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Seeing Stars

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 and Heating, Inc. 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!



Back in 1988, we took a group of inner-city kids from Chicago on an 80-mile canoe trip to the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota.

We gave everyone two five-gallon buckets. One bucket was to hold all of their belongings for 10 days. The other bucket was for meals and supplies.

Some of the girls brought multiple pairs of shoes. It was pretty funny watching them figure out what they were going to leave behind.

We taught those kids how to make meals, wash dishes, swamp canoes, portage, and all kinds of outdoorsy stuff they had never seen before.


One day, the group canoed over the border into Canada and landed on an island about an hour and a half before sunset.

There were 22 kids plus myself and my friend, Phil.

We asked a couple of the kids to set up tents, clear brush, and get a campfire going while Phil and I went out to catch us some supper.

We hit the jackpot! Walleyes were jumping out of the rapids and right onto our hooks.

It was getting dark as we got back to camp. The kids had made torches and had a good fire going.


After dinner, I told four of the kids to take their flashlights and run down to a big rock about 150 yards away to wash the dishes.

Off they went. A few minutes later, we all heard a holler.

Then, they all started yelling.

We all took off and raced down the trail to see what the heck was going on. Was it a bear? A moose? My mind started racing. I feared the worst.

As soon as we got to the big rock, the kids excitedly shouted at us to turn off our flashlights. Then, one of them pointed at the sky and said, “Look! Look at it!”

Look at what?

The stars.

These city kids had never seen ‘em before. I mean, yes, obviously they had seen stars before… but never like this.

They were amazed.

We just sat there for the longest time looking at the stars. The Milky Way was beautiful that night. The sky was alive. Some of the kids even broke out into song.

What a moment.

Sure, this was in Canada… but, y’know, we have the same remarkable view right here in our own big backyard.


Not everybody can see the sky that we see.

Not everybody can breathe the fresh air that we breathe.

Not everybody can fish the incredible lakes that we fish.

We are truly blessed that we get a front row view of God’s great creation here in the Northwoods.

Don’t take that for granted. Instead, take someone out and show them the stars. It might be the first time they’ve ever seen ‘em.

Take care, neighbor. Take good care.

P.S. – Five-gallon buckets are great for camping. If they get tipped over, they float. And if they get flipped over, you can use ‘em to sit on around the campfire.


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