Just Fishin’…

I don’t have many memories from childhood- but some of the good ones include fishing adventures. My Dad loved to fish- and funny- I don’t know if he ever actually got to do it, he was so busy fixing, untangling, un-snagging, and re-rigging our lines. I remember the air and the grass and the sound of the water. I remember how my Dad could expertly tie knots in the fishing line and how he would fearlessly grab a worm and split it in two with his bare hands.

As I got older, it was fun to sit and watch the men enviously change their rigs over and over as they watched us girls haul in the fish using only our water-logged “worm sundae’s” and a little patience. One day, Sally and I counted “Thirteen!” from the bank, while Dad was helping Grandpa, who was risking life and limb to rescue his lure from way up in a tree. Even then, in the midst of the worst of aggravations, my Dad would put down his pole to tie on my hooks whenever it needed doing.

I’m so thankful to both of my parents for helping me to develop a love for the outdoors. It was in moments like these- and many others- from camping to more simple backyard experiences, that I learned to talk to God and believe in the unseen. Things were very tough at home- but there was a place I could go- even if I didn’t understand the respite I would find there.

So this week, I have been fishing with the Wil-de-beast. Historically, he hasn’t cared all that much about fishing- but it now seems he has caught the bug. He wakes up in the morning thinking about the pole. He even missed a workout- which for him, is unheard of.

On the first day- the Wil-de-beast and I decided we wanted to try worms, so we dug up the field grass, right where we stood, with whatever implements we could find in the tackle box. Our most useful tool was the fillet knife- we were able to carve away chunks of ground and quickly grab exposed worms before they got away. Using a knife ensured that we had nice worm pieces anyway. This was sort of a trap-setting, living-off-the-land kind of thing and I’m sure the worms were juicier and the catch was sweeter since we extracted these babies from the earth ourselves.

This fishing fun led us to the Walmart store, where the Wil-de-beast spent an inordinate amount of time in the fishing aisle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so eager to plunk down ten bucks on his necessities; now I know why Grandpa was willing to risk his life up in that tree.

The beast has spent hours alone out in the not-so-easy-to-fish-in paddle boat exploring little coves and experimenting with different bait. He caught some big bass and some nice crappie- but he also caught the ability to enjoy the journey- fish or no fish. As I look out the window, and spot the boat tucked into a little cove, my eyes fill with tears as I realize these are hours spent with God. As he watches the water ripple and listens to the birds sing- there’s likely a voice speaking to his heart and it’s likely that the Wil-de-beast is talking back… and he thinks he’s just fishin’.

It’s these kind of little things that really blow me away.

The Little Things…
 I don’t know about you- but I find that details, business, entertainment, and connectivity can creep in and smother my creative impulses. If I’m not careful, I find that somehow I stop breathing- fail to hear the birds sing- and find myself dry and out of the stream. In these shorter posts, entitled, “The Little Things,” I hope to make a public effort to tend my private heart by recording a few of the little things that bring me life. Please join me in this adventure by taking a moment to record for yourself how you stepped into the stream today. What little thing did you intentionally do for yourself that makes you laugh, cry, or sing? What are you doing that makes you feel alive? Record them for yourself and share with the rest of us when you feel you can. I would love to interact.
Happy little things!
~Catherine 

10 thoughts on “Just Fishin’…

  1. My favorite childhood memories go back to time spent in southeast Missouri at my Grandma and Grandpa Dunivans house. Aside from playing hide & seek in the cotton fields, within a half hour of arrival I would come in the back door with my arms full of green onions pulled from their garden. They always planted an extra row for when Laura Jean came to visit. There was a stocked catfish lake near the Arkansas state line near Paragould I think. We used to sit on the bank and fish with cane poles. We used calf liver cut into small pieces or the stink balls cat fish bait, and shimp too sometimes. The catfish we would haul out of there were HUGE. We’d take them up the road a piece where they would clean and filet them. Back home we’d have platters of cornmeal breaded catfish, fried okra, hush puppies, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and the best green onions in the world. I love Indiana, but we do not know how to grow good tasting catfish here. None compare with that time. My brothers used to go down at watermelon harvest time to help pitch watermelons out of the field. Like a bucket brigade from one set of arms to the next over to the edge where the truck was parked. Then they’d drive through town near dinnertime, selling them off the back of the truck for 2.00 a piece, or three cantelopes for a dollar. It was family, mom, dad, grandma & grandpa, aunt lessie and cousins. You could tell how good a time I had back then by the size of the dirt ring I left on the bathtub.

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    • Loved reading your story, Laura! I could see, smell, and taste it all. In fact, I feel a little sweaty and I have a sudden craving for watermelon 🙂 I better go get a bath and see about the ring in the tub!! Thanks so much for sharing- you need to send this off to your family so they can have chuckle and remember…. Hugs to you, sister.

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  2. My love for the outdoors was inspired by my dad and grandma. I remember being five-years old and going “huntin” with my dad for the first time. I learned to walk quietly and listen deeply to the wind, the leaves blowing, the birds singing, and all the other sounds that might go un-noticed. I witnessed so many beautiful things in nature that so many people overlook because they have never learned how to breath life in. I spent countless, precious hours with my grandma, walking throughout her yard watching the new flower shoots poke up out of the warm spring soil, planting vegetable seeds and carefully tip-toeing in the garden every day eagerly awaiting the tiny leaves to finally peek out of the ground, smelling the hyacinth and lilac breezes from the front porch and falling asleep for an afternoon nap to the cooing of the mourning doves nesting in the spruce trees, and the sounds of locust calling in the summer months. To me, these are God’s little gifts, they bring me hope and comfort and have given me such warm memories of some of the most special times in my life. I love sharing these experiences with others, to some, it seems to open a new door to a world of wonder they didn’t realize existed.

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    • Oh, I could feel the breeze as if I were on the front porch swing! The things you and Laura have shared seem like the very essence of life… these sights and sounds- this awareness of the pulse of the seasons is getting lost in our fast-paced world. God is forever the still, small voice in the little things- and it’s the little things that are so profoundly powerful. Thanks so much for sharing your memories and secrets so that we can go through the door with you…

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  3. I love the way that God has gifted you with writing skills to “record a few things in life that bring us all life.” I still have your 15+ year story in my Bible which I so cherish. I need to read it again soon, as it so warms my soul. Please continue to tend to your heart so we can all share…
    Love,
    Sandy Mudry

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    • I miss you, Sandy. If I could only turn back the hands of time, I would be able to better recognize that the grains of sand running through my fingers can never be recaptured. I’m so grateful for memories and for friends like you, who have continued to be an encouragement over many years and miles. ❤

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  4. Dearest Catherine~ I read your blogs from time to time, and with the reading of each one I’m taken aback with the thought: “wow…I subscribe to emails like these from people I don’t even know, and here is my dear friend Catherine writing with beautiful words and sharing lovely photos that speak to my heart- especially since I know your family.” Thank you for sharing with us! The pace of life does seem so very fast with all the pulls in every direction. Today though, the song “You are Stronger; You are Stronger…” echoed in my mind all day- as I shelved books and waited on customers and shared life to life with co-workers. As I used white out tape to correct some typo’s, I hummed the song; as I walked on the floor, “floating” as we call it at the library, I sang the song in my heart. Truly, He is Stronger. He is Stronger. Sin is broken. He has saved me. ~Thanks be to the Lord! ~I love you, C.~

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    • Oh, Dianne… We have so many precious memories that bond our hearts together, no matter how many years or miles pass. Thanks for sharing your “little things” from today… “floating” in worship is the sweetest way to get through the day. Love you always and appreciate our tea dates more than you can ever know.

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