Good Friday weekend is coming up. Easter weekend. Zach is out school and we're taking a few days off work. We haven't taken the boat out all year. But it's coming out of retirement. I am SO ready to smell some lake water. Have my head and body baked by the sun. Turtles lining up on limbs in the water. Gators grunting their mating calls so loud it echos through the cuts in the quiet early mornings. Trucks and empty boat trailers lined up like slices of bread as their fisherman owners float the waters hoping for a good day. Sunrises that are so beautiful they remind of us just how simple life should really be, and how difficult we can make it.
As we lower the boat into the water, me in the truck, Mims behind me, half in the water, half out, directing me back, back and back some more as he guides it with the rope over to the dock and ties her down. I park the truck, walk to the dock, smelling the dewy grass and fishy lake water as I go. Walk the dock, grab a dock pole, climb in and Mims cranks up the boat. Slowly we crawl into the dark, quiet water, the cool breeze fanning our faces, heads tilted upwards, breathing it in as we go, and it begins.
Where do you want to start? I don't know, it doesn't matter, where do you want to start? I say where I would like to start. Mims says, well, I really didn't want to start there. I say, well, go where you want to go. Mims says, no, if that's where you want to go we will. And so it goes.
We old people bicker. You know, not real fighting or arguing. That bickering that old people do, that constant back and forth that seems to be necessary to co-exist. We bicker about who has the best fishing spot, because of course HE does, he's in the front of the boat guiding it. I'm at the tail of the boat where he's already fished, so I'm not going to catch anything. He says we can swap, I can drive. I say, you know I can't drive and fish. I drive us into stumps and tree limbs.
The first sign of fish, he wants to drop anchor, I say, wait until we catch a few before we go to all that trouble. He believes in trolling, I say the constant motion scares the fish. And of course, he always punches the trolling pedal just when I was about to land the BIG ONE!
The live well is of course at the BACK of the boat where I sit. So when he 'out catches' me, as he says he ALWAYS does, I spend all my time, opening and shutting the live well.
Fishing with both my men is just outright dangerous. We don't do it often, for good reason. One is bream fishing, one is bass fishing and I am always caught in the middle. Literally. Twice, Zach has snapped his bass reel back, forgetting where I am, and his bait slapped me in the eye while his hook dug into my face. We had to move the boat to the other side of the lake. After all that hollering about life scars and dancing around in pain, in the boat, there were NO fish left around us I am sure.
More times than not though, we're fishing alone. And we fish some more. Quieter now. Because we're both tired. Tired of pulling my lines out of trees, which would have never happened had Mims paid more attention to me in the back of the boat, whipping around in trees and dodging limbs that I imagined to be loaded with hanging snakes.
Tired of HUGE catfish, would have been catches of the day I am sure, snapping my lines in two. And in some isolated cases, dragging the second half of my pole with them, my pink cork bobbing up and down in the water as they swim away and Mims of course, not able to make the boat go fast enough to catch up with them.
Tired of listening to the radio playing that damned 93.3 OLD COUNTRY music from the front of the boat. Slow, droning music that I thought was somewhat soothing at 6am, but now in the roasting hot sun at noon, listening to Hank William Sr. whine/sing "Your Cheating Heart" is wracking my nerves.
But I'm ready for all of that by golly! I absolutely cannot wait for the smell of Banana Boat 50spf sun screen spray, green worms covered in dirt that smells like heaven in a cup, legs and feet that will have fifty new freckles by summers end, and sun glasses greasy from sweat and worm fingers.
♫ Cause it's the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife ♫........