Friday, November 19, 2010

Living in the North and the Northern Light

The move to our cabin was a time of extremes. The first winter was one of amazing beauty, giant pines hanging heavy with snow, ice piled high on the shore of Lake Huron, sights that were new and exciting. Contrast the beauty with the harsh conditions of 20-30 below temperatures, frozen water lines, snow blown higher than windows. It was both an exciting time for me and a challenge. And, this is no lie, me and my brother and sister, we had to walk more than a mile to and from the bus stop.

Living in the north was therapeutic for me. I had time and space to sort things out in my mind. My relationship with my parents, especially my dad, improved a great deal. I was beginning to understand that bad things happen to everybody. Just as my mom didn't deserve to deal with epilepsy and Tag with leukemia, millions of innocent children starve and families all over the world suffer the pains that simply come from living.

The summer following our move we built an addition on the cabin. Well, it was more like building an entire house over a part of the cabin. Friends of my mom and dad came north and helped us build the house. My older brother and I worked with my dad hauling logs out of the woods and taking them to an old saw mill. The Old Swede, a name given in respect, milled all of our lumber at a cost of about a tenth of retail. My dad told his friends that he was thankful that his boys were as big and strong as elephants.

During this time we had a few traumatic and scary times. My mom had two seizures that could have been fatal. Once, she fell into a fire we had outside and on another occasion she fell in the house and knocked out some of her teeth. The fall into fire left her dealing with a type of palsy that lasted for a few months. I wasn't blaming God any longer as I had come to accept her condition as a bad thing that happened to a good person.

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