Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he's a good storyteller for a long time... so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts.
Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen... whichever you prefer... and you are receiving a copy because you're a current customer of Frasier's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We think you'll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!
It’s the greatest gift I never knew I wanted or how much I needed… and you know… exactly what I mean, but we’ll get to that in a moment…
About this time of year, way back when, before Joanna and I were married, I was living in Phillipsburg, Kansas as a 21-year-old kid with Volkswagen and a golden retriever named Lady not much else - working with and ministering to some teenagers when a package arrived from home.
It was always great to get stuff from Mom - little care packages and the occasional Alexander Hamilton with a note to just hang in there another season… which, between us, if you’ve ever been stuck in the middle Kansas as winter set in, is easier said than done.
But this package didn’t have Mom’s handwriting, but Dad’s… and that was rare… like, Halley’s Comet/Dancing Bear rare… and it wasn’t very large, but its insides left me speechless for a long, long time.
Dad’s gift was a relatively big bag of… air. Yes, air.
You see, my Dad knew how much I loved Fall in the Northwoods and how much not being there… or here, now… hurt, so he got a ziplock bag and he put in a bunch of moist maple leaves, oak leaves, princess pine, balsam, and spruce, and I opened that sucker and took a big, deep breath…
…and I was back home… surrounded by those sweet smells and a flannel-and-fire warmth fell over me that told me everything was going to be okay.
When I talked to him next, he said My Grandpa had done the same for him when Dad was in the Navy, and so last year, I… did the same for our kids… from some of those very same trees… that have spanned all these generations in the Northwoods, and it’s true, I hope it’s something they do, for their kids, too, so their kids’ll know - at least for a moment - they’re not in their Kansas anymore. And whatever your kids’ Kansas may be, might I suggest sending them a big bag of air… to remind them… there’s no place like home.
Anyway, that’s the way things are today in the Northwoods where everyone’s a neighbor, and you can make someone’s day in a big way with a little bag full of fall.
Take care Neighbor… take good care.
Oh, and PS - Sorry, Kansas…