I decided this year to make time to take the boys fishing. So, in May I purchased a $35 license and set it in what I thought was a reasonably safe place. More on that later. Advance several months to a screaming busy work schedule, social life, house remodel, wood for the winter, broken down everything...and still no fishing. To avoid another missed chance to share the joy, this Saturday morning was determined to be THE day. We were going fishing. In order to make getting little boys out of bed at 0545 easier, I got them jazzed up about the whole idea and mentioned the bakery might be open before the fish were awake. The parenting joy was in full tilt as we listened to Caleb and Emet in their bunk beds discussing the finer points of sneaking up on fish.
Early that evening I had realized that my grandpa's fishing gear and the pole he had given me were in bad shape. A gracious coworker stayed late and we oiled reels and put on new line. But three fishermen and two poles just wouldn't do. So off to Bi-mart for a new rod and reel. Even on sale, I rang up another $30. After the kids were in bed, the preparation continued by carefully setting up the new pole, tying hooks and swivels, and getting everything into the truck.
At midnight, I thought I would look for the fishing license that I had purchased in May. At 0130 we determined it was gone...filed, thrown out, or organized.....didn't matter, just gone. Now fishing in the morning was a mission.
0545, dizzy with tiredness, I tucked in little sister and went to wake the boys. Caleb greeted me with open eyes and "Papa, I've been awake." Emet shared in my morning grogginess. Caleb, seeing that all of the fish were going to be caught before we got to the lake at the pace that I was going, showed incredible maturity and encouragement. He got and helped me put on my shoes and reminded us that "we're going fishing today."
Even a very tired Papa was motivated by an enthusiastic little helper.
The gate to the lake opened at 0630. The new fishing license would have to wait until 0700. We were not going to get the jump we were hoping for. Even still, coffee and donuts can fix a lot of disappointment at that early hour.
The bakery was closed.
Ok, we'll get some gas and Starbuck's coffee and wait until the store opens. Five more dollars.
The lady behind the counter at Fred Meyer kindly explained the $20 fee that I would need to pay for the reissue of the fishing license. We were on a mission...
License and coffee in hand, the 1979 Dodge crew-cab gassed up, and we finally head for the lake. The recent repairs to the truck were not sufficient to keep us from spending a few minutes on the side of the road. I briefly contemplated quickly darting over and grabbing the suburban. No, we were on a mission. A few exciting backfires and rolling starts later, we finally got to the lake and pay the $10 dollar parking fee. We walked down to the lake, each with pole in hand, and I finally felt the stress from the work week and the fishing mission start to dissipate. Papa left the new bait in the truck. Ok, we tried the salmon eggs that were purchased before Caleb was born. They worked.
The boys intently looked for each move of the bobber, and we grappled with three perch. Their concentration level was not high, but neither was mine. One for Caleb and two for Emet.
All tolled, the Ordway fishing mission cost about $50 an hour and surely sent some of Papa's brown hair to gray. But spending special time with my boys and seeing the results causes me to think there are more missions in store.....