Monday, October 28, 2013

Dad Teaches Matt Milhomme to Cast a Fishing Line

Walking in the woods along the shores of Sunset Lake this morning I called my son Matt. My youngest boy return yesterday from a work related trip to the Netherlands where he directed the video recording capture of an international conference. As I was talking to Matt I realized I was gazing at a spot in the middle of the lake where about 24 years ago I sat with him in a small row boat. It was soon after his birthday and Donna & I had gifted Matt a new "Zippo" fishing reel & rod. I was going to teach Matt how to "cast" his fishing line. He watched with great awe as I threaded the worm onto the hook. The big moment came when I told him to watch carefully as I showed him the mechanics of casting the baited line into the lake. What a proud moment – a dad teaching moment – as I placed my finger on the trigger and drew my arm back. With a great force I threw my arm forward... I released the trigger at the right moment and.... unfortunately I released my hold on the fishing rod too! There before our eyes went worm, line, reel and rod into the lake water and sank out of sight!

I smile as I write this because it is a gift of parenthood to look upon the facial expressions of our children. No matter the circumstance the gaze of a child is always in trust and love. As our children become the adults and parents in this world it is a gift to aging parents to be the gazers of trust and love upon our children.

Rev. William E. Barton's "Wigwam" Sunset Lake Retreat, Foxboro, Massachusetts

In the woods today around Sunset Lake in Foxboro State Forest I came across the remains of Rev. William E. Barton's "Wigwam" retreat in the woods off Granite Street. Barton was born on June 28, 1861, in Sublette, Lee County, Illinois, and died on December 7, 1930. He is buried in Rock Hill Cemetery in Foxboro.
At the turn of the 20th Century he was one of the country's foremost scholars on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, and his wife Esther, whose charitable efforts reached around the globe, established Foxboro connections early in Dr. Barton's ministry while at Shawmut Church in Boston when they purchased property in town for a summer escape from the city.

As I gazed upon the remains, and aware of history and importance of the site, I could not help but think how fleeting life and accomplishments are. Our loved ones who have passed on from life are not empty shells and abandoned foundations. They are remembered not for the job they attained, how much money they amassed or what property they owned. They are the living memories that warm the hearths of our homes and kiss our children and grandchildren through our lips.