Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Magical Mystery Tour, August 23, 2010

Grand daughter Lilly walking along Friendly Valley Beach North of Washburn, WI.

This past weekend was spent on a short road trip up to the South shore of the Great Lake Superior. We went to visit friends, attend a Pow Wow at Odanah and pick up a few items that are only found in that particular local area. We had left River Falls on Friday morning and stayed overnight in Ashland. We returned home late Saturday.
Earlier in the week,I announced the trip and there seemed to be an exuberance by many to travel with me. By Friday morning, everyone had bowed out except for my six year old Granddaughter Lilly. So, it was the two of us, traveling together.
The trip, if expedited, takes about four hours. I didn’t expedite this journey at all, but rather took a longer more scenic route. We did run into some rain, but the skies were pretty much clear of clouds when we arrived in Ashland. After the storms had moved through, the weather was downright cool as we donned sweatshirts and long pants.
We stopped at Louie’s Finer Meats in Cumberland, WI. There, we picked up some Italian sausage, great tasting made-on-site summer sausage and some cheese from the local Burnett County Creamery. One of the jobs I held over the years was driving a bulk milk transport to this creamery. That’s where I discovered their cheese. Some of the best Wisconsin, The Dairy State, has to offer.
After Louie’s, we traveled via local county roads to Iron River where we went to an A&W for lunch. A&W is one of Lilly’s favorite places. It was a small drive-in with car hops and everything. We traveled straight North from there to Port Wing and the Johnson Store where we bought fresh lake trout fillets. All the perishables went into an ice laden cooler for safe transport home. Lake trout, fresh from Lake Superior, is great, and bought from local fisheries, the price is fantastic! Much lower than grocery store prices around where I live.
We made it to Ashland and thought we’d find a motel room as we planned on spending the night. Our favorite place, the Crest Motel, had the “Vacancy” sign lit. I went in and got the last room. These places stay busy on Summer and Fall weekends despite an ailing economy.
We secured our lodging and proceeded to check out town. Lilly had lived in Ashland, but moved away from there when she was but three years old. One of the places I used to take her to when she was just a tad over a year old was the Black Cat Coffeehouse, a place I have mentioned in my blog posts over the years. Sitting in front of the Black Cat was a very good friend of mine, and inside, there were four more people I know. I was glad to see them and catch up on the happenings in each others’ lives.

The Black Cat in Ashland, WI

Lilly had a cold beverage and I drank coffee. We wandered over to yet another friends house and spent the rest of the afternoon visiting. For dinner, we went to Odanah on the Bad River Indian Reservation, and attended the Grand Entry of their Annual Traditional Pow Wow.
We spent the evening listening to the drums and the songs as we watched the dancers in colorful regalia twirling and stepping it out in style. We were tired from our journey and retreated to the motel room. It didn’t take us long to slip into oblivious slumber. I woke up first just as the sun was breaking through over the lake. Lilly followed not long after and we got dressed, organized our stuff and took off from the Crest to the town of Washburn and breakfast at the Time Out Cafe.
The next stop was to be the Garden Harvest Store, owned by a friend of mine, and featuring fresh locally grown organic produce and bulk spices at great prices. Garden Harvest was closed, so we went a little further North along the shore of Chequamegon Bay and the beach at Friendly Valley. Lilly and her siblings have been here before and remembered swimming from a sand beach in the hot sun.

No such sun was to be found this day, as the North wind had the temperatures down into the 50’s. We donned our sweatshirts again and walked around the beach a while and looked for rocks and shells.

Madeline Island. The center of the universe and homeland of the Anishanabe people

The most amazing thing happened then. I had pulled out a lawn chair and sat down, facing the water and the beautiful sight of Madeline Island, part of the Apostle Islands that appear on the Northwest side of the bay. Lilly was standing there, looking in Southerly direction. This discussion was exchanged:
“Papa, I saw an eagle”, Lilly exclaimed.
“That’s great! It’s always a good day when you see an eagle.” I said enthusiastically.
I went on and told Lilly that sometimes when we see animals like eagles or hawks, or even a mouse or a dragonfly, it might be a spirit coming to visit us. Maybe this eagle was someone we knew who used to be with us. I suggested it might be her Auntie Maggie or her Great Grandma Carm.
I pondered a moment, then added, “I miss my Mom.”
I started to cry. I made some weeping noises and tears streamed down my face. Lilly turned and looked at me and came over to my side. She placed her hand over my heart and her other wrapped around my neck. She stroked my back in an effort to comfort me and told me, “It’s okay Papa”.
After recovering and wiping the tears with my bandana, Lilly spoke again. She told me that my Mom wasn’t really gone and that she is all around me. She pointed to the land, the sandy beach, and the water, Lake Superior. I cried a little more. We got up, packed up my chair and left to see if my friends store was open for business.
We visited the Farmer’s Market in Ashland where they celebrated “Kids Day” and Lilly got a great face painting. I introduced her, as we ran into old acquaintances, and told everyone she wasn’t my Grand daughter but my new little kitty cat.

My little Kitty Cat. I picked her up wandering around Ashland. Can I keep her?

The ride home included a stop for something to eat and a potty break. It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of days. Traveling one on one with Lilly.
I used to tell Lilly she was magic. As she got older, I would explain to her that if she rested her hand on my head, she could make me feel better. I told her that she had power to take all the bad out of me and wipe it away. I showed her how to swipe over me and fling the bad energy away.
She does this when she hears me mention an ache or pain. She did this with her words on Friendly Valley Beach. She may or may not be a bona fide healer, but she heals me. I spent the time, while sitting in that lawn chair on the beach, blocking out all thoughts of anything and practiced mindfulness of the moment.
I absorbed the cold North wind and listened to the noises it made in the water, the trees and over the land. I watched birds, listened to them chirping and the flap of their wings. Watched my Grand daughter Lilly walking around on the sand. I observed the leaves and how some had changed colors already ahead of the upcoming season and let my shoulders slack, releasing all tension in my muscles. Even my breathing was slow, deep and even.

Summer's greenery changing to Autumn red. The scene "Up North" this past weekend.

Healer indeed. What a gift. What a place to be and what a glorious soul to be there with.
My hope is for Peace for all of you.


Anonymous said...

two of my favorite people, Papa and Lilly. She gives us so many special moments like this, what a gift!

Unknown said...

Sounds like Lily has a good teacher. :-) This was a very dear post. Brought a tear to my eye. What a special time you had together. She will remember.

Mel said...

Funny--when I read that the rest petered out on the journey, I was pretty convinced there were reasons for the good. And there she was, your little healer.
What an awesome thing....what a precious child....ummmm....kitty cat. ;-)

I miss my mom, too.
And there are times when that gets shoved into the forefront, when there's nothing to do but wear it for a bit.
I should have a healer -- or maybe I do, eh?

(((((( Spadoman ))))))

Very cool journey.
Very cool storefronts.
And I love the shell finding photo. LOL I often assume that position myself.

Welcome back, sir.
Sounds like it was a healing and fun time for both of you.

I, Like The View said...

this made me cry

good tears

you're very lucky to have such beautiful times

I'm glad for you, Joe



peace to you

(and a happy Ruby Tuesday too)

EG CameraGirl said...

Your little kitty cat does indeed sound like magic. I'd say it was fate that everyone else decided not to go on this trip so that you and Lilly could have this time together.

Ron said...

Well, I gotta tell ya...this post brought some major tears to my eyes.

OMG...what an amazing and touching story you shared about Lilly, you, and the eagle on the beach. I truly believe what you said...

"....when we see animals like eagles or hawks, or even a mouse or a dragonfly, it might be a spirit coming to visit us. Maybe this eagle was someone we knew who used to be with us."

And it's ironic, because I once had a healing session with a shaman, who said that one of my totem animals was an eagle.

And I can tell you something? Just from feeling the energy in your words, that Lilly IS a healer.

What a wonderful day the two of had. Loved the photos of the little town. So quaint, charming, and simple. It reminds me of a little town in Central Florida called, Mount Dora. I use to enjoy driving up there by myself for the day and just chilling.

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I truly feel lighter, in having read it.

Hope you had a super day!

mig said...

So moving. And so joyous.
Happy, loving children are all about healing and learning to be happy all over again.
I'm so glad you had this wonderful day with your lovely granddaughter : )

rebecca said...

i am so honored to be here...drinking in your wisdom, family, heart, soul.

you are a man of peace. i am a better person for knowing you.

thank you so much for sharing this incredible and your lilly. pure healing.

paper-n-soul said...

What a beautiful soul and spirit Lilly has and a wonderful teacher, too. Sounds like a magical trip that you will both remember for a very long time to come.

Thank you so much for sharing it with the rest of us.