Monday, June 07, 2010
Last summer we were up in the woods at the family cabin. We're talking middle of nowhere here folks. Boat access only. No electricity, no running water, no phone.
Its never more peaceful than at night. The darkness falls in the forest first of all, under the ancient pines and dense spruce and cedar, the swaying white birch and tall poplar, it comes stealing out of the woods then, down to the lake as the sun sets over the forest.
Sitting on the dock, looking up at the silent sky, I am always astounded. It is absolutely white with stars and visitors from the city are always knocked silly by the brilliance of it all. As you step back from the lake and into the beginning of the forest, the scattered trees that stand on the gentle slope down from our camp, the darkness surrounds you quickly and silently and you disappear.
Its hard to describe how black it gets, especially to an increasingly urban nation. When you sit in the cabin you can press your nose against the glass looking outside and you won't see a damn thing. Step outside and you can't see your hand in front of your face. You don't find that sort of darkness in the city. You don't find it in the Muskokas. You find it in the middle of nowhere.
Last summer we sat by a bonfire late into the night at our neighbour's place and when we decided to call it a night I picked up a flashlight and took our two oldest down the path to our place. Its a few hundred yards through the forest, a few minutes I guess, not very far.
Unless you are five and three years old.
That little walk gave me a little insight into the world as seen through the eyes of a child. They were both terrified. They cried the whole time, completely freaked out, and I am sure if the big fellow had ambled out of the forest at some point (he would often wander in the woods) they would have both shit their pants. (Probably me too I have to admit).
It wasn't until we emerged into the clearing at the end of the path and our old cabin stood there, a light in the gloom, that the sobbing and moaning stopped.
We were back in town a few nights later and they were acting up at bedtime, as they are wont to do, and I gave them some rope and they kept going, because sometimes that's how they roll, and so I walked into the bedroom and announced that if they didn't get to sleep right away then I was going to bundle them up, we were going to drive back to the landing, hop into the boat, go back to camp and take a walk in the woods.
Immediate looks of terror and then complete silence.
Keep them off balance is what I always say.
As an Oilers' fan the playoffs have been a lesson in how far this club has to go. Compete with Chicago or San Jose or Philadelphia? Hah! A million years away right now.
So while the news has been good so far this summer its a little funny. We're excited because the Oilers are SIGNING their prospects. That's how far management has fallen in our estimation. The fact that they get their picks under contract is cause for celebration.
Don't get me wrong. Paajarvi signing is great and he looks like he is ready. Eberle, other than that huge game against Norway, not so much. Of course Heatley generally has the same type of international results (fill Poland and Japan, not so much against the big boys) so maybe he's already ahead of the game. ;)
And of course there wil be Seguin or Hall and there are a lot of other prospects who look to have some value as guys who may be able to contribute down the road. We will get a look see at Vande Velde and Hartikainen and Cornet and Omark this fall and they may be O'Marra and Trukhno and Lerg all over again but then again maybe there will be something there. There.
The problem for Tambellini and I have said this before is that he has a credibility problem right now. Everything he does is questioned and mocked and laughed at and part of that is his fault and part of it is fallout from Lowe and part of it is just fans being sick of the failure that is this organization. It has to be said that since season's end it appears that things are moving in the right direction. Moves are being made to shore up the organization. It seems that some light is bring let into the musty corners of this old boys' club. It may just be words but they are the right words.
But then there is talk of another whalehunt or words of support for JF Jacques and then you can understand why Oiler fans can be forgiven if they too feel like they are walking through the darkness, waiting for some terror to leap from the woods into their path. its only been happening this way for four years now.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:00 PM