It's all a matter of perspective.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I can feel it coming on. The snot, the fatigue, the headache, the soreness, the blah is creeping up on me. Tomorrow it will be a full-fledged cold I am sure. I know that I am getting sick because I am not hungry. I have no desire to eat dinner tonight. That never happens.

But I have no time for sickness, and no patience for it either. Also, I cannot stand to use sick leave for sickness. Sick leave is for work on the house days or hang out with Miss J days or play in a golf tournament with my pop days. Some day soon, sick days will be for taking Wylie fishing. That will really make me happy if he takes to fishing.

I used to love to fish. I had a really cool boat. It was a 14-foot flat-bottom aluminum boat with a livewell and a foot controlled trolling motor. It had a 9.9 horsepower Evinrude with the souped up carburetor that bumped it up to closer to fifteen horsepower. I would take it out most every Saturday morning during the spring and summer fishing season.

Here is the secret: I am a horrible fisherman. It was rare that I would get skunked, but it was common for me to not catch enough to keep. Also, although I had a great boat, I did not take very good care of it. I really did not know how. So I would get stranded miles from the launch ramp with an engine that would not start and not enough battery to get me back with the trolling motor. But none of this deterred me from going to the river on Saturday mornings. There is something about getting out there where it is quiet and trying to think like a hungry fish that centers you, clears your head.

And if you do catch a mess of fish, and you have the endurance to clean them after a long morning on the river, and you have the further endurance to fry them up with a mess of taters and onions, then you are in for a treat. There is no meal as satisfying as a summer evening fish fry with cheap cold beer and fresh fish and family and buddies. That is fellowship with humanity the way God intended.

The last time I took my boat out was just a few weeks before Wylie was born. Earlier this summer when we moved out of our house, I realized that I had not used the boat in years. I needed some cash to make the move happen and my neighbor was interested in buying me out, so I sold it. It made me sad, especially considering that I bought it from Miss J’s grandfather, who was so proud for me to get it. But it was ridiculous for me to let it sit in my yard and rot. Furthermore, I did not want to move it. I had plenty to move.

Maybe someday Wylie will take to fishing. I sure hope so. If he does, I will save up and get us a new boat, maybe something a little larger that can handle a little bigger water. Then we will get up together on Saturday mornings and dig worms. I’ll back up the truck and he will tell me when I am close enough to hook up the boat trailer. We will listen to classic country in the truck and ride with the windows cracked to feel the crisp pre-dawn air. The boat will hit the water as the sun tops the horizon and we will quickly motor to a quiet hole and worry that we are to late, that we have missed the feeding frenzy.

Then after a couple of hours with no luck I’ll hear myself twenty-five years ago calling from the back of the boat. “Dadoe, I’m bored. Lets go home.”

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