Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I'm writing this while keeping in mind the one request Rick had pertaining to our fishing excursion... "Just don't say it was all happy." This was said minutes after we pulled the boat from the water and being the trooper that he is I understand where this came from. So I'll share with you my best Dr. Phil version of telling it like it is, or was...
To be fair, we put in a tall order on Sunday. We got up in the morning and began cleaning out Grandpa Jim's boat to use that day at the lake. Rick and the boys vacuumed and scrubbed and spiffed it up all morning. We left at 1 in the afternoon already beginning to tire, but the beautiful 80 degree days aren't a guarantee. And when you have winter for 6-7 months out of the year, you won't waste an opportunity to be outside enjoying nature and sunshine.
So we drove a quick 45 minutes and decided to go to Lake Sally. When you live in Minnesota, going to the lake is an iconic part of your existence, especially when there really are over 10,000 lakes to choose from and a big concentration of those lakes is only 45 minutes away. Nolan had already practiced with Rick on Saturday, clinging to his daddy most of the time as he got over his initial fear of being on the water. So after being peppered with 6,352 questions about how fast we would drive the boat, and how deep the water was, and how big the fish were etc... we finally arrived and prepared to put the boat in the water.
I have two big regrets that might have saved us a little of the agony we were about to endure :) For one thing, the access was busy with people putting in all kinds of boats. We had to act quickly to drop the boat in and get out of the way. I jumped in the boat and grabbed the dock while Rick went and pulled the truck up to a parking space. At the last second I forgot to tell him to grab our drinks and snacks for the boat. With no lunch break yet, and dinner time approaching, the rumbling of our tummies and the grumbling of our kids set in all too quickly.
Plus we were HOT. Now nobody was complaining about it, because we've waited a very long time for it to warm up outdside. But hot on top of hungry and tired do not mix well. Which leads me to my second mistake. While I had slathered everyone with sunscreen, I seemed to have forgotten my own shoulders and arms. After a couple of hours on the boat I began to sense the magnitude of my mistake as my skin started to pink up and I too now was on the verge of misery.
But in true Scandinavian-stubborn mode, we were so determined to fish! Despite trying to keep 2 small boys from falling out of the boat. And preventing them from tangling their lines. Or trying to keep them from hooking someone with their lines. We all still managed to get our poles in the water a few times.
And then we heard a shout from Nolan. Now we'd heard quite a few shouts from him already. Like "Hey, not so fast!!!" And "Daddy, don't drive over the drop-off, what if we fall in?" This time, he felt a big tug on his line.
We watched it bend and bend. He was fighting with it, but he kept on it and with the help of Rick and the net he finally landed his big fish. We have a guesstimate at best as to the size but we figured it was a 7 to 8 pound northern pike. Since we didn't have a way to bring it home or anyone skilled in cleaning it, we let it go. But needless to say there were a few more smiles after that for a brief time.
Eventually, smiles gave way to fatigue and hunger and heat. When Colton hit the end of his rope and the sweat pouring down his face started to commingle with his tears, we left. Rick managed to snag one smaller northern as we neared shore. I didn't even get a picture of it before it came off the line and splashed back into the water.
After another half hour of securing the boat back on the trailer, we left the lake, tired, dirty, hungry, and hot. And we all knew just the place to assuage all of those things... stay tuned for the rest of our fish tale... and see what a difference a little food, something to drink and a little time to relax can do for a perspective :)
When you get lucky
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