Wednesday, April 13, 2011

George the Frog

I used to love listening to my Mom tell stories about my early childhood. Some days I am not sure if I actually remember some of these adventures first hand or if I created the memories after hearing the tales repeated over the years. I don't think it really matters one way or the other; in either case, they belong to me.

One favorite story my Mom would tell was of George the frog. Each evening when I was young, my father got home from work and we would often drive up to our family camp at the lake. It was just 10 minutes away from our house in town. I think about that now, of how nice it must have been for my Dad to enjoy that family time each evening. He'd get out of working in the mill at the end of a long day and put aside the stresses of the day. He was far enough away from the telephone and the television but close enough to make it home early enough to prepare for another work day.

My Mom would pack us the fixings for supper and we'd eat our meal together either in the camp or on the deck. Then for a little while my Dad would either work around the camp or he'd enjoy his boat. Some days, when it was warm enough, we'd go for a quick swim together. But no matter what we did, my Mom said I used to go down to the beach each evening and start calling for George, my "pet frog".

"You would go down to the beach each time and yell "GEORGE. GEORGE" like you were calling for the dog. And wouldn't you know it? You'd always find a frog who would appear for you. You would greet him, pick him up, and carry him up to the camp to show him off. Oh how your grandmother used to complain that you were handling that frog, but you never thought anything of it. George would come inside for a little while and after you were finished playing with him, you'd bring him back down to the beach. The next time you'd come up to camp, you'd call him again and sure enough, a frog would appear, every time".

I was reminded of this story last summer when my son Paul found George. He picked him up and carried him up to the camp to show us all. Paul particularly enjoyed having George ride on his bicycle seat. It had been years and years since I'd seen my friend and I smiled thinking back on the tales of our adventures together.

Today I heard my friend Michelle lost her Mom. She and I had just been talking about our parents who are close in age and when I heard the news I immediately thought of my own Mom and I suddenly missed her greatly. God willing, I'll be seeing her again very soon when we travel up to camp next month. There is nothing more I want than to sit and listen to some of her stories. They need not be about George the frog or anything specific. Any tale will do. It seems when your Mom tells you a story, the best part isn't the tale itself, it's simply that she is there to tell it to you.

I love you Mom. See you soon.

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