04 June 2008

Two bright spots

As I caught up Quicken with the latest in the Democratic presidential nomination process unfolding on BBC America, I opened an e-mail we thought might be coming. As real a possibility as it was, I'd managed to convince myself it would not come to pass. Not yet. Interesting how powerful wishful thinking is!

Our dear friends, Chickie and Pat Harristhal (pictured here on the dock under the wing of a float plane), owners of Shining Falls Lodge in Manitoba, let us know that they had, indeed, sold the lodge after providing hundreds of people four summers of extraordinary fishing and hospitality. Tal met them in the summer of 1988 at Canadian Boarder Outfitters (which Chickie and Pat owned and operated) near Ely MN, when he and his son ventured into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for the first time. He has seen them and enjoyed their company for 18 of the last 19 summers.

People move in and out of our lives. Where the Harristhals are concerned, the moving in has truly been a joy, a long-term joy. And, this season of their moving out -- at least in the Shining Falls venue -- is going to be cause for long-term sweet sadness. We leave next Monday morning for the drive to Bissett for our flight to the lodge on June 13th. Their not being on the dock to greet us is going to be a difficult moment. But, we are going anyway, grateful for their having introduced us to the lodge, to Family Lake and to Manitoba's Atikaki Provincial Wilderness Park.

As I make my way to bed tonight, I wish these two bright spots in the life Tal and I share all the very best and hope to bask in their light some wonderful time in the future.

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