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Little Gifts

September 2, 2021

Embers From the Fire
A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad-Parish Community


Little Gifts – 9/3/2021

During my data analysis days in the business world, I learned that it takes three data points to establish a trend.  While observing data points can be obvious in terms of work processes, many times we miss the data points of Grace in our lives. 

Observation One:  My wife Michelle and I have made a concerted effort to try some new waters with our kayaks this year, but perhaps the biggest surprise was a recent morning paddle on the Suamico River.  The weather forecast called for a very hot and humid day, so we decided to go right after breakfast and try someplace close to home to cut down on travel time.  We had noticed the kayak launch on the Suamico earlier in the summer when we stopped at a nearby restaurant for brunch. 

The launch was nice, but I had my doubts as we paddled under a very busy highway 41.  It didn’t seem very peaceful as heavy traffic rumbled overhead.  But shortly after putting the highway behind us the river was taken in by huge trees, the traffic noise quickly dimmed and we paddled around a bend in the river and there was a snowy egret just ahead.  Most of the rest of paddle out to the mouth of Green Bay was cool shade, numerous wildlife sightings and peaceful water.

Observation Two:  Our newest grandchild, Molly, was born on July 2nd.  When Michelle’s days filled up with teacher in-services during the third week in August it occurred to me that I didn’t have to fill every day with chores and the occasional fishing trip.  So, I picked up lunch for my daughter and I and I went to visit Molly.  There was no big family get together, no big event, so special occasion – just a decision to spend some time cuddling a baby. 

Observation Three:  The hot and humid weather finally broke this week so a fishing trip was certainly in order.  While I would love to have tried for trout, the recent heavy rains have the rivers at nearly spring runoff levels and all of the standing water has hatched what must be a Wisconsin all time high mosquito population.  I recently wrote about my annual trip to a favorite northern lake and lamented that I have only been able to squeeze in one trip each of the last number of summers.  It occurred to me that there was no reason to not be greedy, so I drove up there again.  I had the entire lake to myself.  The lake was nearly perfectly calm and ideal for throwing topwater plugs for bass which was exactly what I came for, and the fishing was even better this second time around.  Also, I wrote about my earlier trip here, that the pair of swans that I have been seeing on the lake the last few years seemed to have not been successful in raising any cygnets this year as all I saw were the two adults.  Well, ten minutes into my paddle I spied the swans.  Not only did I see the entire family this time, but they had five cygnets – one more than I have ever seen them have before!  Obviously, the young ones must have been back in the heavier cover a couple of weeks ago.  This trip the young ones were all rearing up and flapping their wings – no doubt building flight muscles that will be needed for the big migration.       

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again, I say, Rejoice.” — Philippians 4:4

His Peace,

Deacon Dan                            


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