Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Holy Fish!

We recently took our first fishing trip of 2009. It was supposed to be a mini family reunion, put together by Juanita with the date chosen to accommodate Sheri’s busy schedule. Then, Sheri’s plans changed and she didn’t show up after all. Sadly, very few people did. We arrived at Pete & Carolyn’s campsite and set up our tent. Then, we waited for everyone to show. They didn’t, so we tried to find other things to do.

Carolyn took me and the boys “sea shell” hunting. Actually, they are more like little snail shells, but it was fun to search for them. She’s really good at spotting them, and soon the boys were too. We had bunches in our bucket. Of course, I have a really crafty idea for their use, but we’ll have to see if I actually get it done. The boys and I also took a little walk up to the state sheds near the road to check out the orange tractor (snow plow). It was a favorite all weekend. Then, dinner and bed.

Toddler’s don’t do “bed” well when camping…..

We got up the next morning and headed out for fishing after breakfast. We stopped at Miller’s first, but we didn’t choose a very good spot. It was muddy (the slimy kind) and the boys couldn’t go near the water without getting stuck in the mud. The highlight of this stop was the sight of me trying to keep my balance in the slippery muck. I almost biffed it, but managed to stay upright (don’t ask me how!). The boys were restless and fussy, so we walked along the road while Bub packed everything back up.

We headed off to Potter's where Bub caught two while the boys and I played. Potter’s is the place to go with little people. There was something to look at, climb on, pick up, or throw. We took walks, we banged sticks on fallen trees, we looked at flowers, we jumped off of logs, we threw sticks for Lizzy. When the boys got tired, they sat down together in the grasses along the shore. Meatball sat in back with Peanut right in front of him. Then, Meatball proclaimed “We sit tall grass.” They were so cute, but alas - no camera.

When something is noteworthy or interesting for the boys, I say “Holy Cow!” Or “Holy Cats!” in an exaggerated way so that they understand the relative importance or excitement. So, when Meatball helped Bub pull her second fish out of Potter’s and yelled “Holy Fish!” we just lost it. It was hilarious. And, it’s good to know that he understands. So smart! Both boys got to help her land a fish, and while it was fun, they wouldn’t go near them while they were flopping around on the ground.

On the way back to camp, we ran into dad who would be camping for a week with Jake. We promised to see him again soon – for sure the next morning for some fishing. Once we got back to camp, Juanita, Richard and Kesli were all there to spend the night, and Darrell and Calli brought three of their kids up for lunch. It was fun to see everyone. Calli is pregnant with #6! Meatball took a real liking to Anna, and he followed her around like a puppy - talking and gabbing the entire time. Peanut was more interested in opening every compartment he could find – like a cubby hole in Carolyn’s trailer or hinged gas tank hole covers – as well as jumping off of the trailer steps. After another trip to see the orange tractor (which involved a lot of blowing of the puff balls), we cooked up some dinner and went to bed.

We got up the next morning at the butt crack of dawn and loaded everyone into the truck to get in some early morning fishing. We ate pop tarts as we headed off to find dad. He was camped at Miller’s, but it was too early to get him up. So, we headed down to the water. This area was much less muddy than the spot the day before. While Bub fished, the boys and I moved down the shore a bit and threw rocks into the water. I know that this is irritating to other fishermen, but I now understand why parents let their kids do it: it keeps them occupied and happy. I will always hold in my memory the sight of the two of them sitting next to each other in completely mis-matched camping clothes, throwing rocks into the water, and giggling wildly as Lizzy tried to figure out what was going on. I don’t use the word “precious” much, but this definitely qualified.

Dad got up and came down to do some fishing with the boys. At the same time, Bub had brought a change of clothes (still totally mis-matched) since they were all damp from sitting on wet sand, having rocks splash back, and having Lizzy shake water every three minutes. Meatball wanted mostly to dig in the sand and dirt while Peanut insisted on holding Dad’s pole and reeling the line in by himself. He, of course, got the line all tangled, so they weren’t doing much fishing at all. It wouldn’t have mattered, though since no fish were really biting. (Not counting the two that Bub totally missed because she was still tired and zoning out.)

The boys were getting fussy, so we headed back to dad’s camper for some sourdough pancakes. It was here that they played in the bunk bed area, laughing the entire time – well, until Meatball fell while climbing up. They didn’t eat any pancakes, but Bub and I really enjoyed them! Then, the boys played while dad did dishes and I swept out all of the mud that we had just tracked into the camper. Then, all of us got into the truck and headed to Potter’s.

The boys were asleep when we arrived, so I sat with them and read a book while Bub and dad headed off to get a good spot. There were very few people since it was Sunday and everyone was on their way back home. By the time that the boys woke and I got them to the fishing spot, Bub had already caught two. We did a lot of the same things as the day before, but added in smearing power bait on the overalls, extending Bub’s fish measuring tape about 100 times, and refusing to eat. Bub had also rigged up an extra line (no hook) that Peanut reeled in time and time again.

We also watched chipmunks! The little creatures were very close to us – risking all to pick up potato chips and pieces of peanut butter sandwiches that were scattered everywhere. We had a good time watching them run up and down the logs and tree trunks.

Jake and Bill showed up the last hour, and Meatball followed her around gibber jabbering the whole time. Before packing everyone into the truck, dad and Jake stood with the boys for their first communal stand-up pee which didn’t go great considering the fact that Meatball didn’t have anything and Peanut peed on his sweats. But, peeing with the guys – what a rite of passage even though they don’t understand it yet.

Oh yeah - Bub totally outfished dad, 7 to 1. She's quite proud of this.

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