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!
I was king of the penalty box.
Yep. I spent a lot of time in the ol’ “sin bin” when I was a kid playing hockey in high school.
Back then, I had a little bit of a temper.
I remember one night when we were playing Eagle River. They were rivals, but they were not equals – because they kicked our tails every time. The final score always looked more like a football score.
Anyway, on this particular night, I took an extremely hard slapshot to my right hand, for the first time, I was sent to the bus early.
I sat there licking my wounds (figuratively, not literally) when, suddenly, SMACK! A snowball slammed into the bus window where I was sitting.
THWACK! Another snowball. Then another. And another. They were coming in faster than a Martin Frk slapshot.
I stretched my neck above the stitch line of the seat behind me in an effort to pinpoint the source of these frosty pucks.
That’s when I saw him.
Through the snow-splattered window, I spied an Eagle River goon packing another round of icy ammunition.
I leaped out of my seat and bounded off the bus. Even though I felt my temperature rising, I held it together and politely asked the slinger to cease and desist.
He countered my offer with a snowball to my head.
Something snapped. I went from zero to sixty in nothing flat. So did he. Had we been on the ice, we would’ve been sent to the penalty box for dropping gloves.
About that time, the game was letting out. Players and coaches came running to the bus to break us up. Coach pulled me aside and said something I’ll never forget.
“Frasier, you’re always getting into fights. You’re an instigator and nothin’ but trouble.”
An instigator? ME?!? I didn’t start anything!
What happened next - well, I’m not proud of it - but the next day, coach and I ended up in the Principal’s office for fighting... each other.
Did I mention I had a bit of a temper back then?
Fast-forward four years later.
I was out of high school, newly married, and with the good Lord’s help, I had turned my life around.
One Sunday morning, at Fort Wilderness Bible Camp, I was asked to get up in front of the congregation and share my broken road story.
That’s when I saw him.
My former high school hockey coach. Just sittin’ there.
A million thoughts skated through my head. But one particular thought wouldn’t go away.
So, I stopped mid-story and issued a public apology to my coach.
I know he forgave me, too, because we greeted each other with a big hug after the service.
That moment wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about my coach, either. It was a God moment.
There were several circumstances that lead me to the Lord, but chief among them was the deep, unwavering faith of my wife, Joanna.
I thank the Good Lord for bringing her into my life... because she brought the Good Lord into mine.
Flash forward to today.
Today, we inaugurate a new President.
Today, we face a lot of new challenges.
Today, we’re getting stuff thrown at us from every direction.
But today... and every day... one thing is certain:
God is still on the throne.
And he’s ready to help you out of the penalty box.
Take care neighbor. Take good care.
Oh, and P.S. – In case you’ve never heard of Martin Frk, he’s the fella that set the current slapshot speed record. 109.2 miles per hour. I’d love to see what he could do with a snowball.