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.”
Commenting is back up. Talk to me people. It does get lonely in here.
OK, last try. I am going with a new comment hosting service and hope to have it online soon.
My sis has posted an autobiographical sketch she had to write for a grad school application. It is very interesting, at least it is to me - you know, 'cause I am in it.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Is there anything more interesting than a 500 word blog post about shoes?
My old house was 5.5 miles from work. The new house is 4.7 miles from work. It used to take me about seven minutes to get to the office in the mornings – now it takes me anywhere from 25 minutes on a low traffic morning, to nearly an hour on a thick fog, multi-car accident morning like we had today. That’s right, nearly an hour to go 4.7 miles. The way I figure it, I could have walked to work quicker today than I drove. This is the rare down side to the new house. Another down side would be the fact that we can’t afford it.

We moved out of our other house at the end of July. It would be several weeks before the new house was available to us, so we had to place all of our things into storage and live with Miss J’s parents. As we have completed remodeling projects, we have been moving our things into the new house very gradually. All of the furniture and major items are in place, but there are still quite a few boxes lurking in the storage unit. At the least, these are things that we need less than once every four months. Mostly, they are things that we should have thrown away years ago. But there are some exceptions. Things that we have needed over the last few months, but knew they were buried deep within the bowels of a rented garage.

For example: my shoes. I only kept out two pairs of shoes for this ordeal, one pair for wearing to work, and one pair for working around the house in. They are now tattered disgusting rags. I need my other shoes.

You need to understand something about the way I operate to fully get this. I have developed a habit when it comes to shoes. A ritual, if you will. That is, I find a pair of shoes that I like, and I wear them every single day until they give up the ghost. I have two pairs of shoes that I have never worn. They were given to me by my mother and my wife at various times. They are nice shoes and I like them. They are just waiting for their moment to come up in the rotation.

That moment is now, and they are hidden in the storage unit somewhere.

Yesterday afternoon I brought home two truckloads of mysterious boxes. Back in July, we only had two or three days to pack and move, so they were labeled and packed somewhat haphazardly by a collection of the friends who love us most. Going through them was a jolt of disgust (why do we have all of this crap), disappointment (where are those things I have been missing), excitement (wow, I forgot all about that book), and amazement (why would you pack a radio in one box and its power cord in another). Through it all, no shoes.

This morning while getting ready for work, I was just about to put on my rotten loafers when I thought, “I never did see the bottom of that box over there.”

Sure enough, there they were. Finally I can go to work without being embarrassed about the sad state of my feet.