On The Road

Going Down the Road to Hug the Grandkids & Experience 1816

Ed, my neighbor next door, isn’t much on geography, and wasn’t quite sure where Thunder Bay is located. He thought if we were going camping there it must be about a day’s drive away. Hearing it is at the head of Lake Superior, he couldn’t figure out why we would go there to camp. Even when, I said it was to meet our son and his family there, he could not see the point of driving that far to camp. He did concede that sometimes grandparents will drive many hours to see grandkids.

I could understand Ed’s vagueness about Thunder Bay because, until 1970, there was no Thunder Bay but the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur. In 1970, the two cities and surrounding areas became one as Thunder Bay. I was telling Ed that European settlement there goes back to 1683, and 1717 with French fur trading posts linked with Montreal. In 1803, the North West Company built a major fur trading post at Fort William. That fort has been carefully reconstructed and can be viewed as it was in operation as it was in 1816.  It is a great place to become reconnected with the fur trade, native life of the Ojibwa, the French Canadian voyageurs, the inland headquarters for the Scottish owners of the North West Fur Company, the artisans, and farmers at the fur trading post. I told Ed he would like the experience the thrill of firing an authentic 1812 firearm, or to canoe twenty minute in a birch bark canoe on the Kaministiquia River. Ed told me that he might consider them both when he is old like me with nothing better to do.      

Reconnecting with grandchildren that live far away is always good. Going back in time to what was back when is always educational because there would be no present or future without a past. Only God creates out of nothing through his word. If one looks at the past with an open mind, one discovers great skill, and ingenuity to match our own day. Looking at the history also helps us see what folks were willing to give their lives for in other times. Most of all, the past can help us to see that times change but bravery, daring, the challenge of making a living, finding joy and contentment in life are always ongoing. One must never get stuck in the past or preoccupied with the future for each day we live is a gift to be savored.

We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Much of life at all times is having what we need for our lives. We must have food, water, clothing, shelter, but also for the earth to be fruitful and our ability to work for the things we need. There are also a need for a loving family, peace and safety, health, self-control, good weather and government. In the past, it was considered great wisdom to realize that our entire life and that of everyone else depends on God. The Bible says that the Lord sends rain on the just and the unjust. “In Him we live and move and have our being.”

 

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Raymond Maher
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