The Old Man and the "See What I Caught!"
By Jody Worsham
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My husband is seventy years old but he looks and acts like he's much younger. We are both somewhat shocked when we see former classmates and how much they have aged. Of course, they haven't had the advantage of a six-year-old and a nine-year-old to keep them hopping, jumping, reaching, stretching, and grabbing for the Advil for the past six years.
Last week Dr. Hubby took all of us fishing. This week he decided to take the "old folks" fishing; that is his friends who are just a few years older than himself but don't have young children 24/7 to keep them hopping, jumping, reaching…well you know.. I asked if he intended for the six-year-old to tag along. "Of course. He will be the life of the party." He told the "old folks" a couple of days in advance about the fishing trip so they would have enough time to get ready. Unfortunately, he told the six-year-old the night before. No sleeping for either of them. Too much excitement and anticipation.
With Dr. Peppers, Honey Buns, peanut butter crackers, Snickers, Gatorade, iced tea, eighteen life jackets, six lawn chairs, sun screen, seventy-two rod and reels, ice chests, fifty-five tackle boxes, video games, minnow buckets, ladder so the elderly could get onto the barge before it is launched, all was ready. You will note from the last fishing blog the absence of the port-a-potty. All men this time.
At exactly 4:37 a.m., Dr. Hubby woke up the six-year-old. At 4:38 a.m. said six-year-old was dressed and out the door. At 4:45 the "elderly" arrived and were awaiting the departure. At 4:46 I rolled over and went back to sleep. Breakfast was not included by me in this arrangement for which all of the participants were grateful.
When Dr. Hubby returned, I asked him how it went. "Well, I got the two older guys up the ladder and onto the barge by having "the kid" (age 63) help pull while I pushed from behind. I just tossed the six-year-old over the rail and he was good to go. Then "the kid" helped launched the barge and drove the truck and trailer back up to the parking lot. In the meantime, I got the other two situated in chairs for the ride to the crappie hole. The wind was blowing pretty hard. I've never seen water splash over the top of the deck before." I interrupted long enough to make sure the six-year-oId had been thoroughly strapped into his life jacket. "Oh, yes." "So everything went ok", I asked. "Oh yes, well except when I told the boy (the six-year-old) to put ice on the minnows to keep them cool." "And?" "Well, he put so much ice in the minnow bucket that he froze the minnows. We had to leave early."
That's my boy. When the water is rough and the fish aren't biting, you do what you have to do. No minnows, no fishing. They learn so quickly!
His friends were in the barn cleaning fish. All of them wanted to know when they would be going again, including the six-year-old who came running from the barn yelling "See what I caught? I caught the first fish. Granddaddy caught the biggest and the rest of "the guys" caught a few but I think they mostly had fun trying."
I know Dr. Hubby spent more time serving as "rod boy" to his friends than he did fishing. I also know he had a good time taking his "elderly" friends fishing and sharing the joy and fun of having a six-year-old as your constant buddy.
Years from now when "the guys" are sitting on their front porches wondering if the fish are biting, Dr. Hubby will be sitting on the barge with his grown-up buddy; the old man and the "See what I caught, Granddad?"