Friday, September 05, 2008

Fishing With Grandpa

Another year, another vacation, another fishing trip with Grandpa. Two Grandpas--Grandpa Dennis and Great-Grandpa Ed.

Flashback: Opening day of fishing season every year, we were at Grandpa Ed and Grandma Ruby's house on the lake. We'd get up bright and early and fish off of the dock with our cousins. Dad offered prizes, a dollar each, for the person who caught the biggest fish, the first fish, the most fish, the smallest fish. Sometimes we'd swim later, and we'd have contests with our cousins to see who could swim the farthest, who could hold their breath the longest. There was always junk food on the dock, and fish for dinner.

This is how we create memories for our children. My children will remember Grandpa Ed hooking fish and hollering, "C'mon now! Come and get this one! Reel it in!" They'll remember learning to cast by themselves for the first time. They'll remember holding a slippery fish in their hands.

Anthony Lake is beautiful. They'll remember this too, fishing from the shore. The mountain, the rocks, the blue water. Watching the ospreys.

This lovely lady loves to fish. She's patient and watchful. She cleans her own fish too. Her first...second?...year fishing we jokingly told her she had to clean her fish to eat them. And she did it, so we never got around to telling her that we didn't really mean it. Now she helps her grandpa clean fish when we get home, without being asked.

Not only is she a patient fisherwoman, she's patient about posing for the camera too. I suspect that most of the fisherfolk would rather not have me clicking away while they're trying to fish and were all rather relieved when my camera and I took the restless younger gents for a hike around the lake.

Let's say you don't like to fish. You consider yourself a city girl, an indoor kind of gal. You think nature is dirty and itchy. Read a gossip mag and listen to your iPod while those around you are slaughtering innocent fish. Tell anyone who will listen that you think you're a vegetarian.

Later on, you might even admit that it wasn't all that bad being out of doors in the fresh air.

We'll all remember Bodacious. She's a smart well-mannered dog, a bit of a crotchety old lady by now, who adores my dad. Dad has had a Brittany spaniel since I was in high school. First Lucy, our family pet. Then Belle. One summer, I helped Belle with her first litter of puppies. Then Bo. Bo was a puppy when my lovely lady was a baby. Now Bo's getting gray around the muzzle and eyebrows, slowing down a bit. I don't know how many more summers she'll be fishing with us. It certainly won't be the same without her.

Sweet patient gent. Fine fine young man. He loves to fish. His birthday present last fall was a brand new fishing pole. This year he sat patiently the entire time at the lake, watching his pole. Watching and watching and watching. He was in the dead spot. He didn't get a single bite, even though he moved twice.

"C'mon now! Got one! Come and get it!"

Good thing Grandpa Ed knows how to cast right into the good spot.

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