Monday, October 5, 2009

Girls go fishing

When I was a kid, I spent many happy summers at my grandparents' house in northern Indiana. They lived on a small lake--big enough for fishing, too small for water skiing. Perfect for a kid to spend a week with her cousins.

You learned to be careful when you opened up a container of cottage cheese from the refrigerator at the lakes. Chances are it held red worms or nightcrawlers. Since those summers, I've never been good at fishing with anything more sophisticated. Artificial bait just doesn't seem quite authentic to me. Real girls use worms!

I logged so many hours fishing with my grandfather that, lying in the bunk at night, a red and white bobber floated behind my eyelids. The image was burned into my brain. By about the age of eight, I was filleting my own catches and Grandma would fry up fish for supper after dredging them through milk-and-egg then cornmeal. We always kept a slice of Wonder bread nearby in case stray bones became lodged in our throats.

This summer my six-year-old daughter caught the fishing bug and proved to be a capable fisherwoman. She caught this bass from the neighborhood pond and hauled it in herself.

The photo of me was taken the summer after I turned six but, given the size of her catch, my daughter is proving to be a better fisherwoman than I. (At least I was better at losing my teeth!) She still makes me take her fish off the hook, and I'm no where near letting her fillet her own catch, but I'm sure one day she will.

I know her Great Grandpa Wilson would have been so proud of her. I can hear him say, "Mia, that's a dandy!"


Marianne said...

Thank you for a precious story full of great memories. Of course tears flowed, when I saw Daddy's picture.I wasn't expecting that. I have many treasured fishing stories, thanks to spending most my childhood summers at Sechrist Lake.

Joan Mora said...

Now there's something I didn't know about you. I hope one day you'll explain the Wonder Bread scenario to this city girl. Eeek, worms?!

Amy Radachi said...

Now I'm crying too! I miss Grandpa so much. I went fishing this summer for the first time in 30 years. I have to say I insisted on live bait and I caught more fish than my companion, using the fake stuff! What great memories of the house on the lake. Grandpa would have so much fun with these kids of ours!

Kendra said...

Amy sent me a text to read your blog...after reading I immediately sent her a text back saying "I'm crying". Then I read her comment and Aunt Mari's! :) Amy and I were JUST talking about the lake on mom/dad have a blanket that used to be on those bunk beds. It's all so vivid to me...I love it! Of course, having married a die-hard fisherman I wonder alot what Grandpa would think and how he would love to see all of our children...especially with a fishing pole in their hands! :)

Kristin said...

Of course the tears are flowing! The lake was the most wonderful place to be! I loved being there with G'pa & G'ma. Pam & I would spend the week together each summer. One year Pam caught me while casting out! Amy and I were talking about the candy drawer a couple weeks ago!
Not only would G'pa call it a dandy he would call it a "keeper"! Pam & I spent a whole week in WI one summer fishing and cleaning hundreds of fish! What great memories!!