Skip to main content

Fish On



 





  My husband has dreams of family outings that simply don’t play out the way he envisions them.  Once a year, the kids and I gather round and participate in some outdoor expedition sure to bring happiness to “Dad.”  It only takes one trip to steer him off of this insane pursuit of unrealistic family adventures.  This year’s annual attempt at family fun was a fishing trip in the dead of winter.   When we woke that morning to rain, I should have said "No!"  When I demanded that we take sacks of groceries, extra clothes in case anyone gets wet, an assortment of ointments for everything from contact dermatitis to cobra bites and enough camera gear to look like a tourist, my husband should have said "No!"  Instead, we loaded the gear, text our children to rise from their beds and get into the truck, and headed off to the lake. 

Note that I consider myself a professional angler with my Snoopy rod and reel and can cast a plastic lure across our backyard pool, past five cats and around our patio table with great skill.   It’s those giant saltwater rods and reels that challenge me.  Once aboard the boat, my husband gave me specific instructions not to cast the reel.  This defeats the entire purpose of fishing.  I knew this was unnecessary advice and immediately flung the rod at the water.  Much to my surprise, his advice should have been heeded because unlike the Snoopy Rod and Reel, fishing line went everywhere except towards the fish.  It’s hard to hide a giant twisted ball of monofilament line coming from your reel and my husband soon spied the mess I had made.  No words were spoken.  After what seemed like a very long time, the fishing line was back in place and the rod was placed in a holder.  Again, I received instructions not to cast the reel or even touch it.  He explained that you have to keep your finger on the line when you cast or the line will tangle.  He obviously believed I was not properly skilled to perform this maneuver.  Now that I understood the concept, I was curious if only a second was a precise measurement of time needed to create such a large and tangly mess.   Surely, you could lift your finger for a split second and still have control.  Apparently not is that answer to that question, as I stood there a second time with a giant ball of fishing line tangled around the reel.   Since my daughter was driving the boat, I wondered if my husband would be focused on her, giving me time to untangle this mess I had gotten myself into.   Apparently not is the answer to that question, as well. 
  

  Once my rights to cast had been stripped away, my daughter drove us further into the cold and my son huddled at the back of the boat texting friends and family back home in warm, dry places. I was the only one determined to catch a fish and call it a day.  I should share with you that when you are fishing with really big fishing reels, you should not wear a hoodie with draw strings that dangle loose and free.  Since I was unaware that a giant striped bass was on the end of my line attached to a rod I didn’t cast, my husband yelled at me, “Fish On.”  I’ve since learned that those two words demand immediate attention by all and everyone has a duty to fulfill whether it be to stop the boat, reel in the other lines or set the hook and bring in dinner.  I panicked and leaned over to reel in the giant fish when the drawstrings on my hoodie wound right up into the reel.  In a split second, I had reeled myself straight up to my neck and stood there with my face attached to the rod and a 20 lb Striper attached to the other end.  The fish was pulling.  I was panicking.  Once again, I hoped that nobody would notice and the best plan I could come up with was to yell, “Don’t be mad, Don’t be mad.”   Without turning to look at the situation I had gotten myself into, my husband prepared himself for whatever mess I had created this time.  I can’t remember if we got the fish or not, but I do remember sitting in silence as he removed my drawstrings from the reel and realized this was nothing like fishing with buddies.  
  
  There’s a reason men fish together.  It's to keep people like me out of the boat.  Now, if a day of swimming and excellent meals is on the agenda, the kids and I are the ones you want to take fishing, but if you want to actually catch fish, it’s best to leave all of us behind and find someone who longs to hear those words “Fish On.”  I still panic when I hear those two words and do my best to move out of the way and avoid being gaffed or hooked in the head. The kids are great about going along for the ride and stand ready to post pictures of me with my head attached to a reel or of their father realizing that his dreams and his reality are two different things.  Both are good and blessed is the man who finds the fun in each.  



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Mink That Made Its Way Home

             When I was five years old, my grandmother would care for me before school each day.  She would turn the stereo console on and play big band music from the 40's.  I remember dressing up in her mink stole as we danced around the living room spinning and twirling to the classics.  She told me that one day the mink would be mine and I hoped that I would be as beautiful as she was wrapped in luxurious mink.     Time, of course, came and went and my grandmother passed away many years ago.  I have often wondered what happened to her mink stole and wished that I could wear it just one more time.  Little did I know, my grandmother had given the stole to her daughter and sometime during the early 80's when fur was not fashionable and we were wearing hideous things like leather pants and spandex, my aunt tossed the mink into the Goodwill bin near her home. She did not know that anyone actually wanted the mink and donated it to charity.  She told me she remembers lo

Peace, Love and What???

  There is nothing more precious than child innocence.  While it appears that this message may, indeed, be upside down, it seems that an upended pink ribbon is a call for better testing for earlier detection of breast cancer.  Who better to deliver such a message than a group of young girls with bright futures ahead of them?  While my daughter actually has no idea that she is holding the poster upside down, her mistake quietly sends a much more powerful message across this field. Who knows, but any one of these young ladies, excited about their part in participating in a campaign of hope, could go on to be the one to discover just such a test or cure.   So even if the symbols are upside down, or even fall to the ground, our youth are learning to be a part of something bigger than themselves and might just one day deliver this message exactly as they innocently displayed this Fall day in their youth.   Picture by Kathi Kolb www.accidentalamazon.com

Snapped Rabbit

Photo Courtesy of Hershey's    There is almost no greater joy than the pure chocolaty goodness that lies in the rectangular patterns of a Hershey’s bar.  While some people enjoy cigarettes or liquor or even illegal drugs of choice, my addiction lies in the innocence of a candy bar.  It is something that is enjoyed in small pieces, savored, one rectangle at a time.  Whatever genius designed this heavenly creation, divided the bar into 12 miniature rectangles, all looking like a small version of the whole.  It’s mind boggling if you really think about it.  It’s much like putting two mirrors together and seeing into infinity.  With each bite of Hershey’s bar you find more rectangles calling your name.   A wise person knows not to listen to their sirens call, but to snap off only one or two pieces and move on without looking back.   Photo Courtesy of B Jobse    My children know the power of the Hershey’s bar and fully understand that stressful events can bring on the dippi