barefootAll of a sudden it was 70 degrees and I did not know how to dress to walk downtown tonight. Just last weekend we were in the yooperland and it was cold (but beautifully sunny) and I was suited up in all kinds of winter duds. Tonight? Tank top? Yes. I did tie my polartech jacket around my waist and I did wear it home.

There are things I didn’t tell about last week’s North Country Trail hike. I have so much fun on these hikes and I never know who I might meet. A few years ago we hiked with some boy scouts, one of whom was working on an Eagle Scout prodject. It wasn’t until we all met for dinner later and the young man’s father joined us that I found out that they owned my grandparents’ house. That was so much fun.

On our hike last Saturday I was talking to a woman that I hadn’t met before. It’s always a bit difficult to explain why I live down on The Planet Ann Arbor but hike the North Country Trail with the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore group. So I was doing the usual “I grew up in Sault Ste. Siberia and own property in the area”. This woman said she lived on Ashmun Hill. Yes. I said, “My mom lived on Dillon across from Washington School.” “Who was your mom?” “Fran Finlayson”. Well. This woman was the mother of the young man who handled The Commander’s yard work for many years. He was also on the hike with us. He actually remembered my dad too and I told him how much my parents loved him and his work for them. I wrote checks to him the last couple years of mom’s life but hadn’t ever met him before. He was everything my mom ever said about him.

At the other end of the table were some young folks who work for the Sault Tribe, some of them at the Bahweting School. Upon learning that I was a Sault native, one of them asked my maiden name. And then. Finlayson School? Yes, that was my grandfather. Finlayson School was built back in the era when I was in elementary school and the Sault needed more elementary schools. That hasn’t been the case in a long time. Finlayson School was closed and since then has become the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting school. My main memory of Finlayson School was the dedication ceremony in which the Washington School sixth grade band played and various relatives (my dad and aunt) had a pretty darn hard time containing their laughter at how bad the band was. (Actually that’s The Comm’s memory. As a 3rd grader who was dying to play the flute, I was probably envious of the kids playing in the band.)

When I was a kid my family name was well known and respected around Sault Ste. Siberia. The relatives who had that name are all gone from the Sault area now and I don’t expect people to know my name and I have never ever expected people to treat me with any kind of respect because of it. I come from a wonderful family and I appreciate the values that were drilled into my head as a child and I never forget them as I make my own way through life but it is my own life and as hard as I work and as honest as I am, I am meeee and I am not above making mistakes. Although I didn’t change my name when I married, I have used the equally respectable Cfam name informally during those years I felt that it would make things easier for other people to remember which children were attached to me. When people seemed anxious about what name to call me, I would suggest “Mouse’s Mom”, which would usually put everyone at ease pretty quickly. 🐸

So, Oscar Tango was hopping tonight and beautiful waxing gibbous moon with Jupiter below it on the way home.

Love y’all, KW

One Response to “Whiplash”

  1. Margaret Says:

    What an amazing coincidence to meet up with people who knew your parents and the family history! A powerful story. Love the way our lives intertwine.