Monday, August 23

Day on the Lake

     So, we live near an abundance of lakes, but somehow when you live close to something good, it's always there, and you don't take as much advantage of it as you should. Or something like that.
     We haven't really been been on the lake at all this summer, except for when we went camping way back in July. We were either busy on Saturdays, or had to work around home. I was getting rather desperate to get at least one good day of fishing and boating in, because my season is very close to ending. So when I saw a "free" Saturday on the calendar, I suggested we forget about getting work around the house done, and spend the day on a lake with a reasonable promise of fish. Clark thought that a fishing date sounded like a good idea.
     Our first consideration was where to go. Our second was which water craft to take.  Dad and Lance have been having reasonable success on a channel at the bottom of several big lakes, so we decided to try that. Which boat to take was a little more complicated. First we were going to take the green canoe and motor, but Clark wasn't thrilled about the idea of trying to unload it by himself. It's big and heavy, and I can't be much help right now. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to take that one because I knew that sitting on a hard backless seat was going to kill after a few hours, and we wanted to spend the better part of the day on the water. At another point we talked about taking the red canoe, but we would have to paddle it to where ever we were going, and the seating wasn't going to be any more comfortable. That left our boat. I had suggested using it, because we've never taken it out with just the two of us, and we both wanted to do that sometime. Clark wasn't sure about using that boat, bacause the motor needs some work done to it, but after talking it over with Dad they decided that it wouldn't do any harm to use it if we were careful. I liked the idea because it is roomy, has a comfortable seat, and is big enough to handle reasonable waves if the wind kicks up.
    So, everything fell in place. I bought stuff for a picnic lunch when I went to town the day before. Saturday we had breakfast and I washed the dishes while Clark studied for Sunday school and rounded up a few odd and ends to take out. We packed lunch and each found a few books we wanted to read. Then we left to go get the boat. First we decided to find the boat landing we were going to use, because neither of us knew exactly where it was, and Clark thought he would rather find it before he was trying to pull a boat trailer. We found the landing, a small one, and then went to get the boat. If any of you have ever prepared for a day on the lake, you know it takes a bit of time to get everything rounded up. Plus, we had to unload our gear from our car to the boat and vehicle we were using to pull it. Finally we headed out the lane. Everyone at home was busily working, and I was trying to decide whether we were being responsible by going off to play for a day when we had work at home, but I didn't feel very guilty about it. Work is always there for you to take up again right?
    We had to make the obligatory bait-and-gas stop, and get a few things for our lunch that I wasn't able to buy the day before. The boat landing is only a mile from Dads, and the bait and gas are between there, so that errand didn't take very long.
     Finally about noon we got to the landing proper. We backed in and got the boat unloaded. I told Clark he was either a logger or farmers son, because he backed the trailer in, no problem. I remember my Dad watching bemusedly at boat landings as some poor person that wasn't used to handling trailers tried to back into the water. I will also state that this farm girl never did figure out the art of backing trailers.
   We got our boat in and unloaded. About that time some people pulled in with a really huge boat that probably cost at least tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. I was really surprised they were going to try to put in there, because it didn't look deep enough for that boat. They had to wait on us for a few minutes until we got our boat pulled around to the other side of the dock. They didn't have any trouble getting it in though, and were very nice and friendly people. They were admiring our boat, which I thought was rather funny, and asked when the baby was due and stuff like that.
     We had discovered that we didn't have a paddle on our boat, which could prove to be unwise (there's a family legand about using a shovel to paddle the 'big red tub' across a lake after dark because a motor quit), so we called home and asked if someone could bring us a paddle. Frances answered and apparently our going out had made Lance get the fishing bug as well, because she said they were getting ready to come fishing too. So we waited for a little while until they got there. The forecast had predicted a sunny day with a high around 80, but at that point it was still cloudy and cool. The sun was beginning to peek through the clouds though.
     So about 12:30 we were properly underway.We rounded the corner from the boat landing and there was a blue heron in the weeds, so of course Clark had to stop and take pictures. Finally we headed across Big Lake. Big Lake runs into Little Lake, with a small channal between the two. The channal is rather shallow, and we had to use the trolling motor to get through there. Little Lake then empties through a channal into a flowage that eventually becomes the river that goes past our house. We were told that the mouth of Little Lake was the place we should go. Well, as we got onto Little Lake,  we spied a little corner that looked like it might yield good fishing. We decided we didn't have anything to lose by trying. So we got our selves over along the bank, and I tried a few casts off the bottom, which didn't get me anything.
    Clark thought maybe it was time for lunch, and he said he'd rather eat before he had worm entrails mixed in with his food, so we dug out the sandwiches. Clark decided to cast out with a bobber, and watch while he ate his sandwich. He took a few bites of his sandwich, and wham! there went his bobber. "Those fish can always tell when you are doing something else." He pulled in a nice sunny (he always gets the first fish). I decided I'd rather finish my sandwich and then start fishing. At some point in here the sun started making a bigger appearance. Lance and Frances came through also at some point here, but they headed on down to the flowage.
     So we settled in to see what we could get. I don't remember the exact sequence of who caught what when. We pulled in a few small pan fish that weren't worth the bother. Suddenly my bobber went under water. I started reeling in, and there was a heavy dead weight on my hook. I saw a big mess of weeds wrapped around my line, and thought "Oh great, a big mess of weeds with a stupid little fish on the hook." The line was reeling in really hard. Clark was like,"Honey, what do you have going on there?" I had no idea, and what ever was on there wasn't fighting. He looked over the edge of the boat and suddenly got really excited. "You've got a whale!" I could finally see what I had, and it was big alright. Clark grabbed the fish net we had just bought, and scooped it in. The fish was a big old bass. Clark was oozing with jealousy. "I don't want to hear any more about not catching fish!" I said, "If that thing is under 14 in. I'm going to cry." I was pretty sure it was more then 14 in. though. A rough measurment showed 16.5, and I'm suspicous that it was closer to 17. Well, I was quite proud of myself as you can imagine.
      We decided there wasn't any point in moving away from that hole. We caught some more nice big sunnies. I dropped my line over the edge of the boat and caught about three fish in a row. Clark was growling after the third one, but he was catching fish too, so I don't know what the problem was. I think he still out fished me. He tried a spoon to see if there were any northern, but didn't have any success with that.
     About 2:30 in the afternoon the sun was getting hot, and the fish weren't biting anymore. We moved around the corner into some shade and dug out our books. Across the lake there is a church. I was hoping that we could see it properly, but there were trees along the lake edge, so all we could see was the steeple and the outline of the buildings. The bell rang several times while we were out there though. It was a sunny day, and there were lots of boats out doing water recreation, skiing and tubing and such. There were a few other fishing boats as well, but our corner was nice and quiet. There weren't any houses along the banks of where we were either.  We cast out our lines and watched them as we read, but didn't have much action. I think Clark did catch a few. Lance and Frances came back through about this time, and they had about 20 panfish.
     Around 5 we decided to go back to our former hole and see what we could get.Our worms were getting quite dead by this time, and so they broke really easily. There were lots of little hungry fish that would get the worms without getting caught. We did catch a few nice ones. I did my trick of dropping my line over the edge of the boat, and again caught about three in a row. I waited about 15 or twenty mins. and tried it again. I pulled one or two more in that way. The panfish we caught and kept were all very nice size. The whole time we were out we did catch little ones that we threw back in again
    We called mom about a quarter after six and wondered if she had a supper plan. We figured between what we had and what Lance had we easily had enough for supper. She thought that sounded like a good idea. About 7 we decided if we were going to have fish for supper, it was time to leave. We only had one or two worms left anyway.
     So we crept through the channal again, and then headed out across Big Lake at a nice rate of speed, which I enjoyed. We got to the boat landing and got the boat loaded, which was an interesting experience with only two people, one of whom is rather top heavy right now. Clark pretty much ended up wading in to his hips to get everything right. Our boat is rather heavy and doesn't like to load properly. Another interesting thing is that the same friendly people came into the dock to load their boat as we were loading ours. They had had a good day of play on the lake as well. So we got back to moms about 7:30, and Clark promptly started cleaning fish while Brad helped me unload our gear. I stowed everything away in the car while Brad and Clark finished cleaning fish. I said I wanted at least a meal to take home with us, since I knew that there was more fish then everyone would eat for supper. So my bass and several panfish are in the freezer waiting a supper sometime in the near future.
    We came off the lake tired, very dirty, and sunburnt; but very happy. We had a lovely relaxing day, and got to enjoy a little bit of summer. The house is dirty, and the lawn needs mowing, but somehow neither of us would trade our day on the lake for having things in order.
    Sorry I don't have pictures, esp. of my bass. :)  Also, this post was planned before Gabe's was posted, so don't accuse me of being a copy-cat. :)

Wednesday, August 18

Family Reunion

         What a weekend!! My mom's side of the family decided to get together for a reunion. It was worth every minute of it.
         My wife and I arrived Friday afternoon to find the campground looking more like a swampy place for frogs, snakes, and alligators. No fault of the campground, they had just had a lot of rain. So, upon looking at the conditions of the various and sundry spots to put up our tent, we settled for a graveled spot that seemed to come up from the surrounding area a few inches. With that and a tarp over our tent, we did manage to stay dry in spite of the downpour of rain that followed. When I say dry I mean the only water that came into our tent was what we brought in with our feet.
         One of the first fun activities to commence was a water battle. I personally did not take part due to the fact that I saw it necessary to document the proceedings with my camera and I did not think it prudent to join in with the sensitive electronics and all. I should also add a confession that carrying a camera also offered a great point of reasoning to various maliciously prone parties of water warriors; I would be sore displeased if my camera were to be threatened, thus I avoided getting wet. There were others that were not so fortunate. A thoroughly soaked troop of the water warriors seemed to have no conscience and took a great pleasure in practicing their watery craft on innocent bystanders.
        I did manage to get wet though, but it was due to my own fault. I attempted to leap gracefully over a mud puddle only to have the first leg that attained the intended side, lose all traction. I consequently came to rest on the opposite side, not on my feet, but on my rear. (Why do you find that funny?)
        On Saturday, a large portion of the male gender went out to the lake in pursuit of the creatures that live therein. They were not unsuccessful and came back with enough fish to do for Saturday evening supper. It was delicious!! I didn't personally go fishing, but stayed behind to play games and visit. I do not wish to talk about the games, other than to inform those that I played with, that I am really not that bad of a rook player.We played Catan too, and I did no better in that either. Seriously though, it isn't about winning and losing, it is about being with family.
        Perhaps one of the most fond memories I will take away, was singing together. That was really precious to me. I forget how well my moms side of the family can sing. I look forward to the day when we get to heaven and we will be able to sing for as long as we want and neither us or our voices will tire of it. I want to say thank you to all my cousins that joined in the effort to have some songs for Sunday morning church.
        Sunday was really special. Each one of the families got up and shared something. Then the cousins sang. There was a class for the children. Grandpa had a little to share. I don't think I will ever forget him sharing on the plan of salvation. Grandpa also prayed a blessing on us all by going through and praying for each one of the children and grandchildren by name. It brought back memories when I was a boy in grandpa's living room. It would take forever for him to get done. Now I realize how precious that is and I want to thank you for it Grandpa.
            Anyway before I start to meander through long pontifications on various and sundry subjects I will conclude my dissertations on the various activities of the previous weekend.

So Long!!


Here is a link for photos from the weekend. 

Random Bits

     Well I think it's time for another post. I'm not exactly sure what to post about. I was wondering around the Internet looking at various peoples blogs, and felt very inadequate to post anything remotely interesting. I've decided that the people with the more interesting blogs (1.) are social people to begin with and (2.) have children to post about. I feel like my posts run along the same lines, pregnancy, gardening, weather, and maybe what we've been doing lately. Maybe you all should give suggestions about topics for me to post about. And then I won't promise to post on those!
     We had a Skrivseth reunion this weekend, but Clark is preparing a post on that, so I'm not going to steal his thunder. I will say that it was very fun and enjoyable, and I enjoyed learning to know everyone better. The fun part for me is that Clark is the oldest grandson, so a few of his aunts are not very much older then he is. Which makes them about the same place in life that I am, so we have lots of things in common. It was good to reflect on family and heritage.
     We've had a lot of rain this summer, and quite a few bad storms. I think we've run to safer quarters about 4 or 5 times now. One Saturday night we crept into moms a little after 10:30, and left again at 5:30. If Grandma hadn't come down in the middle of the night, no one would ever have known we were there. Ok so that was the weather post. I've been able to have my windows open all day and night for about 4 days in a row now. I can't remember when that last happened!
     The gardening bit, not much to report. My garden and flower bed wimped out this year. Not sure if it was the weather or the garden or the gardener. I do have lovely carrots. I planted blueberries as an experiment, we'll see how they do. The one plant already looks a little sad. 
     The pregnancy part, well let's see. It's getting awfully close for comfort. I've got less then three weeks now. I was looking at pictures from the weekend, and told Clark that I can see the extra  **lbs. If I gain that much with each pregnancy, help!! I washed car seat covers etc. today , and took bleach water after what I couldn't launder. We still need to set up the crib and rearrange the bedroom. I need to go shopping for a few odds and ends. The poor child will come into this world with no socks or blankets if I don't do something about it soon. What are some things you all wish you would have had for you or the baby that you didn't have? I have a list but I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting. I asked at the reunion this weekend, and Evie mentioned those ear/nose bulb thingys. Which is a necessary thing I had totally forgotten about, so I'm sure I haven't thought of everything else either.
     I've been enjoying the cooler weather. It makes me think of fall. I always get the itch to start school or something at this time of year. I guess that once you do school for 12 years you can't shake the feeling at the turn of summer. So I plan projects and dig out old handwork and get the urge to raid the local library. I've decided to read up on history, since that was my favorite subject in school.
   So anyway, that's the latest from me. There's ladies Bible study tonight, but I decided I'd rather stay in my house and spend a cozy eve. with my man. Clark and I are hoping to spend time on the water Sat. fishing or something. I suppose that will be the last of my boating and fishing for the season.
    Have a good week, all of you!