Darlene Weaver Fine Art




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Grandpaís Canoe

Grandpa's CanoeThe woods along the shores of Clear Lake in northern Wisconsin are one of my favorite places to be. Part is due to my profound love of nature, and part because it is where I feel so strongly the presence of my dad. He left us at a young age Ė 61 to be exact. But one of his many gifts to us while he was alive was that he taught us the joys of camping together as a family.

When I see his old canoe there on the shore as the sun comes up over the water, Iím taken back to a time when his greatest joy was to have us all around him Ė 7 of us siblings and our mom, plus later on, grandkids. His patience was amazing as he taught each of us to fish and ski and the boys to hunt.

It is something we have passed on to his grand and great-grandchildren. Every year we congregate at this spot, each family with their tents, or campers, or boats, and of course, Grandpaís old canoe. The beach is practically overrun with his tribe by day to swim in the pristine waters and by night to lay and ooh and ahh at the brilliant sky full of stars, each trying to spot the ones that are shooting.  Three generations gather around the designated campfire in the evening, cousins telling their stories and babies wrapped in blankets and the arms of their grandmas.

There is no doubt that my dad never misses this. I canít see him but I feel him, sometimes on the trail as I hike the woods with a grandson; sometimes around the campfire flames surrounded by love; sometimes as I listen to the sounds of the kids laughing with delight; sometimes in the early dawn when the sun dances on the water; and most often and most certainly, when Iím in his old, well worn canoe.


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