THE CANOE TRIP WEEKEND
Where do I start? The beginning? My (true) version of the weekend is not going to coincide with anyone else's but Friday night was pretty good I think. I remember arriving at the camp, sitting down in a comfortable camp chair, someone handing me a beer and Ger pushing me over backwards with great force, resulting in a squashed beer can and receiving a look from Roy that conveyed to me his gratitude that he was happier than hell that he was going back to Creston that evening. Of course I was plotting revenge upon Ger instananeously but hey, revenge isn't that sweet really, I'm above that.
Ah, it was nice walking into camp with Roy. That and Ger pushing me over on the chair are the only things I remember about that evening. My back still hurts and my chiropractor says my spine should heal within the next year or two.
Saturday morning was great. Really great. Although I woke up with all my clothes including my shoes, I slept well. The first thing I thought of was coffee and food. I love the way Jim cooks bacon. Normally I like to be up for a while before I eat. Not this year. Someone could have handed me breakfast as I got out of the tent and I would have gulped it down. I can't think of anything better than drinking coffee in the morn. on a camping trip. It tastes better. And what I like about the canoe trip is that no one rushes around in the morning getting ready to canoe. A nice, leisurely pace suits me to a tee. I do feel guilty just flying out there and everything is ready. All the preparation involved. I arrive, someone hands me a beer, Ger knocks me over, eat, another beer or two, someone escorts me to my tent, and sleep. Ooh, except for the getting pushed over, that's pretty good.
Finally getting into the canoe on Saturday was exquisite. Looking around and seeing every person that I love the most around me brought a tear to my eye. But I got over that fast. The only bad thing about sitting in the front of the canoe with Kev is that I can't keep my eye on him. But as it turned my fears were unfounded. He's a little boring actually but that's probably a good thing. It was so nice to see Tyler and Justin there. Understatement of the century. And of course Shayna and Jen. And Colin. Colin is always the first one up in the morning and quite often the last one to bed while he escorts the various and sundry members of his family to bed. And Anita. She's game for anything and everything and she never complains. I love her smile. And Jim and Brenda. I think they were on the river. Well they were there in the morning so I assume they were canoeing. I did actually see them once on the first day of canoeing. Although they were far away I did recognize Jim's gut and Brenda lying on her stomach. And of course it wasn't hard to miss Ger and Karri. I just followed the sound. I was trying to listen to the flora and fauna. All I heard was Ger grumbling and the sound of Karri's fishing line swishing through the air just above my head.
The eagle was good, apparentely it was bald. I can't the remember the details of the first part of canoeing on Saturday other than things happening around me that totally amazed me. Within the first hour I had already laughed so hard that I said to myself: "Uncle Don" "yes" "this isn't bad, this family get's it" "they do don't they" "this could be fun" "probably, yes I think so, I've got a crazy, loony, beautiful family". So continuing on down the Moyie, Kev and I and Ger and Kerri hook up. And Kerri catches a fish. Relatively speaking it wasn't such a small one. Well at least it was apprentely big enough for Karri to stand up, dangle it in front my face, and fall backwards into the river. I rather enjoyed the look on Karri's face as she was about to go under. I would classify it as full-fledged shock. I'm sixty. I've seen a lot of funny things. Maybe I've seen funnier things but I don't think so. To myself: "Uncle Don" "yes" "what did we just see?" "I'm not sure, that didn't happen did it, I'm dreaming right?" "no" "I didn't think so".
First Intermission: It's 40 above here with humidity. And I'm not really too hot. I biked today but had to quit because my heart was palpatating wildly. There was a breeze. It felt like it was coming off the Sahara Desert.
So continuing on down the Moyie, we all hook up, except for the phantom canoes of Jim and Brenda and Karri-man and Loretta. Admiral Chicken Legs had the motor even though he had it in reverse most of the time. Justin was to my immediate left and Karri was to the right. Heaven. The noise coming from behind us. Din actually. I've already bought a roll of duct tape to affix over Ger's mouth for next year. To myself: "Uncle Don" "yes" "what's Ger talking to Kev about?" "it's complicated but the bottom line is that he thinks it's important" "who's that singing back there?" "oh that's just Jen singing Patsy Kline doing the Beach Boys doing Dr Dre while drinking her fifth bottle of Baby Duck" "isn't she cute" "yep and she is having fun" "I don't hear any flora and fauna" "no, I came 5000 miles to hear flora and fauna and I'm in the midst of a party on water". "what do you think Shayna thinks of us?" "all I know is if I was in her shoes I'd be having seconds thoughts about the Storm Clan" "I think she is us" "me to"
Second Intermission: I don't think any other family in the world has an uncle like me. And for sure no other uncle has a family like you guys. I feel blessed. Something changed in me when I was out there this time. Sitting in the back seat of Ger's truck and seeing him and Kev talking on the way to Cranbrook was amazing. And having Ger and Karri come over to Kev's two nights in a row and having Justin there and Colin and Tyler. And Jen and Shayna. For me that is what life is all about. I guess you all figured that out by now. On the Saturday night before I left, I sat out on Kev's deck for an hour or two and just enjoyed the quietitude and peace. Where I in live in Toronto I can get that too, but it's not the same.
Aah, camp. I'm not good at details but I assume we ate. I'm sure it was good whoever made it. I'd remember it if it wasn't. I tried to keep a distance from Kev. What. The moment he's among trees he can't walk? And of course as is the norm Anita goes for a walk and ends up in bed and Kev disappears. But at least, after all these years he's learned not to go too far. And hiding under Justin's truck behind a tire? I didn't say I was I normal but even I wouldn't do that. I kind of enjoy it when there is a little conflict among the Storm Clan. To myself: "Uncle Don" "yes?" "do you see what's going on around us?" "I do" "Tyler is missing" "yes, that is a worry but what can happen, he won't freeze to death" "Kev is doing his thing but we don't worry about him at all" "nope" "remember we can't get involved because we'll break our glasses and so we'll sit here watch all the activity from afar" "exactly, we are above it all". "note that Colin and Jen have discovered Tyler in a bush and Kev has fallen down beside him" "I see that but we can't get involved" "we should help Colin and Jen shouldn't we?" "no" Plod, plod, plod, hello Kev is standing up. He's taking me with him downwards. My glasses are gone. Nobody move, ahh there they are, broken but there. "Colin" "yes Uncle Don" " "I can't possibly move, could you take me to bed first, I can't move, I don't how you are gotting me on my feet, I've lost every facility that I've ever had, why are Kev and Tyler laying here too?" "Col" "yes Uncle Don" "my feet aren't cooperating" So I get into the tent and remember I have to pee. So I get up and do that and yell to the flora and fauna: "thank you Colin and Jen" Of course they were busy taking Kev and Tyler home at the time.
I don't know when I'll do day two of the canoe trip (the greatest day in my lifetime) but I will. I just wanted to say that the Saturday night before I left B.C. was good. It could have been 5 am. And me and Kev were the last ones standing (sitting actually). From Jim's fire to his trailer is quite a rocky road. So we hang on to each other's arms as we embark on the treacherous journey to the trailer. Somewhere around the trampoline, Kev let's go of my arm and does three sommersault's and then lands on the ground and does three more. "Kev are you okay?" "yes, give me a minute and I'll be up there to help you to bed in a minute" "I'm in no rush, I can wait" "okay don, we can do it now" "are you going fall again Kev??" "no" Guess what? he does. "kev" "what" "I thought you were helping me to bed" "I am as long you aren't in any rush" "I know this is a shock but you have to stand before you can help me to bed" "uncle don where are we?" "somewhere in the bowels of Jim's trailer" "this is a big trailer" "it is isn't it" We made it. Thank you Kev for taking me to the airport. I wish I would have awoken Ger before I left but with two hours sleep I wasn't thinking too clearly. I hope you will forgive me for that Ger. And you looked so comfy.
That was the most amazing week. And no one should wonder why I devote time to the Storm Clan blog. I'm just a mouthpiece for the family. You all out there are the stars.