We may not have a lot of money here in the Land of Steady Habits (even on a good day-the rest of the week, we're busted but we try hard to NOT think about it) but if you drive past any body of water today across the state, you'll realize we have a surfeit of anglers who are extremely serious about fishing. We should be so serious about everything else (but perhaps we're better off not).
Our Dad was a serious fisherman. I hated when he took us to the Shore for fishing, not because I hated going there or the fishing, but because of the bait. He'd buy a cardboard package of semi-frozen little fish, killies. The containers always reminded me of those Chinese take-out boxes, which might be why I don't eat Chinese food, except it's actually the food I don't like, not the boxes.
I was never good at baiting a hook and got really lousy really fast when the ice the killies were packed in would start to start melt and they began wriggling and you realized they were alive. The 'no fun' light would start burning brightly at that point and I would often watch my bait work itself free of the hook an eye blink after being placed in the water and say nothing for ten minutes or so since I didn't want to have go through the entire drill all over again.
Of course, I never caught a fish. How stupid do you think a fish would have to be for me to catch it with a naked hook? Not even close. I can remember Dad catching fish but have no recollection of what became of them. My Mom doesn't strike me, now or in my memory of then, as being the wife of a fisherman type. Don't get me wrong, she liked all kinds of seafood, as did my father. I'm a fish sticks guy at best and like to think that somewhere on an ocean floor right now a parade in my honor in gratitude for my dietary choices is going on. Look for bubbles that sound like cheering.
I'm thinking about JetMec and I hope he gets his boat out today to someplace teeming with trout because he enjoys fishing and is very good at it. He has offered to take me fishing though I think we both know how that would work out (good for the fish, not so much for those in the boat) and I'm thinking at this stage in my life, why disturb the natural order.
I'm also thinking about two somebodies whose today started a lot earlier than mine, JetMec's and yours, and whose efforts (and those of tens of thousands of others in uniform) help make possible all of our tomorrows to include idle thoughts about fishing. I shared one of my favorite books, Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, with one of them as a midway present (books are excellent presents, much better than fish; not as good as pony rides, at least for birthdays) because the assignment to Afghanistan lasts for six months.
I suggested saving it for dessert after reading the other books I shared as it is an excellent decompression book possibly best decanted right around you become a single digit midget because after returning, and a rousing chorus of Anchors Aweigh, the next chapter in life will begin and Brautigan is a tonic for a restless soul and a fearless heart. Petri Heil!
"Father forgive us, for what we must do. You forgive us and we'll forgive you. We'll forgive each other 'til we both turn blue and then we'll whistle and go fishing in heaven."