On occasion of my youngest brother, Greg, turning 52 I am posting this picture which is taken on the ice at Dickie Lake probably in 1970. That would make me almost 8 years old and Greg almost 4 years old as we are both February birthdays.
If you look at our fishing rods, mine is straight and Greg’s is crooked like a stick, because, well… it is a stick. Did someone tie some mono-filament or maybe the older black nylon fishing line on the end? Maybe… but twouldn’t really be necessary as we weren’t going to be catching any fish that winter’s day. I’m guessing that the bait was a small chunk of bacon as worms would have been scarce that time of year and we just always had dad’s bacon available.
Without any doubt we had a childhood that would be hard to duplicate in these days. The monastic solitude of a winter day at the cottage would not be destroyed by access to the internet, by television or even a fish-finder that might tell us to save our bacon the fish were nowhere to be found. These were the days that if you had a dad to chop a hole in the ice and some good wet packing snow to make snowmen with then you had everything you needed to keep you occupied, well at least until mom called us for lunch.
Greg, you’ve had the privilege and responsibility to be that dad to your four girls. I’m quite sure you’ve done a good job in spite of all the distractions that the 21st century muddled our minds with. We can’t go back to that simpler time, but if there was a time machine and we just had a day, I’d love to go back to the cottage in 1970 and go ice fishing with Greg.
It is my 55th birthday weekend….and what a weekend is planned!!!! We didn’t plan it this way because it is my birthday, but, this is definitely my idea of how to celebrate a birthday!
I’m giving myself 2 more minutes to write this blog post….so here is the weekend plan. I told myself that I would start putting together the merchandise for the Jireh concert today in Sainte-Genevieve. That’s on the island of Montreal so it is a home-game type of affair. Around 9am, I should pick up the drum shield from Steve’s music. Sometime in the afternoon we’ll have the various |Jireh CD’s and the Get Up t-shirts and my wardrobe (intermission change of look – I sincerely love that, because ‘au fond’ I am a true blue performer and performers do multiple wardrobe changes during the same show) and the Jireh banner for the merchandise table and (have I forgotten anything?), oh yes, there is Carol, my wife and director of Jireh Gospel Choir.
Thinking of Carol, she would find it SPOT ON if I would suggest, maybe around noon today, that we stop what we are doing and pray for the concert today in Sainte-Genevieve and for the second part of the birthday mad weekend which is a Black History Month concert in Burlington, Vermont with Montreal Gospel Choir. We have much to pray about, you can see. We want to do the choir thing well – both choirs. Do well in our interactions within the choir and in our brief but important relationship performing before an audience.
So, there will probably be a cake or two on my choir extravaganza 55th birthday weekend, but the thing that will make it so special is that at 55, I will be celebrating with people I love doing something that is such a big part of my life, something that I LOVE doing and that gives my life fulfillment and purpose.
More on this weekend, later – perhaps a resumé of highlights when I return from Vermont on Sunday evening!