Fishing!

 I will start this post with a quote from Aldous Huxley who said:

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. – Aldous Huxley

I am going to throw caution to the wind and just write about whatever crazy idea pops into my head. Leastways until my Muse returns since she has sort of left me over the past few weeks. So, let me change gears this week and entertain you with a story about fishing – hang in there for those of you that do not like fishing – it does get comical.

The back of our home faces a lake where we see many types of waterfowl, sea planes practicing taking off and landing on the water, fishermen in their boats, skidoos, and we even see a gator (which we have named Gary) meander past every now and then – in the water that is. Seeing these people fish from their boats reminds me of the times our family went camping in Arizona. Our camping trips sometimes included places where we would do our best to catch some fish. You got that right; I said do our best to catch some fish – we weren’t too good at catching fish. But, for the most part those camping trips were fun even though we seemed to spend more time cutting turtles and eels off our line causing us to lose some line and the hooks. And in many instances, the only things biting were the mosquitos. But being together as a family was all that mattered, and we had a good time whether we caught fish or not. 

As I said, we often see boats on the lake with the guys fishing from their boats. The type fishing, they do though was different than the type fishing we were used to. These guys do what is known as “fly fishing”. Fly fishing, in my humble opinion, is different from traditional fishing which is what I tried to teach my sons.

Fly Fishing means one attaches the bait which usually looks like a fly or some sort of the bug to the fishing line and then the fisherman casts the bait out on the top of the water creating the illusion that a bug has landed on the top of the water or possibly slightly lower than the waters surface. Then he or she slowly reels the lure back in towards the boat with the hope that a fish will see it, lunge for it and Walla – the fisherman catches a fish.

Traditional fishing or the type fishing I taught our sons is where the fisherman (me) casts out the bait attached to the hook on the line (usually worms or some other type of bait) and the fishing line also had a weight and float attached to the far end of the line. This was so that the line did go below the water line with the float floating on top of the water. When the fish bites at the worm, the float would bob up and down indicating that a fish was nibbling at the bait. Seeing the bobbing float meant that it was time to reel it in with the hope that in doing so, the hook would catch on the inside of the fish’s mouth and thus be caught. Fishing like this though takes time and patience because sometimes you can wait as long as ten or more minutes until one sees a tug on the line. And then there are times – no nibbles – as the saying goes.

Are you with me so far? Here is where I change gears if you will and throw some wild and crazy ideas into the post. As you can tell so far into this little story, we didn’t catch many fish when camping. So, being the wild and crazy guy I am, I decided to think up some comical things about why fish don’t bite, leastways why they didn’t when we went fishing. Here goes:

Picture this – a question I asked myself more than once while we were fishing. Why is it that we didn’t catch many fish? Is it possible that the water was too hot and thus the fish were being lazy and resting on the bottom of the river or lake until things cooled off?

Or since there are deep sea fish perhaps the fish in the lake were deep lake fish and were deeper than the length of the line we were casting out. Think about it, when casting your fishing line into the lake, the fly (bait) at the end of the line only floats on or slightly below the surface of the water and thus, you are only attracting the fish that rise to the level of the bait at the end of your line. Your tantalizing fly or whatever type insect (real or fake) you are using will never tease any deep lake fish to bite. Nope! Them thar fish are resting on the bottom of the lake cooling off while sipping Tequila and having burritos.

While they say the early bird catches the worm, it may not apply to early morning fishing. Perhaps, by going out too early, the fish may still be sleeping and haven’t had their first cup of coffee. Think about that for a minute – you know how you feel when you haven’t had your morning coffee.

Or you are one of those individuals that likes to unwind at the end of the day. And part of your unwinding routine is to go fishing – if you wait until it is too late, you may have waited too long because by the time you go out fishing, the fish may be tired and no longer looking for worms, insects or whatever you are using for bait. But I can dang guarantee you – you will succeed in getting bites – except they will be mosquito bites and not the fish biting.

If you are a fisherman – and there is a special lake where you go fishing, perhaps the day you went out to go fishing, you learned that the lake wasn’t stocked. Yup, you guessed it, due to your not keeping track of that fact, the day you went fishing happened to be the last day of the season before they restocked the lake. It was either that or the pet store where you get your children’s goldfish forgot to stock the lake with their rejects.

Say it is a river that you are fishing in, perhaps the fish decided to mate and instead of being where you are – they took a break and are up the river from you spawning. I mean they must reproduce otherwise you wouldn’t be able to fish as often as you do now. A different way of restocking (other than pet store rejects that is).

Or here is another scenario that is taking from your favorite pastime of fishing. You live on a lake where water skiers and motorboat enthusiasts decide to enjoy the lake and their toys (skidoo’s; motorboats; and water skiers) stir up the lake thus chasing the fish to another part of the lake. I mean have you ever seen the guys on those toys fishing while doing their thing?

And then perhaps the fish decided today they only wanted to bite on crickets and other big bugs and all you have is worms.

As you can see – there might be a whole passel of reasons why you aren’t catching your fair share of fish when you do get out there.

Look at that, it would seem as though my muse came back during all my thinking about fishing, but this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t add something extra to make you laugh assuming of course that the above little story about fishing didn’t get you smiling, so here goes:

While you are out there fishing – make sure you take some music to listen to – you know – something catchy!

Until next time!

Things One Should Never Seen Made

Scrapple & Egg Sandwich

The older I get the more I tend to think of various things, sometimes they are things one should never see being made. Laws is one of them, but I’ll pass on discussing that one and save it for another post some time down the line. The other is referred to in the South as Chitlins. While I have never had chitlins, let me just say this about Chitlins. I am told that Chitlins has such an aroma when being cooked, they could smell up the whole country. What are they you ask? Boiled and fried hog intestines. They say they are delicious if you can forget what they are.

“Ah’ll have another plate of them chitlins.”

Now coming from PA and Amish country, we do have a breakfast meal up north that if you knew how it was made, well, let’s just say some people would not eat it. It is known as Scrapple. Scrapple is made by mashing up pork scraps including the trimmings and then mix it with cornmeal and usually buckwheat flour and spices. Once mixed, the mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried. Usually served as a breakfast food but can be eaten at any time during the day.

Thought I’d share those tasty treats with you today but before I go, let me leave you with a word from the south (I gotta get you smiling and/or laughing before I go) – a word that was usually said in front of a judge:

Ahdin

“Ahdin know the gun was loaded, Judge!”

Y’all have a nice day now, ya, hear and come back real soon.

Until next time!

I Need to Find Myself or is it My Glasses?

Have you ever wondered what to say to those individuals that ask your opinion on how they can “Find themselves!” Okay, so we retirees do not use that phrase much anymore. I mean, come on, who are we to ask that question of. Most of us lose our identity the moment we retire. Most questions from other retirees are related to

“What do you do with all your time now that you are retired?”

Since this post relates to the word “identity and finding ourselves or something”, I am reminded of some of my former classmates that identified themselves with someone famous. Not me though, I cannot even think of an individual I might have identified myself with back when we first got married. Well, maybe Ozzie and Harriet? But not really. Although, I could see myself associated with the TV character Ralph Kramden were I a bit bigger both in height and width. But then I truthfully cannot see myself saying to Dolly –

“You’re going to the moon! Dolly!”

Although I think Dolly would have no problem repeating the lines Alice used to say to Ralph when she said:

“Ahhh, shaddap!”  

For those of you reading this that know us, can you really imagine me saying to Dolly: “One of these days, POW!!! Right in the kisser!” “BANG, ZOOM!”

Nope, after 58 plus years of marriage and three children later, my standards would be more like picturing myself as Pa Kettle.

“How are you doin Ma? Is it time to put the kettle on?”

Why do I say this, because both of us can truly be laid back and I cannot think of another couple other than Ma and Pa Kettle who are truly laid back! Well, then there are the Clampetts on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Thinking about the times we went to work related events as a couple during our working years, I can remember attending events associated with my work where someone would come up to us and say to Dolly:

“Oh, you’re Irwin’s wife.”

Before I go much further let me give you a piece of information that will make the balance of this post more understandable. Dolly’s given name is Gladys, which is the name her co-workers related to, (Dolly is her nickname).

Back to my story. I can only remember one occasion where I attended one of her (Dolly) school events (she worked in the public school system) where when I entered the room, her boss (a truly independent woman) looked at me, shook my hand and she had one strong handshake saying:

“Oh, you’re Mr. Gladys”

Yup, for that evening, I was “Mr. Gladys”.

As far as finding anything (remember the title to this post), I don’t need to find myself. The thing or things I misplace and need to find the most are my eyeglasses. We old folk just cannot change our routine one iota – if we lay them down next to our bed or on the table next to where we watch TV – that is the only place or places we should lay them down in the future. Otherwise, we are lost!

Okay, now that I found my glasses, seeing that I am way behind in posting (remember I made myself a promise that I would post weekly), I need to go find my muse!

Until next time!