Hello Friends and Family,

1974 Late Summer in Minnesota

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

My, how time flies when you're living the good life — these photos were taken almost half a century ago. Subject-wise, behind me, is the redwood and fiberglass canoe that my friend Steve and I built (as you'll recall, we built two — this one was mine and he kept the other one).

See how light it is? Easy to pick up and carry by putting the pads on your shoulders, balancing front and back. And when I say "light", I mean light in weight — the combination of the redwood strips and the fiberglass/resin coats makes it quite sturdy.

A short walk across the street to Lake Gilfillan, I plopped the canoe into the water then my baby sister, our mom, and I were paddling to our hearts' content. That's funny, I never noticed before but our mom looks a bit nervous about our watery journey. No worries, she and Lisa had the life preservers and the waves were tiny in comparison to what we experienced in previous ocean adventures.

Timeout for a little relaxation on the beach. The sand is not as fine as one experiences in Florida or Hawai'i but it will certainly do. Lisa (age 14) seemed quite content.

Here is a really nice photo of Lisa and Mom, standing on the back deck of my new home. It was a beautiful day.

And here we see Lisa by herself, looking all grown up, again on the back deck.

It was late summer moving into early autumn and some daisy-type flowers were making their last stand prior to the first onslaughts of winter that awaited just around the corner.

North Oaks was (and probably still is) a very picturesque community. The combination of lakes, landscaped areas, natural areas, and stunning architecture combine to delight the eye and the camera lens.

One of the spectacular sights during autumn is the abundance of sumac growing on the banks of the lakes — with their bright red autumn leaves being reflected on the surface of the water. Beautiful!

I did find an interesting quote from HGTV. com. "Sumacs are not for everyone or every garden. In spite of their many great attributes—native plants, good for bees and birds, great for erosion control, tolerant of poor soils and prolonged drought, and no real pests, their architectural look and spreading habits may be too bold for some."

Not too bold for me — I think they look quite nice.

As we marched into the middle of autumn, we arrived at Halloween and the inevitable Halloween parties. This particular year, I became a Viking. Minnesota is, in fact, home to people whose ancestors originated in Viking territory (present-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden).

Additionally, a runestone (the Kensington Runestone) was discovered by a farmer clearing his land near the town of Solem, Minnesota. It was attributed to the Vikings.

The runic characters were translated to read, "Eight Götlanders and 22 Norwegians on reclaiming/acquisition journey far west from Vinland. We had a camp by two shelters one day’s journey north from this stone. We were fishing one day.

After we came home we found 10 men red with blood and death. Ave Maria (actually, the runes carved read 'AVM'). Save from evil. … have ten men by the sea to look after our ships, fourteen days’ travel from this island. year 1362."

All this history was probably why the NFL team in Minnesota was named the "Vikings". My costume was really a tribute to both the settlers and the team.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com