Archive for September, 2012

When I read the book “Return to Wake Robin” by Marnie O. Mamminga, I knew it would be a glimpse into my past summers in Hayward, my hometown, although I never actually spent any time in a cabin on a lake until last summer.  There was one passage that was very familiar to me, when they went into the town and explored the various stores on main street.

I understood the expression of what her grandfather said about being Up North from my own interpretation of true wilderness.

Over the years, on one of the many endless all-day car trips Up North, when fatigue begins to set in and there are still several hours of driving left, I often ask out loud why Erle and Clara didn’t stop earlier, especially when their ride took two days of travel over dusty, bumpy roads.  Why travel 450 miles when 300 might have worked as well?

“Erle must have been asked the same question, for he was often know to remark, ‘You have to come this far north to get this kind of beauty.’

“And he was right.  Like ‘The brightest star in the Milky Way’, his love of the Northwoods shines on.

“From a grandfather we never knew, that is quite a gift.”

It’s a shame many of the resorts were converted to private property, but times had changed and people started traveling farther by air to places like Disneyland for their vacations.

I thought about writing about this a lot, but I didn’t.  I realized I had only spent two childhood summers in Hayward.  Then it came to me:  it’s not just about being in the wilderness, it’s about childhood and having the freedom from responsibilites.  That’s what really touched me.  So now I have to see how I can start feeling free from the burdens of adulthood responsibility.

Tomorrow is the first of October, and I don’t think I’ve done anything on my “Fun Things to Do in Summer” list.  It’s still hot here in Arizona, so I can still do some of them.

Today the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota broke ground on the Hope Learning Center and Northwoods Ecology Exhibit addition to their center.  September 16 was the anniversary of Hope’s death.  Someone read the following quote:

“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.  Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.  We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.  And therein we err, and greatly err.  For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.  They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”~~Henry Beston, “The Outermost House”

I had included part of this quote in my “Sacred Life Sunday” journal when I learned of her death in 2011.   I hope the Hope Learning Center will educate millions of people on black bears and how we can co-exist.


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I bought a 2011 car at the end of June.  I transferred the title of my 2007 Ford Taurus to Get Junk for Jesus on August 31.  I didn’t think the dealer would give me that much, and I can take a $500 tax donation.

I had the car for 16 years, and it was the best one I ever had.  I told my banker I was going to buy a new car in 2007.

Every time I thought about it, my stomach became queasy.  I feel like a lamb at the slaughterhouse when I deal with car dealers.  I hated the thought of making car payments since I had paid the loan off in 2004.  But that’s not the real reasons.

My mom and dad took me up to Tucson to buy a car (I didn’t think my old one would make it).  My mom co-signed the loan.

I named the car Tir Na N-og, the Irish fantasy land where no one gets old, after I learned about it from the movie “Into the West.”  A man finds a white horse and gives it to his grandsons.  The hero of the legend of Tir Na N-og meets a beautiful woman on a white horse and goes with her there.  The boys in the movie are Travellers as the Romani are called in Ireland.  Their mother died, and without totally giving away the story, the horse seems to be the embodiment of her spirit.

My Taurus was as white and graceful as the horse.  It pained me whenever I looked at her to think of giving her up.  At least she would be fixed up and given to a needy family.  The Get Junk for Jesus people had a waiting list, and one of them was really pressuring me to give it up.  Both my insurance and vehicle registration were coming due for renewal, so I finally knew it was time.  I also was tired of wondering if I would make it to work or the park with my dog.  The hot weather was coming, and the air was stuck on and not working well.  I didn’t want to put more money in her.  My friend who knows more about cars than me offered to go with me.

I told Tir Na N-og how much she meant to me and thanked her.  I had not run her since about a week after I bought the new car because I didn’t want to get stranded in the monsoon, but she started up every time.  Some people may not understand this, but my boss had a new engine put in his dad’s truck because he couldn’t give it up, and I once worked for someone whose husband had made his engine into a coffee table (now that’s love for her to be able to accept that).

My new car is a silver Honda CRV, and it’s quite a different driving experience.  I haven’t named it yet, but it has more of a masculine feel.  I used to think a car was just something you drove and could never understand why people (guys especially) seemed so attached to them (or maybe it’s a status thing for them to have so many cars, I don’t know).

There were tears, and I posted on Facebook that I felt I had taken my dog to the pound.  But later that day when I was on my errands I began to feel a sense of freedom, of finally being able to move on in the loss of my parents.  And I think I’ll be able to let go of a lot more stuff and have the home sanctuary to retreat to that I crave.

(The photo was in one of my grandmother’s photo albums.  I thought it was taken in upstate New York, but my sister who used to live there thought it was probably from Germany.)

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