Sweet, Sweet Summertime

Officially summer doesn?t begin until June 21. Don?t you think someone needs to tell Mr. Outside Thermostat? Man it?s hot. I truly do love summer. One of the things I enjoy most is my garden. We have already been eating lettuce and onions and my husband Jerry just brought in a banana pepper and two cucumbers. Fresh salad is on the menu for supper tonight. Yum. I can?t wait to can green beans and tomatoes. And my rhubarb is ready to cut and freeze.

Another of my favorite things to do in the summer is fish. Last Saturday Jerry and I were on the river early. The fog was still lifting from the surface of the water. The cool morning was invigorating and I was ready for yet another challenging day of trying to catch more fish than Jerry. Mind you its never happened. That?s right. After years of fishing Jerry has always caught more than me. A couple of weeks ago on our first fishing trip of the season I was hopeful. I snagged the first, a twelve-inch small mouth bass. Then Jerry got two, then, I got two and was ahead again. In the end Jerry landed two knotty head and won by a single fish. Again!

This past weekend I caught eight and the master fisherman caught eleven. I never dreamed I?d enjoy fishing so much. Even if I don?t win I love the feel of a catch on my line. The way he struggles for his freedom, tugging left, then right swirling, jumping out of the water. I never try to hurt the poor fellows. I gently un-snag the hook, look them in the eye and thank them for letting me catch them, then throw them back into their watery home.

You see all kinds of things while floating down the river. Last year we spied the largest turtle we?d ever seen. He was under water perched on a big rock. The hole was deep and he was just resting, hoping a fish would float by to supply his dinner. There is no telling how old that turtle is, maybe as old as the ancient waters of New River. So many animals live along the water. Muskrats, beavers, snakes, geese, ducks, cranes, and on hot summer days, lots of people. River folk are a friendly lot. We always holler across the way to each other, ?How you doing? Having any luck??? On Saturday two guys passed our boat. One commented, ?You two must have a good marriage if she?ll go fishing with you.? I thought, how does he know I?m not the one letting Jerry come fishing with me?

Yes, time together doing simple things can strengthen a marriage. Years ago I would take a book with me to read, just in case the fish were not biting, but not anymore. I fish from the time we leave the shore until we reach our destination. Jerry has a saying; ?You can?t catch a fish if your hook is not in the water.? So true, and one day just because I?m diligent, I?m going to beat him and hook more of my slimy gilled friends than him.

Diligence is the key to most of life?s successes. For a writer it?s a major factor. Sometimes it takes years for us to write a novel, then more years to get it ready for another set of eyes to read. Then even more to find a publisher or agent. I have to admit sometimes I wonder if all the work is worth the effort. Then a person will email me and tell me how much they enjoyed my writing and ask when my next novel will be released. Somehow this makes all the hours seem worth it.

Often I wish I were the type person who could leave my responsibilities behind and go off on a retreat to finish my work, but I can?t. I?m simply not made that way. Though sometimes I have to go fishing. I believe that if I?m doing what I am supposed to do, whether playing with my family or tending to the needs of others all else will fall into place. Enjoy the summer everyone. Let?s go fishing!

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