It occurs to me that Iím not thinking straight Ė or perhaps Iím thinking more clearly. I donít know. But I think the weather has something to do with it.

Take last weekend, for example. The threat of rain was eminent, but never really materialized. The wind was blowing like a banshee. It was, in short, the kind of weather that was bad for trying to do anything I enjoyed.

Too windy to fly fish, even if there had been any fish to fish for. The threat of rain didnít help, either. I usually spend sunsets at the bayou with the dog and a cold one, itís gotten to be almost habitual with me. I love to end the day that way, over the water on the dock, watching the sunset upstream. Even if the clouds are thick, the orange glow is comforting somehow. I feel, like Ed Bloom, if I donít stay near water all the time, Iíll dry out.

But Saturday and Sunday, the dog and I made three trips a day to the bayou, out of pure frustration. Sure, there were some things I could have been doing inside, but dangit, I was tired of being inside. I woke up Saturday morning, wrote a bit on my novel, but I when I realized my eyes were starting to bulge, my breathing was growing more rapid and my typing was worse than normal, it was clear that I needed to be outside in the worst kind of way.

Albert "Salmo" McClain said, "This house is where I take my natural rest, but my home is there, beyond the back door." No truer words can be spoken for me, and for my neighbor to the west.

All throughout the weekend, anytime the sun peeked through the gray overcast over our heads, if you had been watching, youíd have seen both our back doors fly open and two men rush outside to doÖanything. Anything, something, anything at all just to get out of the dadgum house.

In fact, after my second trip to the bayou with the dog, I went and pulled my pirogue I built last fall out from under the house. It was dusty and full of rodent special deliveries, so I dragged it to the back yard where the water hose is and commenced to cleaning it out.

My neighbor saw this, from his tractor, and rushed over to commiserate.

"You look frustrated as I am," he said.

I threw the hose down on the ground and launched into a lengthy diatribe: "Frustrated ainít the danged word for it you canít do nothing around here without the wind knocking you down or the rain about to fall on your head the dang olí bayouside is so muddy I canít even put a chair to go catfishing and they donít have no worms at the store anyway I know I went check and I figured Iíd go paddle for a little while but then I realized Iíd have to paddle against the wind coming back and Iíd probably get blown to Venezuela instead of Argentina like Patagonia, where thereís great fishing so I figured Iíd put my trolling motor on it then I realized the state makes you get a dadgum registration for putting a trolling motor on a dang piroque and canyoubelievethat???"

I felt like Boomhauer from King of the Hill and probably was about as intelligible. Luckily, I ran out of breath before the cussiní started. My neighbor admitted he was about in the same fix, and so we commiserated for a little while then both went back to our various meaningless time-killing-just-to-be-outside activities.

I cleaned up the pirogue and put it on saw horses just because it gave me something to do for a little while longer. Then I sat around and drank a Diet Coke and looked at it, admiring my craftsmanship and trying to figure out how I could set up a forward anchor system. By then it was time for my final trip to the bayou with the dog, so that ended the day.

Sunday wasnít any better. I got groceries, and bought far too much junk food, because I was in a mood. But I bought a lot of salad stuff, too, because I was in a mood, so it all equals out. Bored to tears again, I thought about doing some work in the house, but the key word there is in which is the root of inside and, of course, I wanted no part of that. So I went to town because I forgot to get Diet Coke when I went to get groceries and came back with a 12-pack of said beverage and a new hunting knife. Donít ask me why I ended up in sporting goods when I was going for Diet Coke. All roads, eventually, lead to sporting goods for me. Doesnít matter if Iím going for socks, Nyquil, vitamins or coffee: I always end up in sporting goods and wander aimlessly down all the aisles looking at stuff. Sometimes I pick up an armful of things and head for the checkout, but usually I realize Iím being impulsive and go put it all back. This time I bought a hunting knife, just because, you know, in case I vanish one day without meaning to.

At home I spend the rest of the daylight hours honing my new knife until Ė you guessed it Ė time to go sit at the bayou with the dog, a cold one and a stogie.

Ah, spring, where art thou?