Thursday, September 6, 2012

45 Years Ago Today

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45 Years Ago Today
Forty five years ago today I was packing my car full of camping equipment. The trunk was full and so was the back seat.  I had everything ready.

Days before I had purchased a brand new tent and had put it up once to make sure I knew how to do that part. I had warm sleeping bags ready as well as a brand new Coleman camp stove. It was the biggest available – a Three Burner!

I also tossed in my suitcase and my suit bag that had my best suit inside.

That morning early I drove to Montreal, Quebec – a two hour drive from Trois Rivieres along the old roads that hugged the St. Lawrence River.

The drive was long and alone with my thoughts. I was about to take a step where I would lose all my freedom.  “Are you really sure you want to do this?” ran through my mind. 

“I can’t stop now.  Everyone will be there waiting for me at the airport in Regina.  There is no stopping now – at all or forever!  This is it!” came rushing at me from all directions. “You have made a commitment that you have to follow through on – there is no more what if-s from now on – you will never be the same!” followed all that.

For two hours plus I entertained a two sided conversation all the way to Montreal’s Airport. That was 45 years ago this morning – and I remember all the conversation.  I have kept that conversation in my head and thought of it at least once a year for 45 years.

I parked the car with all the stuff in it – in full view of anyone walking by the vehicle. It was September 6th and I would be back in this parking lot on the evening of September 9th… just three days from then.

Can you imagine locking up your car today in one of the busiest airports in Canada with all that new stuff showing in the backseat… today?  How simple in my thinking… how trusting… I was way back then!

Four hours later after boarding the flight for the west I walked off towards the luggage area in Regina.  As I looked up anxiously I saw what I came for!

There stood the most beautiful girl in the world. She was beaming from ear to ear. She ran to me and gave me the biggest hug ever – nearly popping my head off!  Then we kissed – long and hard with my Dad and Mom watching from the side lines.

That beautiful girl was Alida Jones, the gal that I had been dating for five years.  The gal that I had last seen in Montreal in July 1967 – two months earlier when she had come to see me.  At that time we had gone to the Montreal Expo – the World Exposition together. We had also gone to New York City and a whole lot of other places together on that two week, whirl wind holiday.

It had been two long months of letters back and forth.  One letter mailed each day – often crossing messages and answers with more questions. Nothing at all like email of today or text messaging of today.

For the past year and a half we had only seen each other for a few times – and short times at that. It was a long distance romance.

Now at the airport in Regina… we were only three days before we would be married and Alida would come to live with me in our new apartment in Trois Rivieres.

All of the questions about should I be doing this, am I sure, are you willing to give up your freedom… ??? simply evaporated when she hugged me so tightly in that airport… and then wouldn’t let go of my hand when we went to get the suitcase.

Hokey Mokey… that was 45 years ago today.  The rest will come tomorrow and the next day as I relive this wonderful anniversary over and over again.  More to come!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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