By: H. Anne Thurston-Brandley, Columnist
The two were on the rippled surface off Lake Charlevoix‘s rock bound shore at Veteran’s Park. We had notice them approaching from the north. The first was being rowed. The glint of the sun striking an oar in mid air was our clue. It was the rhythmic stroke of experience. Appearing effortless for nearly a mile he traveled until he pulled to a stop about one hundred feet or so out from us. There the lone occupant dropped the anchor, folded his oars down into the boat and bent over to retrieve his fishing gear.
In the meanwhile the second boat was spotted about half way the distance to the park. It was making its way much faster because of the small motor buzzing off its back end. The man who was guiding the journey was not alone. A companion sat in the prow, huddled down in the day’s unseasonable forty some degree weather. Once gaining a spot some thirty feet from the first fisherman this one cut his motor and began the routine of setting up his fishing gear.
We watched this all in complete disbelief. As we often do in the late afternoon we had stopped for our decafe coffee and driven into the park, pulling up at the water front to enjoy the ever changing beauty of our town’s lake side vista. We were wondering if there might be a sign of the lake freezing along its semi-protected river-mouth bay. The previous day we had been in Otsego County and were surprised at not only the frozen lakes but ice fishermen’s huts on their surfaces. How could this be when Lake Charlevoix had had fast moving white caps on its surface when we left Boyne?
The bright sun’s reflection on the water interfered with our concentrated endeavor to watch the fishermen in anticipation of a catch. Both had arrived at the same destination at the same time of the late afternoon for the same purpose; to fish. One sat in his row boat, the other in a small motor boat. The first had rowed; the second used his boat’s motor. The rower was casting, the other float-trolling. The first to arrive came alone while the other brought a companion with him. Everything they did was unlike the other’s actions; yet their goal was the same. They were out to catch fish and if none cooperated they would enjoy the time, anyway.
One hears about left brained and right brained people and their different approaches to life’s challenges. If you are of the male gender you know a woman will do whatever she tackles in a manner you can barely understand while you will usually consider your method superior. On the other hand she will watch you and wonder why in the world you are proceeding in the manner you have chosen. But in all fairness the result will undoubtedly be just as satisfying; no matter which route is taken.
The same is true of a parent and his/her teenage son or daughter. In fact, in this day of cyberspace I admittedly stand in absolute awe at the results my grandchildren reap when they set out to find an answer or a way to proceed to do a job via the internet. They have me scanning family photographs rather than laboriously fastening each in an album.
One humorous example of how procedure changes in one’s lifetime is very noticeable in my original Better Homes and Garden Cookbook from the forties and the one I was gifted within the last few years. The original is a hard cover, loose leaf, while the current edition is a paperback. The old one, which was a trusted doorway to good cooking, featured a whole chapter on casseroles. They proved such an answer to feeding my hungry husband and four children. Today’s edition has no such section but contains one not found in the older one; its name is ‘Crockery’.
Yes, the Crockpot found its way into kitchens across the country, proving to be a wonderful boon to the working-mother. The stay-at-home mother had gone the more complicated casserole route. Other unheard of gadgets such as the blender, microwave and freezer have altered procedures throughout today’s edition. Yet, despite all the diversified methods now available baked beans still are the wonderful savory favorite they were seventy years back.
The blue berry pie I set on our supper table tonight looked and tasted the same as I made way back then despite the fact the berries came out of my freezer and were thawed in the microwave.
Coming from different parts of Michigan and having backgrounds unlike each other Ray and I usually find we approach the job before us in very different ways. The outcome is always the one we seek although resulting in frustration, then a lot of compromise and loads of laughter. It is this attitude of willingness to change as we mature that seems to have our country and government hand-tied as we penetrate the twenty first century. Let’s face it, the whole world is not what it was at the beginning of the last century yet around the globe our basic needs remain unchanged. It is how they are recognized and addressed which does change as from casseroles to crock pots.