Monday, April 23, 2012

First Times

     The world up north was almost normal. Spring came early but now it's holding off. The trees are green free. Some are budded. That's about it. Migrant birds are back. Robins, phoebes, loons, mallards, swans. Our resident pileated woodpecker was working the woods in it's usual, slow motion hammering. Might be my favorite sound in the woods outside of silence.
     Off in the distance, heavy equipment accompanied by a never ending chain saw getting ready for next winter. And then there was us, Lois and I, up for cleaning what winter had left us. It's just maintenance but that's what keeps our marginal structure from becoming one with the earth.
     When we pulled in there was a deer in the yard with an oh crap! look on its face. For five months life had been good. Now the fair weather intruders were back. There goes the neighborhood.
     For us the best news was having no breakin. About two miles south of the cabin I always get the stomach tinglies that we'll have to call the sheriff's department. Yes it's happened before. Seeing the gate locked was a relief. A person shouldn't have to worry about those kind of things. I guess there was a reason locks were invented. Even back in Vietnam we had to lock our stuff up when we were in the field. Talk about no respect. Yeah, the civilians pretty much ignored us when we came back. Some even called us baby killers. But when you had to worry about your fellow soldiers, that was goin' over the top.
     Maybe it was the mild winter but outside of the usual horde of dead flies and a light coating of dust, things looked like we'd only been gone a week. Cleanup was easy.
      Lois isn't a big fan of being up north anymore. Can't say I blame her. Not being a fisher or fan of being on the water, there's not much to keep her entertained or busy. During the early years she took an active role in the building process. Those days are history. That leaves me alone up here for a half dozen three day outings. Since retirement, time apart has become a good thing. So long as it's not too long. We like each other and our time together. Always have.
     Two weeks earlier there'd been a tragic sailboat accident up north of here. Two small boys died of hypothermia. No matter the skill level, cold water is a potential killer. That was on my mind as I put new license decals on one of the canoes. Also enough of a caution to keep me off the water. Too cold for decent fishing anyhow. However, that didn't stop me from buying this year's fishing license with a trout stamp. Yeah, I paid the extra seventy-five cents for the stamp. Why not? They're cool. 'Spose I'm now committed to getting my money's worth out of the stamp.
     More lures to tie and build. Never enough spinners. I'm tying for four, so at least I've got an excuse. So do they if they're skunked. That's a win-win situation at its best.

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