Monday, 13 October 2014

Thanksgiving: an exercise in balance

It's official – the Abandon Ship Tour is coming to a close. This is the last post by guest blogger D. Magnuson-Ford, the Dad of Julia (AKA the Crew) who is on the journey home to the good ship Diva. By day this guest blogger masquerades as fundraiser, a fly fisherman, a motorcycle gang leader and a sometimes turkey roaster. He lives with Chef Heidi in Port Moody, British Columbia, where Lake Garibaldi (pictured below) is just one of 34 hikes within 30 minutes of their door. Photos are from dmf dream management.

This weekend we are celebrating Thanksgiving. Family and friends will gather at our house. Hungry mouths will gobble down turkey and stuffing in homes across Canada. Kids in schools will be asked, “What are you thankful for?” Parents and grandparents will remember great family feasts consumed in the days of yore. 

One of my thanksgiving memories includes a mental snapshot of five grown men fast asleep on the living room couches after stuffing themselves with second and third helpings of an enormous bird. Their heads were thrown back as they slept and the tumultuous snores shook the foundations of all the houses on the block.  It was a “carb-crash” par excellence – but times have changed.

The Captain and the crab trap.
Thanksgiving can be perceived as a frantic time filled with preparations and obligations. It can make a person feel trapped like a crab in the trap rescued at midnight in the “Moonlight Madness Crab Pot Caper” - a tale left for the Captain and Crew to regale you with for sure. However, life can change and new times may bring a bit of balance. Something I have learned from Julia.

The three foot long, 20 lb chum salmon below were caught last week and will be smoked. Added to the roasted turkey, the centerpiece of the feast will be smoked salmon and salad. No carb-crash this year. 

Balance has become a bit of a theme for me. 

It would be too easy for me to say, “This Thanksgiving, I am simply thankful for Julia and Captain Phil and their time here.” Of course I enjoy their company, but actually I am thankful for all the time I spend with all of my daughters – and the most excellent chef Heidi. 

I am very thankful for a lot of good things in my life and the balance that it has. I have meaningful work, time for recreation, and I have family & friends - all are important in the balance. My life is “exhaustively busy,” as Chef Heidi says, but I have the wonderful solitude of fishing - with two hundred of my closest friends, standing elbow to elbow, in the river when the salmon are running. In short there is balance and life is good.

Are Julia and Captain Phil looking forward to the close of the Abandon Ship Tour? 
I expect so -  that too is part of the balance. They are headed for new adventures next month and next year. What about you? Are there adventures on your drawing board?

Our blogger and friends in Yellowstone National Park this summer.
Motorcycle tours, fishing excursions and family feasts provide a welcome balance to the tap, tap, tap of the keyboard for this guest blogger.

In each adventure there are memories to make, tales to tell, and friends and family to spend time with. As one saga ebbs and flows into another, a bit of balance will arise. 

The Captain has enjoyed  motorcycle rides and strolls on the beach. The Crew has eaten fabulous meals and toiled in the sinks of each household washing countless stacks of dishes. Sadly we will send them off this week – out of the Vancouver rain into the radiant sunshine of Jamaica, via one last stopover in Toronto. We look forward to hearing details of their latest and greatest new adventure not only because we will miss them but because they allow each of us the opportunity to see the world with new eyes. They provide a bit of balance to our very settled lives.


D Magnuson-Ford - Guest Blogger

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