I love traditions, even ones that I’ve only been marginally a part of. Most every Sunday in the new millennium, Lance has made breakfast for his family – fluffy pancakes and bacon. I mean this guy knows how to make pancakes, and when they’re drizzled with maple syrup … Yum! On Sunday, Nona was still dozing but “the boys” (five of us) chowed down. I suggested we talk “man stuff” but none of us could figure out what that was.
Ember was bipping here and there around our feet, hoping for a tasty morsel. Tasty but not very good for her. She managed a piece of bacon. Above the table, all mouths were kept discreetly closed as we chewed, except for sometimes. All this was a convenient, but nutritionally necessary excuse to hang out together. I wonder if Jagger, Jace and Jaxon will realize at 35 how very special their morning breakies with dad were. I hope so.
In the afternoon, it was off to the Longstock Music and Arts Festival, held in a park only a block from Lance and Nona’s place in Longview. How’s that for convenient? We six carried our lawn chairs down the way and plunked ourselves down among the audience. Ten gallon hats were sprinkled among the crowd. Smiles were far more common than that. And onto the stage there strolled “The Travelling Mabels”, three Alberta women anchored by the spirit of Eva Levesque, who actually is a neighbour of Lance’s. These women told great stories within their melodies and harmonies. I hummed along and sometimes sang along. I tried to get Nona to get up on stage with me to sing a few ditties but she demurred with a smile. Ahead of us, I saw a woman whose long hair was a gorgeous combo of auburn and blonde. I wanted that, rather than the current grey highlights that I’m sporting. Nona wasn’t sure I could pull it off.
My favourite song from the Mabels was “Teach Your Children Well”, written by Graham Nash. I definitely sang along to that one. It’s part of my history.
Words for me:
You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself because the past is just a goodbye
Words for Lance and Nona:
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you
Words for Jaxon, Jagger and Jace:
And you, of the tender years can’t know the fears that your elders grew by
And so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die
After the music, I strolled into a tent and met an artist named Carol. On the wall was a pencil drawing of Andy Russell, an outdoorsman who lived on a hill just outside of Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. As a young man, I worked at the Prince of Wales Hotel in the park and often looked up at Andy’s place and longed to follow the driveway to his soul. But I never did meet the author of Tales Of A Wilderness Wanderer and Horns In The High Country. Reading those pages, I got such a sense of the Southern Alberta foothills and mountains. It was like coming home. And next week, Lance and Nona will be bringing me home to Waterton. I’ll be saying hi to the Bruce who lived 40 years ago.
I told Jace that it was his turn to add a final word to today’s post, if he wanted to. I said that who knows how many people would be reading this. What do you want to say to them? Dad piped up with “Imagine you’re speaking to all of them in a big hall.” So what was the result, you ask?
“Get off your butt and go outside!”