Lately I have found more and more reason to keep a pocket notebook. I will not deny there have been a few scattered moments among my daily chores where I was at a loss. This is far from what I would consider a senior moment, although some would disagree. It's just that I feel it better to keep things penned in order to adjust their importance at a later date.
With this, a recent gathering of information had me discarding a number of pages that were not quite as clear as they should have been, and a few others that were totally unrecognizable. It's as if the written word was done by someone other than me -- which is not beyond comprehension.
It's just common nature for us to believe that our lives revolve around great moments. But too often great moments catch us unaware. Although we may not grasp their importance right away, this is a common phenomenon, due to the fact they may be disguised in what some may consider coincidental.
In putting together this week's column, a few key words from one of those written pages kept my deadline focused and my thoughts in order.
Every parent likes to boast of their children's talents. It allows them to live vicariously through their offspring, yet at the same time giving credit where credit is due. Too often, an overzealous parent will alienate their child from the very thing they wish to share.
In my case, this was of particular importance when my son began to take notice and question a few things. I feared he would never grasp our relationship, let alone help it develop into one of the best I have ever known.
And as I read the pages ...
I recall early-morning hikes to deer stands and his spirit sitting in a cold duck blind on windy mornings. He seemed so small sitting in the bow of the boat as we moved to another fishing spot or was setting out a spread of decoys.
I fondly remember with pride the morning he shot his first buck and how we both cried when Major, our black lab passed away. I marveled at the care and detail he took in keeping his fishing equipment and firearms in pristine condition. Memory is clouded by laughter as I still see the drastic results of his first attempt at fly-tying, the late-season turkey hunts, or the release of his first trophy fish.
Those early days and many others set the mold for a remarkable individual, a favorite fishing partner, an environmentally aware and dedicated hunter, and a true sportsman in every since of the word.
Patience and understanding relates with the young as it does with the elderly. The day will arrive soon enough when the student becomes the teacher. But until then, I will bide my time and long for future days among the woods and waters, content with the knowledge that in some small way I was able to share those special moments within the confines of our heritage.
For possible waters, there is hope and optimism. The only drawback is not believing. Each time new waters are fished, rumor is dispelled and we write a new chapter that every fish is a reminder. And while many will not remember exactly what you did, who you were or what you may have said, they will always remember how you made them feel.
If by chance you are wondering if that gift you purchased is what they needed or wanted, take heart, for you are not alone. Far too many gifts seem like great ideas at the time, yet the majority are merely an escape. A revelation of sorts that the hunt is over, but the reprieve is merely figment of a hopeful imagination that this will be the year the return line is vacant.
I have come to the conclusion that the majority of choices placed for our purchase and approval are derived by the untalented, sold by the uneducated, marketed by the unprincipled, and purchased by the utterly bewildered.
Until next week, I wish you the happiest of holidays and remind you to keep your rod tips high and the slack out of your lines. Till then, good fishin'.