Last month we had the honour to accompany Ray Crook out for his 101st birthday supper.
Lisa and I took him out for his 99th and we attended his 100th. His 100th was a big celebration with lots of his friends and dignitaries.
The conversation was good as it always is with Ray. It seems we always learn something. He enjoys talking history and told us some tales of Kootenay National Park where his family had a service station at what is today, Crook’s Meadow.
Ray also talked fondly of my Grandfather and Father. He and my Father cut trail throughout the Park when they were young men, boys really. Many of those trails they cut, such as Floe Lake and Marble Canyon, are now used by many people.
Ray liked going to Strand’s Restaurant for fish and chips. Unfortunately, it recently closed so we went to Elements at Copper Point Resort. Lisa and I thought it was a good choice because we knew they served fish and chips, not that Ray eats a lot; he does, however, like his ice cream.
Many people came over and wished Ray a Happy Birthday! A little girl came over to see what was written on his dessert, when she saw 101 she had a look of amazement!
We were treated to dinner by one of Ray’s old friends Bernice Hathaway, a long time local, who now lives at the coast. She said, she only wished she could be there. She stays in touch with Lisa and Ray and was insistent she pay for our dinner out. There was no arguing with her, as often is the case when it comes to the generosity of her and Ray’s generation.
Ray enjoys good health, a sharp mind, likes to laugh and can still climb into my truck on his own, which he always remarks is very quiet. We should all be so lucky.
Willow and I made time after supper for a run behind Swansea. She ran rampant, smelling rabbits on her tongue. I poked around looked for blossoms and signs to confirm it was indeed the middle of June.
Work is good and plenty of it at this time of year. Lisa and I were side by side today hammering the computers. It feels good to be back in business for ourselves again.
There was a time I could put in 16 hour days, even longer sometimes, sometimes even with a couple beer under my belt, but not now. Occasionally, I wish I still possessed that focus, most of the time I’m glad I don’t, it can catch up to you.
It feels good to be making practical things, not art or anything magnificent, but products that make peoples lives easier or happier. That’s what we are good at, working, putting our noses to the grindstone. Nothing more, but more than enough.
Was up early this morning. Mars was blazing over the lake. Right now Mars is close to Earth in our respective orbits around the sun. How close is Mars? It is so close, Willow stood up and barked at Rover.
It’s occurred to me as I get older I won’t be able to do many things I’ve done for most of my life. For instance; I can’t drink or make love the way I used to. I can still cast a line and I know the rocks where the fish hide.
But a lot of good that will do me when someone is drinking me dry. Plus I’m old school, I’ve been taught, right or wrong, if you can’t do it someone else will.
I’m used to the way things have become. No saying I won’t get used to it again.
I wrote into a sports channel recently, complaining. It was regarding their coverage of the world curling championships. That made my kids laugh.
My daughter Maddy said, when you complain someone on the other end is pushing rocks around in a Feng Shui Sand Garden while you’re on hold. That made me laugh.
She’s right I guess.
I don’t have a lot of pull anymore. They are going to put curling on whenever they bloody well feel like it.
They’re going to do plenty of other things also, so I better get used to it.
Still, somehow I have to learn to let things be.
I am too old to hurt myself the way I used to. Whether it be with booze or running ten miles in the heat.