Saturday, January 17, 2009

The White Side

So, for the last week it has been well below zero degrees Fahrenheit and with the wind, well lets just say it is cold enough to get an ice cream headache without actually eating ice cream. One good thing about this really cold spell, is it is too cold to snow, maybe not technically too cold to snow, but it seems to me that at some point around zero it doesn't snow. Which has given me time to reflect on the bright side of winter.

Here we go, another list but some bright things about winter.

1. Spring skiing, can't do it without winter.

2. Fire in the fire place. Fall is good time for a fire, but nothing like a winter night, some brandy and a crackling fire. I might just start one in few minutes.

3. No mowing, fertilizing, or weeding. As much as I like to drive my tractor, the first three months of summer are spent agonizing over how poor my lawn looks compared to the manicured turf of my neighbors. I do take joy in the lawn, but I spend an awful amount of time fretting about it. From time to time the amount of time I spend on the lawn, flower beds, and gardens is a point of contention with my dear spouse. I don't spend nearly as much time shoveling the snow.

4. NCAA Basketball, I like college athletics, I like college basketball. March Madness wouldn't be the same in September.

5. Bragging rights. Winter gives me the opportunity to tell my snow bird friends how vicious and harrowing we hardy northerners are for sticking out the winter.

6. Ice fishing. Unless you do it or have done it ice fishing is fun. It gives folks access to water they might not otherwise have. It can be a really good time if you do it right.

7. Almost forgot, No Bugs. Bees are gone, mosquitoes too, spiders hardly seen. Ants are deep underground, I have not a mound.

Well, there is more, but I haven't reflected that far yet. Stay warm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

I love my family, have a great job in a great town, have a nice little house and a garden too. I like my life. I am happy, oh, there is still more ladder to climb, goals to be achieved, but really, what more could I ask for? Yes, the proverbial is cup full, it took a lot of effort to make it that way and lots more to keep it so, but my cup does runneth over.

My cup runneth over when I...:

...experience that rare day of fishing: when no matter what lure or bait is being trolled, cast, jigged, or otherwise; when the sun, breeze, temperature, waves, sky and the fish just keep biting and getting caught. I have had a handful of such days and yearn for the next one.

...finally acquire a fine shotgun (fly rod, spinning rod, etc.) of my own. I enjoy the shooting sports and hunting. I have held a few fine arms, and admired many, but I want to own one. Few things feel as good in the hand as a well balanced, good fitting, and finely made sporting arm.

...engage my children in the sporting life and lifestyle. I have, as my principal fishing partner, a four year old girl. I love it. I have been blessed to have some remarkable fishing days with her without having caught any fish. It is pure joy hear my daughter ask when we might go fishing again. I understand it may not be the fishing that she enjoys, it may be the exclusive time and attention from dad. I don't care. I am happy that we are together. with with my father. My principal fishing partner used to me my Dad, we still fish together, but living in different cities makes that difficult. There have been truly epic days spent on the trout streams, lakes, and in the forests with him. Days where not much more than 10 words were said, but anymore words would have cluttered up the conversation. I am certain that others have had this experience too. It doesn't come instantly, not the first time out, not the hundredth time out, it maybe a thousand trips, some successful, most not, but it happens. I think the ingredient is time, fish help too.

...enjoy the fellowship of man. At one time I belonged to church where the pastor and several congregates were avid fly fisherman. I grew up fishing and fly fishing, never really tied my own flys though. One night a month during the winter season, the good Reverend would host fly tying night, several of congregates would show up and chat, share fly patterns and techniques. The tying sessions were open to anyone, but being new the Methodist church (and protestantism), I was reluctant to get into anything beyond the pew on Sunday mornings. With my wife's urging I went. I met many good folks, learned many things, and enjoyed the fellowship that introduced me to yet another group of people. I learned to tie a Woolly Bugger.

...find myself hunting grouse and woodcock on those classic October days in Northern Wisconsin. Grouse hunters know what I am trying to describe. It is those days when leaves have about completely fallen, the temperatures are in the low 50's, maybe a light southerly breeze keeps the northern chill at bay until darkness. It is these days, with sun on my back that I like to walk through the grouse woods pursuing perhaps the noblest of upland birds.On these trips I am often in the company several fine hunters and sportsman. They are my friends and peers and add to the enjoyment of the day. able to sit on my back porch with my wife in full enjoyment of her company. Sometimes we sit silently, sometimes listen to "A Prairie Home Companion", sometimes we talk. During these times, I really see and feel the joy of marriage. I cannot imagine being in the company of any other woman.

...after a long day of labor, be it in the yard, or at work, lay down in the bed and feel my tired muscles relax and melt into the mattress. The weight of the blankets pushing me further down, knowing, that I have done all I could for that day.

My cup runneth over.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Diatribe

So, it seems the people, at least the ones I know that do this blog stuff, have some need to publicly air their problems, frustrations, shortcomings and otherwise things that are best kept to oneself. I don't do it, won't do it, and if I do it, well it isn't my fault. (I learned that reading someone else's blog.)

So, that is my rant. I like the good old days of keeping everything bottled up inside, where it hurts.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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I am Josh, hear me roar...grrr.