(Livin' La Vida Mohawk is a weekly blog appearing on KahnawakeNews.com)
I can see myself falling into some habits in Kahnawake - good habits as well as bad.
Let's start with the bad. I haven't smoked a cigarette in at least ten years (it might even be eleven - I've lost count, which is a good thing) but I've never forgotten how much I enjoyed a good smoke, and I'm reminded of it every day by the thriving retail cigarette industry in town. A lot of my friends and colleagues are smokers, and at certain times I envy them their indulgence. For all of its stink and filth, the ceremony and effect of smoking can still tempt me.
Fortunately, my last drink was about two years before I quit smoking. For me, any sense of self-control in anything went out the window with booze, and without putting the plug in the jug, I'd still be blazing up to the tune of a pack-and-a-half a day, if I wasn't six feet under from a drinking or smoking-related illness or accident.
I'm not taking anyone else's moral inventory, whether they sell cigarettes, smoke them, drink to excess or all of the above. I can only speak for myself, and I'm grateful that I found a solution to one problem that helped me deal with the rest of my demons.
The GOOD habits I could easily fall into both involve Jimmy Patton of the Caughnawaga Golf Club. I've only golfed a handful of times in my life and I'm gawd-awful, but I've got the perfect hours - off work for the day at noon, with a good 8 to 10 hours before nightfall depending on the month, and even I could probably get in 18 holes in that amout of time.
Jimmy gave me the grand tour of the course last week, and while I'm no expert, he's not just whistling Dixie when he calls it one of the best public courses anywhere. Accessible, first class and relatively inexpensive are three of my favorite qualities in a pastime.
I first met Jimmy quite a few years ago, and for as long as I've known him he's been trying to get me into a sweat lodge. I'm all for a good physical and spiritual cleansing, and now that I'm in a good place to immerse myself in First Nations culture, it might only be a matter of time before Jimmy and I are sitting around naked in the dark.
Who says dreams don't come true?
Of course, there are only so many hours in the day, and if I have to choose between golf and a sweat lodge, I'm probably leaning towards the sweat lodge, because I'm less likely to break down and have a smoke in 40 degree heat and 100 percent humidity than I am if I three-putt on a gimme on 18.
Livin La Vida Mohawk is a new weekly column on Ted’s experience working in Kahnawake. It is brought to you by Central Station Customs, located at 22 Route 138 in Kahnawake. Central Station Customs provides you with all your car audio needs. They also carry performance parts, lighting, GPS and everything else automotive. Check them out online at www.centralstationcustoms.com.