Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Praying For The Proper "D"

We have been working with Henry over the last few months on the content & behavior during his nightly prayers. Being what we refer to as "religious amatures", neither Meg nor I can claim tenure on the art of fine prayerspeak. Most folks who pray often have a setlist of phrases that they pull out of their prayer catalog which they can interchange like traincars, linked together to form the perfectly worded prayer. Ours are more, shall we say, Organic?

Ol' Hank, once he settles down a bit, does a pretty good job, besides, kid prayers are one of those things that shouldn't be critiqued too much. The man says whats on his mind, what more can you say? The only problem is that we're pretty sure he thinks Santa Claus and Jesus are interchangeble figures. His prayers are more like wish lists, which I guess aren't that different than our prayers. We just emphasize the "we thank thee's" and not so much the "we ask thee's". (It sounds more humble if you do it that way) Kids don't do humble very well. They go straight for the brass ring, every time.

In some ways its refreshing. Kids, if young enough, still tell you, and Jesus whats on their mind, wheras adults will "bury it deep down inside and never bring it up again"-Taledega Nights So when Henry kneels down to pray he gives thanks for his fork, asks if he can use the slide at the park after the snow melts, and that he can go to the Proper"D". (Our "Property" is simply a 10 acre parcel of mountain land we purchased a year or so ago with very little improvements.) I smile every time I hear it.

I know that there will come a time that if he was honest, he would pray for a chance to lip-lock some highschool hottie under the bleachers, or hit me in the head with a heavy blunt object and bury me in the backyard, but what will we hear? We'll hear the train of perfectly crafted prayerspeak sentences. Gone will be the honesty, lost will be the innocence, and the Proper"D", well, who knows what it will look like by then.

Until then, everyone please bow your heads and say a simple prayer for the Proper"D".


Saturday, January 12, 2008

All The Right Fish, All The Wrong Women

When it comes to women and fly fishing, I am no expert, of that I am certain. I’ve been fly fishing for about 8 years and I’ve been married for about the same. The fact that those two numbers are similar, I am learning, is no accident.

I began my fishing career on a high mountain lake, using a cut rate, second-hand rod and a beat up aluminum canoe. I was living in a one room cabin, built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1932. The old bugger had no electricity, no plumbing and only 2 bunker style windows which let in a minimal amount of daylight.

My wife, to whom I had just married, was living with me in such humble digs. She seemed not to mind the primitive arrangements, in fact, she appeared relatively comfortable there.

Since that time, I have learned much about fly fishing and even more about my wife. After 8 years I’ve decided that most men are looking for all the right fish, and all the wrong women.

There are dozens of clich├ęd catch-phrases, usually found plastered on the backs of cars and trucks, drawing punned comparisons to women, sex & fish. “Love ‘em & Leave ‘em” & “Size Does Matter” are generally the most common. For this exercise, we’re going to assume these stickers belong to fishermen rather than fisherwomen, a rare but increasing demographic.

Obviously for these guys, chasing fish is not unlike chasing women. More important than just chasing fish, is chasing Trophy fish. The ones they’re after are beautiful, vibrant, big healthy specimens of the aquatic underworld. They lurk in the depths of rivers and lakes, making brief appearances every now and then just to remind you that they’re there. When you forget, they’ll launch themselves four feet above the waters surface in a magnificent display of beauty and power. Most fisherman spend their lives in search of these fish although few are fortunate enough to land one, (though some seem luckier than others). If or when they do catch one, they’ll take some pictures, relish in the moment & then let it go. Afterwards they’ll continue fishing for smaller, though respectable trout. These are the ones that fill up your day, nothing you’d hang on your wall mind you, but enough to keep you interested.

Big fish don’t get big by accident. It takes a lot of work, a lot of consistency, and a lot of time. What’s more, they know they’re big. They intimidate their lesser peers with nipping teeth and torpedo-like charges. They’re cunning, sneaky, and feisty as hell.

I have seen a number of my fellow fisherman fishing for women the same way they do for fish. They dredge their lines deep into the pool hoping to connect with that fabled woman. The ones that do it long enough eventually hook up with the one they're after and once the hook is set, a long difficult struggle ensues.

As with trout, trophy women do not become trophies by accident. It takes a lot of work, a lot of consistency and a lot of time. What’s more, they know they're trophies. They intimidate their lesser peers with Prada hand bags, expensive hair, and perfect (though probably fake) breasts. They’re cunning, sneaky, and feisty as hell.

Once landed, they demand perfect weddings (which don’t exist) take expensive photographs, and afterwards you can’t let them go. (Nor can you stuff them and hang them on the wall.)

A few years later you find yourself wanting to go fishing again, perhaps for fish, or perhaps for something else. Maybe this time for a respectable fish that lives in a 70 year old log cabin with no plumbing and no electricity. One that keeps you interested day after day, without the aid of expensive clothing or augmented breasts. One that lurks in the depths of Target rather than Abercrombie & Fitch.

In the last 8 years of marriage I have fished a lot, and all of that time was spent fishing for fish. Sure I’ve landed some trophies and each time I’ve let them go. Afterwards, I keep fishing for the ones that keep me interested, day after day, night after night, year after year.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hardcore Henry

So this is all new to me, but I figured it was time to bring myself up to speed and start a blog. My first post will feature none other than our only son and his first adventure on the slopes. Dad decided to take 2yr old Henry to Solitude to ski for the first time. Henry did great despite the blizzard conditions that they encountered only 2 miles from the resort (it was clear in the valley when they left!) Henry came home telling everyone that he loves skiing and that he is hardcore.