Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Gentleman in the NA

Thomas Powell, born in 1877 in Halesowen, N. Birmingham, is a man of some legend in our family. My father's father, he is said to have routinely carried 100 lb. packs into the high country. My grandmother Edna wrote in her journal one Monday the following entry:

"Did work, darned stockings. Went to town about 4 o'clock -- Mrs. Mouat went down as I did and we came back together about 5. Made fire. Read some. Train came 6:05. Started letter to Mother. Went to meet Tom. Met him on the bridge. He was limping and told me of being bitten by a grizzly bear. Home 6:35. Tom stayed up, then laid down."

I'll bet he did. I love the matter-of-factness of this entry, being bitten by a grizzly bear warrenting as much attention as the darning.

Here is a photo of Grandfather Tom in camp:

Notice Tom's duds. Felted hat, collared shirt, tie, button suspenders, wool pants, footwraps (chaussettes russes), and leather boots. His customary sports coat is not pictured, but I've seen other photos in which he looks ready to step out for some fine dining, but is in fact stepping out to do some hunting.

So my son Matt and I decided to pay homage to Grandfather Powell after a long day paddling on Patterson Lake in the sun. We retired to quiet Gosling Lake Recreation Site to recreate ourselves and a little bit of the character of our ancestor.
Vestis virum reddit
Of course before getting into our formal attire, we needed to avail ourselves of the Gosling Spa.
Gosling Lake Bathes
I walked in, as you can tell by the ample wake in the photo. Matt's approach was a little more aerobic.

Back flip into the Auquavescent
We headed back to our domiciliary allotment, and donned our manly toggery.

Followed by a little photo-op tomfoolery ...

followed by a stroll... the rustic promenade,

some requisite stone skipping...

...and watching the sunlight fade from the evening sky.

Then it was back to the domiciliary allotment for some clever repartee around the fire.

Would you have enjoyed our discussion of The Singularity Grandfather?
Yes, we did in fact discuss the Singularity, the NA, and Internal Family Systems Theory. Maybe Grandfather Tom would not have been keen on these topics, but I feel pretty sure he would have definitely shared our penchant for fire gazing.

Fire Gazing
As the night unfolded we turned each to our chosen relaxation aid. Matt to his Czechoslovakian beer, me to my Yunnan tea. 

Matt and our impromptu wardrobe:

Next morning we enjoyed eggs, cinnamon buns from Cinn-sational in Courtenay, and espresso thanks to my new espresso maker, a gift from Brett.

Then it was time to head out on the road again. 

I've met about equal measures of yahoos and gentlemen in the woods, and hadn't thought too much about my own NA when away from civilization. 

I like Grandfather's approach to being a gentleman no matter what his surroundings. We need more men like that in the woods! 

Legacy, in the NA. Remember me, in the NA.