It was one of those weekends where I just didnít feel like doing pecan.
Saturday morning I woke at about six and the first thing that passed through my mind was, "Fishing," then I fell back asleep. I woke again at seven and thought, "Fishing," and got up to make coffee. By 10 it was obvious I wasnít going to go fishing as I still hadnít even gotten dressed.
Do you have those kinds of days? I mean, I just didnít feel worth a plug nickel. In fact, I stayed inside all day until the evening when I managed to muster enough gumption to go to a birthday party for a friend and I was home by 10.
Sunday morning I slept until nine without interruption. I woke at eight and thought, "Fishing," but, again, never got the gumption to take the first step. I thought about doing some work on the house. I thought about building a wood duck house or two to put on trees at the bayou side. I thought about fishing. I ended up doing none of the above and watched fishing and hunting shows on the tube all day, played on the ĎNet and napped intermittently.
Near about 6 p.m. I decided I had better get out of the house or my neighbors would start worrying. Thatís really not true. Once, about eight years ago, I suffered a bout of jungle fever and didnít emerge for four days, and nobody noticed. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know youíre so well looked after.
I had a box of fishing worms left from the previous weekend so I got my trusty olí baitcasting rod, a chair in a bag and an ice chest with a couple cold ones in it and me and the dog headed to the bayou behind my house.
I still adore the idea of a chair in a bag. Remember, when I grew up, the best you could do was folding lawn chairs that still took up a lot of space. The first time I saw the new chair in a bag things, for like five bucks I think, I was skeptical but I bought two of them, certain I had wasted my money, as such cool sounding ideas usually end up. When I realized I had not and these chair in a bag things were really functional, I was certain that Iíd never find another one, as such cool ideas also usually end up.
Hereís a case in point: Under the Cool Ideas that Never Quite Measure Up heading, letís recall push button automobile transmissions.
My two cold ones were in a soft-sided cooler, i.e., ice chest, but itís really not a chest. Soft-sided, collapsible coolers also fall into the category of Cool Ideas That Really Were Cool and Caught On. So I set up my chair, baited up a hook and threw it out into the green bayou water hoping Mr. Whiskers would come along and find it a tempting morsel. I donít catch many catfish of any size back of my house since the bayou is so shallow there, but itís nice to sit and try. The dog and I watched an osprey catch more fish than us, which was encouraging, really. Someone has to do it.
The dog has gotten into the habit that, if I reel in my line to cast again, I have to throw her a stick to go fetch in the bayou. She pouts terribly if I forget. So I get a stick and throw it to my left. While she is leaping in and swimming out to get it, I cast to my right. We repeat this routine until we either finish for the evening or she tires of the game.
When sheís not rolling around on the grass or sniffing out critters, she sits by me and helps watch my line. I am serious, she watches my line intently, waiting for the tell-tale tap tap of a catfish nibble, or the sudden pull of a good bite. If I get a nibble or a bite and rear back on the rod to set the hook, but miss, she gives me the most disdainful look, and Iím sure if she could speak sheíd say something like, "Smooth move, ace." I try to explain to her that it was probably a crab anyway, but she snorts and ambles over to investigate a cricket in disgust.
I landed a few small catfish that I returned to the bayou except for one that the dog ate before I knew what had happened. Iím sure she figured if she was going to get anything out of this whole experience sheíd have to be quick about it. She sat by me contentedly and belched a few times.
A couple of wood ducks flew by and I felt a pang of regret that I didnít get into the shop to build wood duck houses. I had the fear that the poor things might be homeless, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and searching in vain for a FEMA trailer, endlessly flying up and down Bayou Teche, stopping only for the occasional voucher. I promised Iíd get in the shop next weekend and build two wood duck houses, and not worry about the government contract price.
About dusk I decided weíd call it a day.
"Well, old girl, itís a day," I said to the dog, who belched in agreement. I put my chair back in my bag, wound up my rod and tackle bag and headed up the hill to the house. It wasnít a bad weekend. Sometimes, the greatest accomplishment is accomplishing nothing at all except some rest and relaxation.