Saturday, May 21, 2011

Making memories

There are not enough moments in our life where we make memories.  Last night at Sully's Ice Cream in Sussex however, our family added a moment to the memory banks.

It started off rather below normal as my wife calls me just before I'm leaving work to ask if I want to go for ice cream later that night with the kids.  I'm a big ice cream lover, especially "Death by Chocloate", so it was a no brainer.  I made the drive home and we had supper and then cleaned the kids up a bit before taking off for town to meet my sister and her kids for the anticipated treat.  I was told on the drive down that my brother and his family would be there as well, so I thought "Man this is shaping up to be quite a party."

As the eleven of us sat there, my Mom and Dad drove by and stopped in as well.  It was a great moment where we shared light converation and the kids ran around with one another.  To top that moment, a train came by and the kids all watched it, enthralled with its size and loud clickety clacking.  I could see the family moment building there in that moment as I held my daughter and watched her reaction to the train and as I looked over at the wide eyed, big grinning expression on my son's face.

As we got ready to leave I braced myself for an anticipated fight with the kids but it never came.  We peacefully loaded them into the car for the drive home.  Usually this might be where the memory would end...but on this night it is where it would be cemented into not just a memorable moment but a great moment.  There was a funky song on the radio and my son started dancing foolishly in his booster seat and the rest of us joined in.  Laughing the whole way home, we even sat in the car for sometime in the driveway still dancing away foolishly.  For those who may have drove past us last night who were worried we might run into you, I apologize.

God thank you for family, and thanks so much for a great memory.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fishing for Food or Fun??

This is a condensed version of a my column that appeared in the Kings County Record back on May 10th, 2011.  This is a topic that I feel is important and I hope that our provincial government doesn't make a knee jerk decision simply to please a few boisterous and ill informed voters.  I hope that science and resource conservation win out on this one because if not, I'm afraid we won't have the trout around for much longer.

Now, I know what you're thinking "Oh no, here he goes again talking about a great day casting a line on the water."  While I will touch on that, this column is a bit different.  I have read in the local papers recently that people are asking the provincial government to increase the bag limit on brook trout and I have to take the bait (pun intended.)  I have to ask WHY?  Fishing is not about killing a fish for food anymore.  I can only think of one type of individual that might actually be fishing simply to feed his family.  Most of us now fish for the pure enjoyment of it.

If you want fish to eat, you can more readily and economically purchase it from your local grocery store.  You would save the cost of your fishing license, the gas to get to the river, the cost of a pole and tackle, and as noted by one individual your ATV fuel, registration and insurance, your trailer inspection and insurance, and your boat license, registration and insurance.  When I go fishing with my son the rule is if you kill it you eat it.  Why do we need to kill a fish we aren't going to eat?  Why not let it go so when we need it there to feed us it will be there.

Fishing, or more appropriately here angling, is about the sport and challenge of catching a big brook trout in less than optimum circumstances.  Anglers will cast a single hooked line numerous times across a pool trying to entice a brookie to take the bait.  An angler will use a light test weight line and a barbless hook just to make the challenge all the more enjoyable. 

I will take and eat a trout from time to time but I can't see a need to increase the bag limit.  If our trout populations were high enough to sustain an increase in the bag limit then maybe I could agree.  There is no evidence stating that our trout can accommodate this.  This is especially true if you consider the ever increasing stress that we continue to place upon them with development and natural resource harvesting as well as the unforeseen impacts of changing climates.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A T-Rex Size Adventure

Awhile ago I had read about an event that I thought my son would really appreciate.  It isn't something that I would have likely enjoyed as a kid but he is slightly different than I was.  I truly love him for this difference and when I see that side of him show, I respect him for how comfortable he seems to be with it.  I always had that side but was never comfortable as a youth expressing it and it makes me proud that he can so readily embrace his intellectual and artistic side more readily than I ever could as a kid or even young adult.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, the event I read about.  My son's five year old intellectual side loves dinosaurs.  So when I found out that a tyrannosaurus rex display was going to be at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History I immediately started planning a trip to see it.  It was a family weekend getaway.  I have to state that I was impressed with the organization of the Nova Scotia tourism websites as I surfed for information to plan the weekend.

Two weekends ago we made the drive to Halifax with anticipation and a sense of adventure.  It was likely the longest drive either of our kids had been on and luckily for me and my wife they travel really well.  We only stopped twice for pee breaks and only heard "Are we there yet?" twenty times or so.  Due to some car trouble we were late getting on our way on the overcast Saturday morning but we made Halifax and after some misguided site seeing of the city we found the museum. 

It took no time for Seth to get out of his booster seat; in fact he ended up being lectured on waiting until the car stopped before unbuckling.  We made our way to the entrance where the walkway was lined with whale bones and already he was having fun.  We stepped in side the museum and I was immediately impressed with how many people were there.  I never would have expected to see people lined up to get in on what turned out to be a sunny Saturday afternoon.

I started to feel like a kid myself as we stepped into the t-rex display.  Seth ran up the ramp and stood there wide eyed and mouth open in awe.  I'm sure my eyes were wide too as I was impressed with the size of the ancient reptile.  It was all we could do to keep up with Seth as he dashed from interactive display to display.  It took no time for him to see all there was to see and we were worried we wouldn't have time to see it all.  From the t-rex display we took in the other displays, including the bird display, the wildlife, and marine displays.

After we left the museum we took some time to walk through the Halifax public Garden and we were fortunate enough to take in some more great wildlife.  Geese, swans, ducks, birds, turtles, and some other questionable characters were all observed by the kids as we wandered around the wonderful green space.  The history of the trees and the obvious, painstaking, effort put forth to plan and maintain the space was as impressive as the size of some of the trees.

As we left the city, in which I spent two years living in sometime ago, I got a bit lost trying to find Lawrencetown and I ended up taking the long way along the shore.  This irritated the kids a bit but I resolved to enjoy it a little.  We were going to stay with my Aunt Pat and Uncle John and I made us a bit late for supper.  Sorry Pat and John.  We enjoyed their hospitality through supper before heading to the beach to watch the sunset.  This shoreline on the east coast often gets hammered by some of the biggest waves along the eastern Canadian seashore.  It makes for a great spectacle and I was hoping to share this with my family.  We were lucky to witness some surfers cashing in on some good size waves and Seth and Michelle were quite impressed, in fact for Michelle it might have been the best part of the trip.  It was windy and really cold though so we decided to leave before the sunset.

We returned back to my Aunt and Uncle's and spent a quiet night with them.  It was rewarding to watch as our kids, who seldom see this part of our family, interact so easily with them.  That is one of the best things about family I guess, they are always there.

The next day we made the long drive home and were tuckered out when we finally pulled back into the driveway.  Surprisingly we had other family obligations to attend and made them with little trouble but when night time came that evening, none of us had trouble falling asleep.
This video is a bit dark but I couldn't help but post it.  My daughter quickly  adjusted to being at my aunt and uncle's.

Town of Sussex New Brunswick | National Family Wellness Month

Did you know this month is National Family Wellness Month. It is a great initiative to get people off their butts and doing their part to keep themselves and others healthy. The KWRC (the place I work) is hosting a geocaching event to promote outdoor recreation, family togetherness, and a sustainable environment. The event is on Saturday, May 14th and you can find more out about it on the link below.
Town of Sussex New Brunswick | National Family Wellness Month