When the sun shines in Vermont you grab hold of it, swing it around and dance all day with it; particularly this time of year after the harsh North Country winter has robbed its pasty residents of warmth and functional amounts of moisture. When the North Country sun shines in spring even murky waters sparkle urging you to pull your kayak out of storage and organize your fishing gear. The mountains press regally against the cobalt sky and crocuses push through muddy earth offering their vibrant color to the landscape. A morning cup of coffee almost seems to take too long to drink inside and so you step out to finish it on the porch and ensure you don’t miss a minute of sun. That is how we do spring in Vermont when the sun shines.
This morning was exceptional made even better by my dog Bear and Walter Frederick “Fred” Morrison. Fred, I would imagine, must have been an uncomplicated man who understood the harmony of being outside and drinking in life’s basic pleasures. He was the inventor of the modern day Frisbee and sadly we lost him at the age of 90 on February 9 of this year. The idea was born after Fred and his girlfriend, Lu, were tossing around a popcorn tin lid in 1937. The story goes that after the lid became dented and its aerobatics deemed cumbersome, the pair opted for the more aerodynamic cake pan and started a business in 1946 called Flyin’ Cake Pans.
Frisbees in my house are more like chew toys, however, in that they are most often used to play with my dogs, who like all of my animals are charismatic, social creatures but rather untutored. They run after the disk, catch it deftly, take it away, sit with it between their paws and shred it to pieces. Similar to what others might refer to as ‘catch’ we play a predictable game of ‘throw-grab-shred-repeat’. I find it charming and frankly like to think I may have single handedly funded Fred’s retirement as I go through dozens of Frisbees a season.
Life is complicated. So while the throw-grab-shred-repeat pastime may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as I head into summer I look forward to more luminous days in the field with Bear giving myself over fully to simple activities the outcomes of which are lighthearted and ultimately expected. With Fred gone I have decided it is not irreverent, and perhaps even fiscally responsible, and have recently invested in a rubber Kong Frisbee.
Thanks Fred, Bear and I owe you one!