THE LAWSON’S PEAK BOOKS

Staying Sane

When I get to feeling sorry for myself, cooped up in the house and cursing mightily at winter, all I have to do is watch the news.

I mean, them folks north of I-10 got it bad, folks.

Interstate No. 10, effectively the Mason-Dixon line insofar as we are concerned in deep south Louisiana, seems to be the line of demarcation between “us” and “them” lots of times.

But last week’s weather, hereafter to be known as the “Great Blizzard of 2011” even as far south as New Iberia, seemed to have shifted the playing field closer to home.

Lemme tell you something, folks, when you have to shut down U.S. 90 from Baldwin to Centerville because of ice, and local authorities worked nearabouts two dozen wrecks, the world has done turned topsy-turvy.

Sure, they’re used to things like that in Monroe. Maybe even Alexandria sometimes. But here? We know about as much about driving on ice as desert people do driving in rain.

Then, the stinking rodent comes out, Phil himself, and tells us we’ll have an early spring.

It’s a funny thing, really, how when the groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter, we soundly belittle his intelligence and observe that he doesn’t have the sense to tell his…uhm…tail from a hole in the ground.

But let the little varmit predict an early spring and we applaud his IQ, laud his skills of clairvoyance, set him up on a pedestal with an extra serving of Groundhog Chow for his prophecy.

Myself, it seems like spring is always a lot farther away in February than it was in October. I mean, in October, I think to myself, “Hey, four, five months, I’ll be nice and comfortable again, fishing and getting stuff down around the yard, no big deal, I can make it.”

By February, I am thinking, “I am going to find the nearest Brahma bull and pick a fight with it just to get some relief here!”

Someone sent me some photos of winter in South Dakota this time around. Snow piled to the top of two storey houses! People cutting caves through the snowpack from their cars to their front doors!

I am sure they wonder how we can live in a coastal hurricane zone. I am sure they think we’re a little bit nuts. That’s fine. The feeling’s completely mutual.

Me, I’m just living day to day. A combination of the holiday festivities and sitting around too much, and my stomach is entering a room a full minute before the rest of me catches up. Happens to me every year. Please feel sorry for Suzie, because she has to listen to me complain about it all the time, and is polite enough to not point out that complaining about weight gain while eating a handful of chocolate chip cookies is rather an oxymoron. That’s yet another reason I love the girl!

Every now and then, I take my bag of fly tackle out and organize it. You can’t ever organize fishing tackle enough. It requires, oddly enough, more organizing in the winter than in the summer when it’s being used. I think the gremlins get into my bags at night and mix my No. 6 poppers with my No. 8 poppers just to make me crazy. They also tend to wipe all the oil out of the gears on my reels, and I have to go in an apply lubrication again every few weeks. But only in the winter, isn’t that strange?

Of course, cold tends to dull the finish on my fly rods, so I have to take them out and give them a good once-over with a mild cleaner and, for the bamboo rods, a coat of a good paste wax. Sometimes I’ll find a bit of tarnish on a nickel silver ferrule or reel seat, and spend the better part of a morning with some tarnish remover bringing the hardware back to a mirror finish you could shave in.

I call my buddy in north Louisiana now and then, and we complain over the telephone line about how we’ve had a gutful of this stinking winter, and how first chance we get, first warmish day, first opportunity we’re heading to the hills if for no other reason than to look at the creek and moan about the fact that the fish are still too cold to bite. No matter what, moaning about such things on the creek is far, far better than moaning about such things on the sofa at home.

Ah, spring. It is a sweet, if elusive, dream.

2 comments to Staying Sane

  • blufloyd

    Spring fever has hit the frozen tundra up here. I have shifted from ice flies to panfish spiders and poppers.
    Off to BassPro in am for some more stuff to make the Chess Club poppers instead of buying from K&E.
    Back is blown out and on R&R till week from Friday. The Zen Kama Sutra Twister exercises till that medical visit.
    The semi thaw kicks in tomorrow. Beware Loozy Folk the flood is coming.

  • Roger Stouff

    Boy, I can imagine the water we’re going to get down here when ya’ll start to thaw!

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