I spent the weekend in Decorah, Iowa to attend my son’s graduation from Luther College. Andrew is now a college graduate. Wow!
Andrew graduated with a major in Religion and a minor in Theater. He’ll be working at Camp Wapogasset in Wisconsin again this summer. Then when he finishes there, he’ll start his job at Christ Lutheran Church in Blaine working with children from birth to grade 8 and their households.
I shouldn’t be amazed, because he is a wonderful man. But I have such vivid memories of him being little that it feels like this has happened overnight.
Because when Andrew was young, he would often say, “tell me story about when you were little,” I thought I would tell you about when Andrew was little.
Andrew started out very little at 5 pounds when he was born a month early on his mother’s birthday, on the same day as a lunar eclipse during the time that Comet Hale-Bopp was visible in the night skies.
He enjoyed having stories read to him as part of the bedtime ritual. After the story we’d say prayers and good night. Then he’d roll over on his side. I’d tuck in his covers. Then put my hand on his back, rub a small circle and pat his back.
Many times, on weekend mornings when everybody else wanted to sleep some more, Andrew would get up and start playing in his room. When I’d hear him, I’d get up and go into his room so he would play quietly instead of calling for us. Usually, I could lay on his bed and sleep a little more. One time when I went in to do this in the winter I crawled into his bed and pulled his blanket around me. It was small and didn’t quite cover everything. As I laid there, I felt Andrew come up and pull on the blanket. I was cold and didn’t want to lose the blanket, so I held onto it. Andrew gave up pulling. Then I felt his small hand rubbing a circle on my back. Then he gave me a small pat before going back to quietly playing.
On Monday I decided that I needed some time off. After doing a bit of work that had to be done, I got in the car and drove north to my usual day trip destination – the North Shore. Something about being up by Lake Superior reinvigorates me. Even the air feels different. While it was a long trip in the car, I ended up feeling relaxed and refreshed.
I’ve been going up to the North Shore since sometime in the 1970’s. Yet, it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I realized I could drive up there, take a couple hikes and drive back all in the same day. I enjoy seeing waterfalls roaring with the spring runoff. Or walking through the woods in the fall after the leaves are off the trees.
I usually try to do something I haven’t done before on these trips. Monday was no exception. My new place was the public access boat launch at Taconite Harbor. It was interesting to see. They have a gigantic parking lot. There was a small exhibit with some artifacts from when the taconite mine was in operation. Having seen the taconite processing facility from the road for years it was interesting to see if from the water side. The facility if closed now, but it would have been cool to see ships coming into dock and fill up with taconite. The power plant they had is still in operation, so there are still occasional ships that come.
I also try to make sure I hike up at least one river and make it to the shore of Lake Superior. I did both of those Monday by hiking to the mouth of a couple of the rivers I hiked up.
Since there’s nobody around to take a picture of I end up taking selfies. It’s lot of work to take a good selfie. Try to hold your arm out to hold the phone in front of you. Try not to get that arm in the picture, so it’s not so obviously a selfie. Hold the camera up; if you’re looking down, you’ll get a double chin effect. Don’t squint in the sun. Get the camera to take the shot. Oh, and yes, don’t forget to smile. It’s lucky I was at the North Shore doing that, anywhere else and I probably would have been stressed out.
I hope you have a place where you can go. A place where you can relax and be at peace. A place where you can say “this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” and truly mean it.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.