Wednesday, August 26, 2009

fish tales and waxing nostalgic

It's true what they say, you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. You teach your kids to bait their own hooks, cast their own lines and take off their own fish and you get peace and quiet to enjoy your book and beer.

Team Testosterone were slaying the itty bitty blue gills and sunfish yesterday--thrilled to no end to get a bite and we happily relinquished the aforementioned fishing tasks to them. It takes patience to teach a kid how to impale a worm on a hook, but Mr. T and Mr. B have now mastered the art. We didn't catch supper, however. Maybe tonight.

I taught Mr. T how to row a boat, too. While we cruised along the shoreline I thought of vacations long ago when I was slightly older than Mr. T is now. My family used to take vacations with another family--we knew them my entire life. We did everything together from county fairs to Great America to the Milwaukee Zoo (a shout out to Sampson! May he rest in peace!) to renting lake houses. Their oldest son was 8 days older than me and I'd known him since we were in diapers. He was the original Mr. B. Anyway, between us we had 3 younger siblings so when our parents rented a cottage on a lake, Mr. B and I would get in the rowboat and row to the middle of the lake and cast anchor. We'd then spend hours alone in that rowboat playing UNO. It was the perfect escape from annoying little siblings and I remember all the laughing and joking that took place years ago in the middle of that lake.

Mr. B was tall, thin and blonde. He followed in his father's footsteps after college and went into the family business. He married and inherited stepsons and had his own children shortly before he got very ill and died at the hospital--mistreated and misdiagnosed. He was 28. It kind of shook me and driving home after his funeral I vowed if I had another son I'd name him for Mr. B--to carry on his memory. There's a West African saying that goes along these lines: as long as a person's name is in use, their spirit remains alive. I was glad to do so for Mr. B--and my Mr. B is so far tall, thin and blonde and has as true a character and sense of humor as his predecessor ever did. Our rowboat ride last night really triggered my memories of our friends and the vacations we shared during my childhood.


  1. Sounds like Team T are building their own favorite childhood memories that they'll savor for a lifetime.

  2. "...and you get peace and quiet to enjoy your book and beer." *heehee! I love it! Sounds like y'all are having a very nice respite.
    * : )
    O, and I, too, believe in the power of names...

  3. A good friend is someone that has a place in your heart forever.

    I love to fish, but have never fished in a lake, only salt-water beaches....with lures or chunks of frozen bait and fake worms.

  4. Awwww...what a bittersweet story.

  5. Thank you for sharing the story about Mr. B's name. What a wonderful tribute to your friend!

  6. Oh lovely post.

    Your friend must have been very specials.

    I also enjoy books and beer.

  7. :) One of my FAVORITE memories is fishing with my Dad in a stream in Colorado. We were in Conejos(I think that's how you spell it)-with my mom and sis, but they didn't want to fish. THis helicopter dropped us and a guide off in the middle of nowhere-I saw an Eagle and it was SO gorgeous!!

  8. Such a sad story - glad you are able to keep some happy memories.

  9. You would not believe the chills I had reading this. It's so sad.

    His family must love the way you chose to honor his memory.

  10. Yay for them baiting their own hooks. ;-)

    I'm so glad that B's name will carry on. What a lovely sentiment.

  11. Does that sentiment about baiting hooks and drinking beer/enjoying a book also work on husbands/boyfriends?

  12. This is a very touching blog, If I only could have had an idea I wish I had read the material on here sooner. Thanks for sharing everything this is a very nice blog

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  14. What a cool story about Mr. B's name.

    I can't wait until my kids are old enough to take their own fish off the hook. Or pay attention for any length of time to their own bobber. It sounds like you are having a great time!

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  16. Beautiful tribute. As for Sampson - our generation will carry his memory forever.


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