Then and Now

On of my favorite Microsoft tools is the On This Day feature. It pops-up pictures saved over the past two decades on my One Drive that were taken on this day. It significantly assists this ole ragamuffin in remembering fond memories from days-of yore. I’ve affectionately dubbed it my AnDeHeDe . . . Anti-Dementia-Help-Device😊

Today AnDeHeDe displayed On This Day pictures from 2009. On that day Alaska’s winter was reluctantly relinquishing its grip on the landscape. Yet, this 65-year-old youngster heard John Muir’s song, “The mountains are calling, and I must go.”

Parking my ragtop Mitshubishi Tracker along the banks of the Matanuska River in Palmer, AK (233 ft. above sea level), I strapped on a pair of snowshoes. Blissfully drenched in balmy 40-degree afternoon sunshine, I happily began trekking upward towards Matanuska Peak’s 6,093 ft. snow blanketed summit . . . O, to be young and foolish again! (I’ve got the foolish part down pat, it’s the young aspect that’s disappeared) 😊

Some six hours later, miserably drenched in sweat, I had trudged to about 4,500 ft. . . . my happy demeanor considerably diminished. Gathering storm clouds had begun to block out the sunshine, and balmy 40-degree temps had now retreated to below freezing . . . time for a reality check . . . two options remained:

  1. Immediately reverse course back down the mountain to avoid having to search for my Tracker in the dark.
  2. Continue upward for friends and relatives to read in the local Frontiersman come summer at what elevation Search and Rescue finally discovered my frozen, now decaying, body at the base of the lone spruce tree in this last picture my camera ever recorded😊

Macho surrendered to Whimpy and, at a considerably ‘enhanced pace’, I retraced my trail back down the mountain.

Arriving back just after nightfall, the temperature now registered in the 20s. As it came into view, my little Tracker resembled the Presidential Limo . . . it’s heater never felt sooooooo good!

Looking at these ‘memorial day’ pics from 15 years ago, two things are obvious:

  1. A snow-machine deems consideration in lieu of snowshoes as a means to transport foolish old duffers up snow-covered mountains.
  2. Aging is brutal! . . . who is that 65-year-old youngster on snowshoes???😊

This April 23rd there’s now snow on the ground here in TN; the temps are in the 60s; and it’s partly cloudy with patches of sunshine. After church today I stepped outside in my flip-flops and took this picture of a colorful pansy, now stashed on my One Drive in in a cyber-space cloud somewhere.

Perhaps my clinically diagnosed ADHD (Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder) is responsible but, reminiscing my ‘memorial day’ of 15 years ago, I envisioned this vibrant pansy shedding tears of laughter, subtly inferring that in my ‘advanced state of maturity’ I’ve now become a ‘pansy’😊

Chances are I’ll no longer be residing on this planet in 15 years with the local Fire Department on stand-by as 95 birthday cake candles illuminate the neighborhood. However, the mountains will still be here, and hopefully many of you younguns’ as well. I’ll be watching from my eternal mountains resort above, wishing you Amy Carmichael’s wisdom to enjoying every day God grants you to the fullest for Him and others . . .

Love to Live, Live to Love

Keep Looking Up  . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

11 thoughts on “Then and Now

  1. I hope I’m as adventurous and fit at 65 as you clearly were Fred (and I suspect still are at 80) – wow! great story – thank you for sharing! 🙏


  2. I have indeed been truly and undeservedly blessed in spite of myself Vicki . . . either evidence that ” only the good die young “, or a testimony to the boundless mercy, grace, forgiveness, love and goodness of our incomprehensible, omniscient, omnipotent Creator.

    Pray this finds you and yours all healthy, happy and in the center of His will looking forward to enjoying each day He gives you together.

    Be blessed sister!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I too value ” our likeness and the brotherhood of spruce trees calling ” Gary, and am ‘properly envious’ of your upcoming wilderness canoe trip.

    If the ice doesn’t completely melt . . . smile . . . it will help keep the mosquitos at bay During the summer in the arctic the caribou often seek out patches of snow on the tundra to reduce being bitten by those pesky little critters . . . the unofficial Alaskan state bird .

    Enjoy your wilderness immersion in His creation. I’ll be there in spirit with you brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the reminisce and photos Fred. Snow in TN huh?
    I will be in a canoe in the wilderness in 3 weeks (if the ice ever melts).
    I sense our likeness and the brotherhood of spruce trees calling.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an adventure, Fred! Thank you for sharing the story. I loved this line, “As it came into view, my little Tracker resembled the Presidential Limo”. I can only imagine! 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is fun to get out to enjoy the great outdoors but best to take a companion and know your limits no matter your age. Weather in Alaska is very changeable. Beautiful photos. Really love the one of the pansy!

    Liked by 1 person

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