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Opening the Moodie Cottage in 2006

by: Doug Topping

For over fifty years, the Victoriaís Day weekend has been the date set aside for the official opening of the Moodie Cottage. The date had been selected by Mom, Mary Celia, and her parents before her, as the earliest date to cross the lake, open, and connect the water pump without fear of a hard frost, and the opening almost always went well. In May of 2006, however, the younger generation, David and Celia Jean, together with their spouses, came to Sesekinika to open the cottage and their experience connecting the water proved to be a trying and frustrating one. Several days of work in miserable weather, and a lot of help from Andy Beaudoin (referred to below as St. Andrew of the Mine) finally resulted in an operating water system. In retrospect of their week dealing with water pumps, Celia Jeanís husband, Doug Topping, wrote of their trials in the form of the following document or scroll from long ago:  


The Book of the Flowing Waters


Now it came to pass in those days that the annual pilgrimage of the foremothers was decreed. And David and his sister went forth, with their spouses trailing after. And they followed the northern star beyond the Wilderness of Tema-gami to the nether regions of the watershed as had been their ancient custom during the Festival of the Birthday of the Long Dead Queen. And this journey was accomplished in order to make plans for the creation of a summer work site. And as part of these plans, they set about to cause the flowing of the waters.


But the wrath of the Gods was upon them, and the Gods set out to test the people to the core of their souls. And sheets of rain and torrential winds were cast upon the people on the first day, and no work could be accomplished.


Now on the second day, the people labored long and hard, and they cried out for help, and lo, St. Andrew of the Mine appeared and gave them assistance. But though they labored from sunrise to sunset and many wrenches were used, there was no water, and the people beat their breasts and rent their clothes asunder. And thus ended the second day.


And the Gods conspired in the night following the second day, and they said, let us bring ice and snow to these people, and tiny flying black beasts out of season in order to anger and frustrate them, and it was so. And on the third day the ice and snow came from the skies unabated, and they were as at an ocean, because they could not see the mainland shore. And yet the waters did not flow even though the people followed the holy writings, edicts, laws, and parental directives. They made seven, yea, seventy times seven attempts, and all their efforts yielded only the dust of the earth. And the ability of the pump driving the flowing waters was questioned. And the people wept and gnashed their teeth, and the sun departed from the third day.


Now on the fourth day, it was seen by midday that there would be no relief for the people from their trials. And St Andrew spirited forth the Pump of Methuselah, so named because of its great age; and though the pump was from the sacred Mount of Trash, the Gods said, we will let this pump do according to its design, for after four days the people still have nothing to drink. And the people were given small amounts of flowing water. And they rejoiced exceedingly for this small kindness.


And on the fifth day, the people went to the marketplace known as Kirkland of the Disappearing Lake, and they took with them sacks of loons for barter, and spake there with the traders in the stalls, and they bought a new pump from them for the delivery of flowing water. And on the sixth day, a man came from the wilderness of Ramore, and he was trained in bringing about the transport of water. This man worked during the rising of the sun, and during the attacks of the small black flying beasts of the air. And there was flowing water between the twelfth and thirteenth hours of the sixth day. And there was great rejoicing among the people.


But not all that occurred on this journey was trial and tribulation, for during these hardships, the people were blessed with flowing electrons in the wires of their abode, and were warmed by fires of their own making. And the people ate well. Knowing there would be neither manna nor fatted calves on their chosen island, they brought with them great feasts: lasagna and casserole, cole slow and bananas and strong tea from the orient. And they sat before the fire and told stories of old. And on the sixth day they celebrated the flowing of water with strong drink, in the form of Mikeís hard lemonade. And they were satisfied.


But to keep the people humble and fearful of what might befall them, the Gods gathered together and decreed that there would be no TV for the people. They called upon obscure rules and enlisted the help of the Mother of the Bell, and the people were denied access to the satellite-stars of the sky. And this continued for eight full days, even unto the end of the journey of the people. And the people cried out and they donned sackcloth and ashes, for they were denied, yea, even one minute of Stanley Cup hockey.


And these are the writings that have been written in the Book of the Flowing Waters. THE END


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