Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Matters . . .

Aside from the porcupine encounters (see last week’s post), Timmy had a wonderful life in Nova Scotia. He was everyone’s dog and made each of us feel like he was our own special companion, protector and friend. As I think about it now, he must have been a very busy dog. When I disappeared into the woods to explore my imagination, Timmy was always with me. As Beth hung out near the cabin or on the dock listening to music until her batteries wore out, Timmy was beside her.  As my mother sat in her chair reading, planning or cooking our next meal, Timmy was always by her side. When my brothers and dad went off into the woods to find the next perfect tree to cut down or to drill the well, Timmy was right by their side. How could Timmy be everywhere at the same time? I guess he was a busy dog who made it all look easy and relaxed. He would run between all the members of his family checking to make sure we were safe and accounted for. He’d lie down at our feet and watch our world. I wonder what he thought of us. But I wonder what he thought of his new world with so much to explore, so many new smells and creatures to chase. He explored the woods, the lake shore and us. He probably got to know us better than we knew ourselves.

I guess we all got to know ourselves during those summers spent with family, separated from the world. We learned the importance of family, dreaming big dreams, working together, overcoming obstacles, and sticking with a task, even when it gets hard.


So as I finish my series of Nova Scotia stories and pictures, this is what I remember: arterial bleeding is bad, cast iron stoves don’t float, kiln dried lumber does float, leaches suck, rocks are heavy, my brother Eric is indestructible, friends matter, porcupines and dogs don’t mix, the imagination is a wonderful thing, the sound of the loons at dusk is unforgettable. My father is amazing.

This is what I learned:  The smell of the woods enters your soul and never leaves. Life in the woods will change you forever. Family takes priority time. Teenagers can survive without electricity, running water and TV. My mother is amazing. Some things stick with you forever and shape the person you become in ways you never really understand. We don’t need to be entertained 24/7. Silence is good, unscheduled time is vital. Very little in the way of material things are needed to live a full and happy life. And mostly, family matters.
Everyone has a story to tell . . .