Emily is a computer voice in a voice message center. He was laughing and joking with her...the voice. I felt sorry.
He kept looking out to the stars. He told me he had never been in such a vehicle before. He was quite intrigued. He asked if I could put the roof up. The problem is he stank so bad I refused cause I didnt want to puke. I put on a jacket and told him that it was a new car and the novelty of driving with out the roof was still overwhelming. He buttoned up a bit and we continued on our journey.
I began to notice, that as the music changed, so did the conversation. I found this quite amusing, because it became evident that the music was controlling the things this fellow said. As the song changed so did the conversation.
I dropped him off at his desired location. The corner of main street and Elizabeth. I could see his excitement as we got closer. Finally he said OK this is the stop. He was grateful and I said goodbye.
I didnt get to my destination until 2am, but I was happy and content.
Next day we spent 5 hours in the canoe on Temagami river. We got chewed by the blackflies! I have never had it so bad. Even though we were wearing bug jackets, we still got slaughtered. After 5 hours, I stripped down and jumped in the river for releif. I was covered in bites....and bleeding too! I mean really bleeding. I had to take anti-histamines. What a mess. I think I even got poisened by it, because I couldnt make it to work on Monday. I was a mess! I have never been abused by bugs like that before.....I cant waith till weekend after next cause I'm going back for more!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Dan, Brian, Bruce and I went camping/canoeing on a remote island in Northern Algonquin. It was the long May weekend and spirits were high and we had ample supply of "Northern Draft Balls" When we arrived to the island we chopped off a chunk of ice we found in the bay. We dug a whole in the ground, and put the draft balls and ice in. We covered it all over and Presto! Cold draft beer all weekend!
After a few mugs we heard other people on the other side of the island. We decided we would venture over and say hi. We partyed with them and then returned to our side of the island. On the way back, we came across a moose. Dan was really excited and ran back to the camp for his camera. We stayed on the side of the hill quietly. He returned and took a picture. We shouted.." get a little closer" He took several paces closer and took another picture. Again we shouted "get a little closer". Again Dan took several paces closer. This carried on until Dan was looking eye to eye with the moose. He took one last picture, and when the shutter went, the moose freaked and jumped at Dan. Dan tried to skurry but tripped on a log. The moose kicked Dan right in the head. He got up and ran like the wind. I know that it was the wrong reaction to laugh given the seriousness of the situation, but we couldnt help it. In fact, we laughed so hard our side were splitting.
Well Dan was a little upset by the whole ordeal. Bruce made one comment and Dan said "Thats it! I'm outta here. He grabbed all his belongings and headed out......across the island. We were thinking...How far could he go? We were after all on an island. The following day we headed out to find him. It had been raining all night. We found him in his shorts and soaking wet T shirt. He was standing there saying "Where am I and where is all my stuff?" We spent the rest of the day combing the island for Dans belongings. We found them in a sink hole covered in water. The only thing that stuck out of the water was Dan's "Canadian Dinner Jacket"
Surprisingly, his camera and the pictures survived the ordeal. Dan had the good sense of putting his camera in the waterproof canoe bag. I saw the pictures last time I saw him. I have asked his wife to find them and send me scans or copies. It would mean the world to me. However, without those pictures.......my memories still remain.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
So today, the family and friends are just trying to piece things together. The big question is always WHY? I understand that Dan had been depressed for a while. I dont know the particulars but I feel bad for my buddy and his family. I feel bad that Dan felt that his only hope or chance of peace was in taking his own life. I feel bad for the family, wondering if they failed him. Maybe they are angry at him or possibly ashamed.
I will remember Dan fondly. I will remember him for they way he was, before the world took its toll on him. Bye Dan. I hope your pain is gone.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
After that we took my buddies canoe up to the rapids on Sturgeon. We had been watching that stretch as a potential for boating. We decided that we would run that stretch of river in the after noon.
We left my car on the side of the logging road and drove the canoe to the top stretch of the river.There we embarked on the incredible journey.
The black flies were horrific. Thats a bug jacket in the front of the boat. It wasnt needed....yet.
You will notice that in this pic the camera seems a lttle foggy. Thats what happens after it has been dunked, submerged and dragged across rocks in the spring run off rapids. So my buddy the expert helmsman was shouting out the orders. He was holloring left,left,left,right,right,left,hold,hold,left,fast,faster,fast,
shit...swim...swim..hahha. You better beleive it...we sunk the ship!
We took in more and more water until finally the last wave flooded us. It was crazy. We both got bruised up abit. We lost everything that wasnt lashed in. We hung on and then righted the vessal in shallow water and hit the river again, this time in search of our belongings. We found the life jackets, the paddles, the bug jackets. We didnt find the bale bucket or MIkes boots.
We laughed and laughed at our stupidity. As we were counting the costs I realized...one more tragedy......MY CELL PHONE...ha. DagNabitt I lose more cell phones that way!
As we hit the last stretch in the river we encountered another decent set of rapids. We navigated the first OK but took on a little too much water. As we went over the three footer the nose of the canoe dove in like a submarine and slipped out of site! Ha...NOT AGAIN! Yes again. The canoe slipped out of our site and then back up. It was like 30 feet deep and we had nothing to grab onto or to stand on. We tried to swim it to shore. My buddy Mike was shouting that we abandon ship and head for shore. Hypothermia was setting in and we were both quite numb. We yelled push push as we tried to swim the boat to shore and out of the next rapids. We finally reached shore and then we noticed the boat.
We had put 4 large breaks in the hull. They looked to me like the 4 marks that would happen if a canoe got got folded like a pretzel and touched end to end. Sure I am embellishing the story a bit, BUT, we did ruin that Canoe. It was practically brand new. It cost Mike $1600.00
As we were sitting around his kitchen table laughing and licking our wounds I said... "You know Mike. Some people would pay $1000's of dollars for an experience like that!" He said.....WE JUST DID!...haha good thing he was at the helm and not me!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Jake has been a mentor to me. I have always been impressed with his heart, passion and ability. He has always given me the correct advice, though I have not always listened. I hope and pray that he will count me as a friend.
I will always remember his help when Susie and I took on the Erin VBS leadership. I have this picture of him in his billy boots, commonly known as wellies, (rubber boots)
Behind the scenes he encouraged me. He was shoulder for our tears and a cheer leader for our successes. He reminds me of a rooster we once had. That rooster would gather up the chicks and show them how to scratch, and peck and collect edibles. He would ruffle his feathers and stand guard for his chicks. Jakes passion for the lost and his love for our children were immense. I count myself lucky to have known him.
Heather was awesome too! I have nothing but great memories of her. I miss playing music with her. Her talent was tremendous. Her love and passion was infectious. It is a joy and an honor to know her.
We had the great fortune of watching his children grow. They are such a wonderful family. I especially liked working with Wilson. Watching Wilson grow in his music was precious. We played together on many occasions, including the Erin VBS band. I have a very fond memory of Wilson and pray that he continues to grow into a fine young man.
I guess its natural, but I cant help but feel a certain amount of guilt. I keep thinking, what if I did this, or what if I did that. Did I contribute to this in any way. Do I have anything that I need to ask forgiveness for, or do I have any unspoken praises that I neglected to show? I guess its natural, but I cant help but look at this like a loss. If Jake has left because of ANYTHING that I said or did, then I will be ashamed and I will be repentant. I will seek his forgiveness.
However, equally as important is I will stand by his decision. I will uphold him in prayer. I wish him all the best. I will offer my help and assistance in any way. I will attempt to repay him for his years of great service and friendship, by letting go, and telling him so.
Jake….You rock. I am truly sorry for anything I may have done or not done that may have hurt you. Thank you for being a mentor. Thank you for all your years of service. I count it a privilege to know you and I pray for nothing but the best for you and your family. You will always hold a fond place in my memory.
THANKYOU! ….may I call you brother?
Sunday, May 06, 2007
I am so shallow! or would it be materialistic. I question whether I should feel shame or remorse or if I should just revel in my fortune. So here it is.......For a long time, I have been waking up most mornings throwing up or wretching. I have a nervous stomach and I have a stressful job. I have always felt that it would some day kill me, so I have been planning my excape. Well my wife pointed something out to me the other day. She said, do you realize that you havnt puked since you got your new car? I thought about it and she was right. I feel so great when I drive my car that nothing could bother me....butter wouldnt melt in my mouth....the water rolls right off the ducks back......I'm cool as a cucumber....top down, wind in hair Kool. So I said to Sue. HHHHMMM I'm not sure now how to interpret all this. For one thing, there are people starving in the streets while I decide whether to drive with my top up or down. I feel a little dirty when I think about it..YET...I feel so friggin good I wanna split myself in 2 and conquer the world.
We went to a YUK YUKs fund raiser last night....what a hoot. We just about wet ourselves with laughter. There were 3 standups and about 300 people in the Schomburg Community Arena. The coolers were flowing, the munchies plentiful and the atmosphrere happy...uh very happy. We had a stellar steak dinner before the show at Mark and Jules. ......we almost laughed it all up. My side still hearts. I think I blew a muscle or broke my funny bone.
Sue and I are going to see Patti and Barry in 10 minutes. They are keeping the trailer at Guelph Lake this yeaR rather than our place. We will miss them, but it will be nice to visit at the Lake. They have great facilities. We shall BBQ and have ourselves a wonderful time. Sue is feeling a little under the weather from last night SO she has the hammock reserved.
Church was great today. My buddy Ron says " You say that every sunday!" Ya I do. It really is true...."better is one day in the house of the Lord than a thousand elsewhere!" I am struck by what Nicki Gumbel said as to whether a christian had to go to church to worship God. He said simply "A christian wants to go to church to worship God" Well I count it a priveledge and a joy.
over and out