It’s possible I may survive.

Don’t put any money down on it. But I do not feel as bad as I have been.

Late last week, I felt so crummy I was afraid I was gonna die. A few days after that, when the little germs really kicked into high gear, I was afraid I wouldn’t die.

But other than a nagging cough, I am able to function almost to my former level of competence, which was slightly lower than average anyway. Today’s sudden increase in humidity and precipitation has delivered a slight setback, but not debilitating.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. We spent it with Suzie’s family this year, as is tradition. We switch off between my family and hers, alternating Thanksgiving and Christmas from year to year. As is tradition in her family, the assemblage notes at the dinner table what they’re thankful for. When my turn came around I said, “I am thankful the Pilgrims still invite the Indians to Thanksgiving dinner.”

You know, I’m really trying to take this winter a step at a time. It’s been near-on two months since I’ve been fishing. The week I took vacation and spent some time in one of my favorite parts of the Louisiana hill country, a fierce thunderstorm came through and lightning started a fire in the forest.

For over two weeks after that, I kept up with the progress of firefighting efforts. I sat and watched helplessly via Internet incident updates as 4,500 acres of my beloved forest burned.

It’s a conundrum, really. I know that forest fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes…all are part of the natural order of things, and each truly has its benefits to that order. It is only when we human beings get in the way and do silly things like build our homes and cities and make our livelihoods in the path of the natural order that everything gets complicated. In the same way we have negatively transformed the Atchafalaya Basin and the Mississippi River delta with flood control measures, we no longer allow forest fires to do the good that they do.

It’s a mixed bag of emotions for me. I watched the forest burn, knowing that the forest service does prescribed burns there all the time. This fire started in the most rugged, high elevation part of the hills, and could really only be fought by air with water and chemicals, and by ground crews making firebreaks. Thankfully, no property was affected that I know of, and it was finally brought under control.

I’m itching to get up there again, see the “damage” or, as I’d rather think, the first stage of rejuvenation. But my health has not been cooperating, and the weather hasn’t either. The creeks are probably up in the hill country, as the water table rises as it does in fall, but the fishing is probably dismal. Still, I’m in need of some solace.

Anyway, cold weather coming tonight, but it won’t last but a couple days. This has been a most enjoyable autumn, one of the better I can remember. More like it was when I was a lad, not so damnable cold or tormenting hot. It’s been a nice median.

Some folks were talking about Black Friday. You know, the insane shopping event that always happens after Thanksgiving, where people camp out to get these killer deals Friday morning. I guess that’s fine, but I can’t ever see myself doing it, even if there’s a big fly rod sale. People get trampled to death in things like that. It’s scary.

Odd. I’ll gladly go traipsing off into the woods armed only with a good knife and a fly rod far, far from the nearest building or road. But the thought of trying to go get a great deal on a coffee maker at 4 a.m. Friday morning after Thanksgiving.


I am thankful for a couple more things. Suzie’s corn soufflé. Oyster dressing someone had at dinner. All of it, really.

I’m thankful for Bogie-butt, our Lab. He’s going to make three years old in about a month. Seems like just yesterday he was a little bundle of blond fur, chewing on Suzie’s shoelaces. We named him Bogie, but got to calling him Bogie-butt because nearly every single time we tried to take his picture, the split second we pressed the shutter button, he’d turn around and face his backside to the camera. I musta shot thousands of frames just to get a couple dozen where I actually had his face in the frame.

I’m thankful for my mom, all of 83 now, and blessed she’s still here with us.

I’m thankful for the good ol’ B-T, and you folks should be, too. Honest. You guys don’t know what it would be like to have some corporate-owned newspaper in town, run by some board of directors in New York or some ridiculous place like that, running your local paper.

I’m thankful, also, for you, Faithful Readers, for actually wading through this dribble week to week and having something nice to say about it now and then!

1 comment to Better

  • Karen

    We are grateful for you, Roger! I am especially grateful for the way you have helped to feed Kevin’s fishing obsession. It is something he truly enjoys. Thanks for everything!

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