Here from the North Woods where this past week Marcia and I attended the final service held in the 120 year old Little Rapids United Church of Canada before it closed permanently. Some parts of the service touched on melancholy, some parts touched on joy. Among the best were words spoken by one of the oldest of the church’s members, John, who began:

”these days I’m like an old shoe, everything completely worn except for the tongue” ~ “John”

So, pour me a coffee and I’ll get started.

Little Rapids is like many tiny communities in these parts; struggling and shrinking. DSCF2105 A changing global world and treaties which have not helped Canada have taken a toll. Simplistically put, Canada, Co-Op driven, Socialism embracing, is mired in an expanding eddy of same-old, same-old. Government’s answer is to seek solutions through higher taxes and increased regulatory efforts has resulted in less and less economic opportunity. This entire misfire has caused, especially this more remote and beautiful region, to struggle mightily.

Now, in 2015, it was time to close this little gathering house, home to a handful of faithful. It truly was a collection of people who had loved its embrace, its sense of family, its rock-like presence. Aside from the spiritual aspects it offered it was also the living repository of memories which spanned generations.

For Marcia and me it was an honor to be witness to this coming-together gathering. I was a very special morning.

What exactly is it you do? – is a question people often ask about life here in the North Woods. The easy part is to discuss the ‘explosion’ of activity when we have visitors. However, that is not really what is behind the question. People think more of the day-to-day stuff.

It’s the stuff that keeps up the place and the stuff which makes it better; and there is plenty of both. It was just this past week that a discussion turned to a realization of just how quickly Mother Nature takes back ownership of everything if left to her management.

The winters are not just cold, but they beat up on people, things, and places. Then, I am surprised just how often the rains hold back until ready to unleash in the form of gully-washers (literally).

Yesterday Bob-the-Forester helped an ailing fellow cut up logs for splitting – he was gone all day. When all is said and done it’ll approach 30 plus cords to be parked and seasoned for a years’ worth of heating.

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At Northern Comfort it’s Marcia who maintains the list in her head. I am the one who has to be pulled away from some Quad ride, Kayak paddle, or boat excursion, to be told that such and such needs attention. Most of the time I really don’t grumble too much when she presents me with her list and makes it clear that she expects results. However, it’s seldom that you can find me not enjoying many of the little pleasures found in these parts.

Golden Helmets – Last evening Donn, Marlene, Marcia, and I caravanned our little cars (a mini and our Deux Chevaux) to town. First it was a stop by the local pub for their all-you-can-eat fish fry buffet (always a summer highlight).

photo by Marlene

photo by Marlene

Right after that we opened the car trunks and retrieved two-sets of bag chairs and parked ourselves curbside. The evening’s entertainment? It was the Ontario Provincial Police whose 20 strong crack motorcycle team, The Golden Helmets, which roared up and down Main Street.

These men and women displayed motorcycle riding on a level beautiful to watch. Precision maneuvers and control over their equipment made you forget that they were handling brand new large and powerful 1600cc Police edition Harley Davidson machines.

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Had any of these officers been watching when we left to head back north they would have smiled broadly listening to our little Deux Chevaux’s puny 24hp two-cylinder engine with its distinctive sewing machine like sound tick to life for the trip back to Northern Comfort.

Animal Planet – The Fall colors are late this year – or so it seems. But, late summer activities are in full swing. Humming birds are fattening for the migration. With recent rains Mushrooms are everywhere.

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Recently I spotted a Bear in our drive.   Then while on a quad ride spotted several fresh bear track, they too are scavenging like crazy to prepare for their long winter.

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Even the cranes are beginning to congregate in nearby fields. Soon we’ll see stringers of Canadian Geese heading south.

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And yes, we’ve begun to pop our little heaters on in the mornings and evenings— it’s 9-degrees C here this morning (the nearby valley reported in at 3-degrees C). The season is turning and summer is over.

Fini – This week it birthday wishes to Vince who celebrated his day while ‘working’ in Alaska. Monday Adrianne and Tevita will celebrate their anniversary.

Then, later on this morning Tevita and his team, the Faolan’s Fighter’s, will attempt to pull a Delta Airlines 142,000 pound DC-90. Personally I believe Tevita could pull that Bad-Boy by himself. Click on the Faolan’s Fighter’s hyperlink for further details and support for a little guy with cancer and the Special Olympics.

Make it a great week and stay safe.

Cheers.

Dirk

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