Fishing With the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

My experiences as a fisherman have all been lacking in excitement. And that’s fine with me. I have no desire to actually catch a fish; although, I do enjoy sitting in the shade by a peaceful lake with a fishing pole in one hand and a good beer in the other.

If any fish come to pay a call I just say, “No thanks, I’m a vegan.”

For those horrified that I might actually harm an innocent fish, please don’t fret. It seems one needs a hook and bait in order to land a fish. The pole alone isn’t sufficient to the task.

I do like songs about fishing, though. Well, one song anyway. I was out driving around this afternoon, listening to the Garth Brooks channel on SiriusXM, when my favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song was played. The song, “Fishing in the Dark,” might not even be about fishing. Wink, wink. I have a feeling it’s a little tongue in cheek, and that makes me love it even more.

Peace, people!

Turning Left

Yesterday afternoon my good friend, Flo, called me. She had a story to share and gave me permission to share it with you. Let’s see if I can tell Flo’s story properly.

First, let me tell you a little about Flo. She’s an angel. That’s not just my opinion, several people I know feel the same way. Flo is a retired hospice nurse who brings loving attention to everything she does. She is, in popular parlance, “mindful.”

Recently Flo spent several weeks providing her particular brand of expertise to support mutual friends of ours in Tennessee, and currently she’s helping out at her daughter’s home in South Carolina. An angel.

After dropping one of her granddaughters off at school on Thursday morning, Flo came to an intersection. She could either turn right and go back to her daughter’s home where she’d be by herself until the end of the school day, or left, to explore unknown territory. She turned left onto Mason Boro Loop Road and then onto the Carolina Beach Highway that took her into the town of Kure Beach.

Flo said that finding the town, located on Pleasure Beach, North Carolina, felt like discovering the real America. She parked for free and walked through the quaint town, stopping for lunch at the Kure Beach Cafe where she had a view of the waves meeting the beach, taking sand out and depositing sand in its place.

After lunch, Flo strolled out on the pier, visiting with fishermen and enjoying the mild weather. I imagine gulls wheeling nearby, even though Flo didn’t mention them. Maybe even a few pelicans were present, diving to pluck a fat fish from the water. I do love pelicans.

Flo is always interested in people, and when I say she visited with the fishermen I mean she likely had full blown conversations. The first one she encountered had a couple of fishing poles with lines dangling in the water. They spoke about his luck so far that day before she moved on to another fisherman a bit farther down the pier.

This man was watching over six poles, three on the south side of the pier and three on the north side. Flo asked him why he’d split his equipment up rather than just having it all on one side. He said the fish migrate—something Flo wasn’t aware of, and that in the spring when fish are moving north, the best fishing is on the southerly side of the pier. In the fall, it’s best on the northerly side.

She told me, “I’m in my sixties and I learned something brand new. I had no idea that fish migrated.”

(I deduced that since the man had poles on both sides, he was hedging his bets.)

Leaving the pier to walk on the beach, Flo encountered a man about her age who was looking for shells.

“I’m looking for sea glass,” she told him. He had no idea what that was. She explained how glass thrown overboard or washed out to sea becomes weathered and sculpted over time by the waves, the sun, and the sand, to transform into treasures for people to discover on the beach.

Flo was delighted with the way her day had gone. She both learned something new and taught someone something new. Isn’t it lovely to know that even in our sixties we can still do both?

We should all be more like Flo.

Peace, people.

Snapshot #81

I took this photo at a local store that specializes in hunting and fishing paraphernalia, i.e. fishing rods, guns, ammunition, etc. I’m not sure how a pacifier fits their target demographic, but then my degree isn’t in marketing.

There are too many things going on in this packaging for me to come up with a single title. Note the, “Ages 6 months to 99 years” recommendation in the lower left hand corner. Perhaps I should call this one, “A Gift for the Ages!”

Maybe I should focus on the whole Broadway Baby/fame aspect. How about, “I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille,” or “Kim Kardashian, Eat Your Heart Out.”

Suggestions are welcome. 

Gator in the House

I succesfully rendezvoused with our son Jason in Jackson, Mississippi, and brought our grandkids, Dominique (13), and Jackson (10), home with me to Havana, Florida. No sooner had we gotten unpacked than Dominique headed to the lake with her fishing pole, and Jackson suited up to ride his minibike.

   
 

I had a glass of wine and handed over supervisory duties to Studly Doright, aka Poppa.

Dominque caught a fish right off the bat.

 
Prompting Jackson to come join in the fun:

  
And then our resident gator made an appearance:

  
I believe I’ll go have another glass of wine within the safe confines of Doright Manor and pray that no one falls prey to our reptile friend. 

Peace, people.

Benches

All along the wooden pier,
benches sit immobile,
beckoning visitors to rest.
Words etched on brass plates
for all to see:
“In Loving Memory of My Parents”
“For My Dearest Aunt Laura”
“In Memory of a Great Fisherman”

One imagines the benches might
mark the places at which each
memorialized person spent time
casting hooked lines
into the gulf’s waters
while drinking cold Budweiser
to better pass the time
between sunrise and sunset.

Now, lovers claim the benches
wrapped in embraces, scarcely
noticing the memorial plaques
on the creaky, weathered slats.
Fishing for affection
in the early evening hours
catching no fish,
but not caring.

  

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