Archive for the ‘fishing’ Tag

Stuff ‘n’ Things   3 comments

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     Well, it’s been a short summer, but a longer time than I’ve had time to call my own.  What with a few short 2 day trips here and there, and projects around the house & yard, and….., well I never would have believed that grandkids could take up so much of my time!!!!!  Aside from the above, I’ve been fishing a bit…, and painting…., and doing a lot of readin’ and relaxin’, but not too much writing, as you’ve probably noted .  Other than being busy a lot, I’ve enjoyed it all. 

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A color pencil work…..

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….and a watercolor

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Well, the clock is pushin’ on toward midnight here and I should probably be

calling it a day before my eyes slam completely shut so………

OK, OK….. goodnight everybody !!!

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~ ~ Boredom ~ ~   1 comment

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Trying to think of something witty…, or intelligent to write about tonight but, it seems, the muse has deserted me.  She’s been gone for quite some time now, as is evident from my lack of any new posts of any consequence at all.  It’s been a busy Spring and beginning of Summer, but that’s really not a good excuse…, or reason.  I just haven’t had the ambition to sit down and compose anything.  Started a couple of watercolors but they’re sitting on a table in the sunroom…, unfinished.

Goldfinch

 

Seem to have come down with some type of malaise that keeps me in a rut of doing things that I have t0 do and avoiding things that I normally want to do.

Oh, well, real summertime is upon us and the warmth and sunshine will soon be driving me off to an old fishing hole, or maybe a museum…., or just maybe a spot in the shade with a good book…….., maybe !!!  Right now, writing just seems to much work.

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Good Night Everybody !

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~~ “I’ll Be Back ! ~~   3 comments

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Hi All,

Takin’ some time off and going to visit brother-in-law in NJ.  He lives on the shore near Barnagat.  Have been promised some fishing (if the weather is ok) and/or some good fresh seafood.  The NY style pizza out there is always great too.  Will have some pics to share on return and, if fate is kind, maybe a story or two. 

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Be safe, be well, and be sure to be good to yourselves !

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GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY !!!

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Posted August 16, 2014 by PapaBear in Experiences, Family, Personal, Prose

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A Country Boy   2 comments

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Part One

The Boy

Growing Up Country

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He was the third of three children, but never the “baby of the family”.  His sister was daddy’s little girl, and his brother momma’s boy.  He was their “other child”.  His world:  a farm north of a small midwestern town.  It was small, as farms go, only 60 acres of “bottom land” near the river.  The house was small too – four rooms, a kitchen, living room downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs.  It was his world, but would never be his home.  He was born with a spirit of wanderlust and  dreams of places that lay beyond this small world, dreams of new horizons, of lives to live and stories to tell.  But then what does a boy of 5 know of the world?  For now he was content with make-believe adventures, playing with plastic figures of animals and little metal cars in the dirt under the back porch.  Every morning was the same…, milk the cows, feed the pigs, get the eggs, water all of the livestock, then wander through another day.  The real treat was when Gram came to visit.  She always brought treats – cookies, candy, and sometimes some books to read. She was his mentor, teaching him his numbers, how to read, and how to draw.

  As he grew older, the books became more of a treat than the candy.  They let the mind of a boy wander through the world of knights and kings, of monsters and giants, always imagining himself as a hero, or at least the companion of a hero in the stories.

Sometimes, as years of youth passed, he visited his cousins in town they would play in the woods behind his uncle’s house, re-enacting their impressions of favorite civil war heroes and battles.  His cousins always opted to be northern heroes like Grant and such (maybe because the North won the war), but he related more closely with the South, chosing the part of Lee, Stonewall Jackson, or even Mosely.  In the end he was usually killed, except when portraying Lee, but then he had to surrender.  It was ok, and in good fun, but through it, he developed a real feeling for the south and southern life.  He started to read more of its history and its people and their problems.  It would carry through in relationships in later years.

Without the benefit of Kindergarten, he started into 1st grade and, thanks to the tutelage of his grandmother, he was at the level or even a little ahead of a lot of the others because he already knew how to read and write and could do simple arithmetic.  Art and writing were his favorite things though.  He loved to draw and would sometimes go to great length to make sure details in his drawings were just right, earning him much praise from his teacher.

Time marched on and he was soon ten years old, and one day his father brought home a pony for the children of the family to share.  His sister had no interest in it.  His brother was mean to it and the pony would always throw him off and run to the barn.  The pony and the boy, however, became inseparable and shared years of adventures riding through the fields and pastures, and along the river near the farm.  The idyllic adventures came to an abrupt end though with the start of school each year, (only to resume in the following summer).

The freedom to roam and explore while riding the pony, escaping the farm while in school, and the voyages of adventure in books lighted a spark that would feed his wandering spirit so that one day it would burst into an unquellable flame.  Til then though, he had to be content with the pony, school, books, and his dreams.  He began one of his usual explorations along the river, riding farther and farther north, past the old Davis farm, under the bridge, and along the old indian battleground, imagination conjuring up pictures of the Indians and soldiers fighting among the trees and along the riverbank.  He’d been there before and decided to press on farther to see what new things there might be to discover.  After about a mile along a neglected pathway he found himself in the ruins of the indian town, one that he’d heard his grandmother describe.  It was an eerie setting with a couple of buildings that were mostly falling apart and the remains of rotted boards and other debris scattered across the open field.  Strangely he felt as though he had been there before…, a long time ago.  He thought about taking a souvenir of the place home but it didn’t feel right…, like he would be stealing something from a sacred place.  With those thoughts in mind, he turned the pony and started back to the farm.  He would ask Gram more about this place and see if she could get him any books about it.

Intervening years were filled with schoolwork, farm work, and really little else except for his adventures and excursions on the pony and the dreams evoked from the library books he would read.  At school there were the usual social problems between city kids and farm kids.  To the “townies” the farm kids were just a bunch of stupid “hicks”.  To the farm kids, the “townies” were just stupid (and rude).  Friends were few, but a relationship developed between him and one of the “townies” , Bill, who, because of his size, was one of the less than popular classmates.  Some were abusive, calling him “Fat Matt”.  The boy, as he grew older became more and more interested in sports.  He was a reasonably fair baseball player, having played softball on the 4H teams and could hold his own in basketball too.  The problem was that, to his father, the farmwork was always more important than the boy’s opportunity for sports.  It trumped his chances every time.  It was always his dream to be on a school team.  That would have to wait for a while though.

Always there was the farm.  Up early in the morning to milk the cows, feed and water all of the livestock, clean manure from the stalls and put down new straw.  It seemed never-ending.  After a pseudo rest through the winter, the work of spring planting abruptly ended any time for riding and adventuring.  He would be on the tractor plowing, discing, and planting from daylight til dark for weeks until crops were in the ground.  Then came time for the first cutting of hay which would be 2-3 days of slave labor in the hot sun, lifting and stacking bales of hay on a truck or wagon, only to be unloaded and stacked in the even hotter hayloft.  After a short respite, came time to cultivate and weed the crops, followed by…, what else…, time to cut the hay again.  Summer vacation???  He had no summer vacation, even the times his father and mother would go to fish and visit with his great-uncle in Minnesota, he was left at home to do the farmwork.  There were cows to milk and livestock to feed and water.  As he grew older, he felt more and more like a slave to the farm and it only served to make him more determined that he would never live on a farm when he finished school.

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All of the farmwork had its more pleasant interruptions when, one warm summer day, Uncle Clarence stopped by the house.  After a cup of coffee and talk about the family, he started toward the door.  He’d been on his way to go fishing on the river.  “Elsie, mind if I take this here young-un with me…, that is if you don’t need him for something else”?  “Well…, I guess it’d be alright…, if he’s back before Roy gets home and he gets his chores started”.  With that, new adventures were about to begin.  He handed the boy a fishing pole and a tin can.  “Where’s our bait”?  “Waitin’ for us down by the river”.  It was a quiet, long walk.  Uncle Clarence wasn’t much of a talker, speaking only when he felt he had something important to say.  When they reached the river, Clarence took out a long knife and poked in the dirt along the riverbank, dislodging earthworms for the boy to gather.  He was quiet too, figuring that Uncle Clarence would say something when he was ready.  After a while conversation started slowly, mostly about the bait, how to fish, what kind of fish they’d catch, sandbars, gravel bars, and fresh-water mussels.  Fishing led to quiet conversations about other things.  He learned that Clarence and his father had played on a minor league baseball team for several years.  Clarence played 1st base and his father was a pitcher.  That explained a lot of things, such as how his father could throw a baseball so fast he could hardly see it.  Both of them had been good enough to be asked to the Major Leagues by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Clarence went (for a year), but his father refused to leave, citing family responsibilities.  The boy and his uncle shared other interests, hunting, target shooting, and just long walks through the countryside enjoying nature.

The boy’s life began to change when he became 12.  Still a very serious student, his mind began to wander in a really different direction – girls!  For such a long time they had been repugnant creatures, barely tolerable.  Now they had miraculously become somewhat attractive, to the extent that he would even talk to them and walk with them to the drugstore for a soda during school lunchtime.  A lot of changes began about this time in his life, like a change to a somewhat noticeable baritone/base voice, broader shoulders, more muscular arms and legs, and the girls seemed to notice and approve, which didn’t hurt his feelings at all.

8th grade rolled around and Barbara became the focus of his attention.  She was short, petite, and very cute.  She was a cheerleader and one of the most popular girls in the class.  He walked her to the drugstore at lunchtime, bought sodas for her, walked her home after school, and she, for her part was very sweet and nice, but, at the same time, very proper.  No holding hands! No kissing!  No nothing.  After a time of being rebuffed at any and every advance, he grew frustrated and dropped the effort, thinking that maybe girls weren’t so great after all.

Later in the year though, he kept getting assigned to class projects with one girl in particular – another farm kid.  Many of the projects often took them to the city library for research and on one trip, as they walked and talked, he felt her hand slip into his.  They looked at each other, smiled, and continued walking.  Needless to say, they went to the library a lot after that.  Walking, talking, holding hands, in due process had to be followed by an inevitable first kiss and it would be the first for both.  The library was quiet and the lone librarian was busy behind the desk and didn’t notice a boy and girl slip behind the many rows of bookshelves near the windows.  It was a tenderly awkward moment but both were equally eager for what was in the offing.  Facing each other, she put her arms around his neck and he encircled her waist and their lips met very shyly at first, and followed by a more lingering kiss.  Both took a step back and looked into each others eyes, smiled, and kissed again.  Not knowing what else to say, he asked, “Did you like it?  Was it alright”?   Her response was a smile, and another kiss.  Ah, young love.  First girlfriend.  First boyfriend.  They agreed to carefully disguise their feelings in school but little did they know that his best friend had been outside the library, witnessing their romantic encounter through the window.  They swore him to secrecy under threat of death.  They were attending an old-fashioned Catholic school and boy-girl relationships were very much frowned upon by both the nuns and priests (and parents).  Bill knew that if he said a word that they would surely find some way to make his a life of pain and misery, so he wisely kept their secret.

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Graduation brought some sense of maturity and accomplishment.  Next year came high school.  Along with the hoopla of graduation came a sad realization.  The young sweethearts would be parted – each going to different schools, miles apart.  There was a school party and a dance held in the gymnasium, under the careful supervision of the nuns and priests, but rock ‘n’ roll music blasted into every corner of the place.  It was a fun time for all, until the party ended.    In a fashion typical of their library trysts, they eluded the watchful eyes of the chaperones and met behind the stage curtain for a last kiss, and tearful goodbye.  They would see each other in church on most Sundays afterward, but it would never be the same for them.  Still, even years later, there was always a knowing look and a smile between them that no one else understood (except Bill).

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(Next Chapter: High School Years…)

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Never Argue with a Woman   2 comments

Nothing original tonight.  I leave you all with a bit of humor received from a friend. (maybe good advice for those who assume things too quickly) Ha!

Good night everyone,

Paul

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Never Argue with a Woman

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She padddles out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, ” Good morning , Ma’am. What are you doing?”

“Reading a book,” she replies, (thinking, “Isn’t that obvious?”)

“You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,” he informs her

“I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading”

“Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.”

“For reading a book,” she replies,

“You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,” he informs her again,

“I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading”

“Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.”

“If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault,” says the woman.

“But I haven’t even touched you,” says the game warden.

“That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.”

“Have a nice day ma’am,” and he left.

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Posted January 20, 2013 by PapaBear in Humor, Prose

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Coming of Age   3 comments

Coming of Age

“Now just do what I told you, dammit!”, the older man spat a chew of tobacco from his mouth and watched as the boy raised an ancient single-shot .22 and took aim at the soda can against the hill and, as the sight picture came into focus, squeezed the trigger.  There was a satisfying plink as the can toppled with a hole dead center in it.  The boy looked up for affirmation that came in the form of a slap on the back and “there, by damn, I knew you could do it”.  There was a feeling of pride in the air, his uncle seeing what his favorite nephew could accomplish, and the boy for what he had done, knew he could now do over and over again.  These were the things that his father never had or took the time to teach him.

This was the beginning of an education in outdoor life, hunting, fishing, and the stewardship of wildlife.  It was also to be the beginning of what would be a close friendship, relationship with my Uncle Clarence.  I was about 8 years old when we began our companionship.  Neither family had much.  I lived on a poor 60 acre dirt farm along the river.  Uncle Clarence lived about a half mile away.  One day he stopped at the house and asked if I wanted to go fishing with him.  I looked at my mom and she nodded, “Go ahead.  Just be careful along the river”.  That scene was repeated often through that summer.  We would sit for hours “drownin’ worms” as my uncle put it.  Quite often though we would catch a few catfish or a couple of bass and that would save our pride.  It was a quiet, peaceful time.  Uncle Clarence didn’t talk much, unless he had something he considered important to say.  As we drifted lazily through the summer he taught me how to fish from the riverbank and from the many sandbars.  He taught me how to pick up mussels from the riverbed, open them and use the meat from them for bait, how to catch minnows in the shallows, and dig worms from the riverbank.  We never brought bait but he always seemed to know where and how to find some.  I grew to love this irascible character, tobacco and all.  Now and then, if I caught him in the right mood, he would talk about how he and my father played baseball in the minor leagues.  Seems they were both pretty good.  Clarence went on to play for one year with the Pittsburgh Pirates but my father never did.  As summer drew to a close our visits to the river became less frequent.  Uncle Clarence had other ideas on his mind and as fall approached I was finally given privilege to them….

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The wind was at my back and the sun warm on my face.  Frozen snow crunched softly beneath my feet.  I raised the rifle to take aim and…., no…, not today.  I took my finger from the trigger and lowered the rifle and watched as the squirrel scampered away and up a nearby tree.  There was no need anymore, maybe never again.  The days when that squirrel would have meant meat for a meal, meat that may have absent from the table for days were long past.  I walked back to the car and carefully unloaded and cased the rifle.  It would be used again, years later, but never again against any living creature.