Archive for May, 2015

Picture of trout in a pan, surrounded by snow

Trout? or Catfish?

It is another snappy, cold morning and we are up at six am to go to a lake to fish. I am dubious since this is Southern Arizona and there does not appear to be any water in this parched land.

My optimistic husband, D.L., has brought his ratty, old folding chair, all his fishing gear and flies. He assembles his fishing gear and sits down alongside a guy who looks at him doubtfully, nods, and says “There is no trout here in this lake. It is all catfish and crappie, dontja’ know ?”  He then proceeds to hand D.L. some vile objects which he identifies as chicken livers. Yuck!

Enough of that … I am off on a walk around the lake, which I consider a pond, and come across a middle-aged woman with a little red wagon loaded with food, water, and fishing stuff. She is trying to pull the wagon and hold the hands of two 80+ men. It is not going too well as they are wobbling down the embankment perilously close to falling in.

My offer to help is quickly accepted and we all keep tottering along the path lapped by the cloudy water. I hold their hands and she pulls the creaky red wagon. One man smiles sweetly at me, waves  his other hand, and tries to say “the best fishing hole” which comes out “s’bst ishin ole” due to several missing teeth.

The cheery woman tells me “I bring them to the lake every day with their lunch”. She nods to the brown lunch bags in the wagon. “Then I pick them up at 1:00 when it is my own lunch hour.”  I hesitate, then ask her if one of them is her dad?  “No, no,” she says. “They are my neighbors down the street and I have been doing this for them for six years. They are much happier out here with the cottonwoods and the quail.” They both nod and treat me to huge toothless grins as they seat themselves carefully in the chairs she sets on the bank for them.

What a great person she is! I tell her she is great and she blushes and replies “Just what I would want someone to do for me.”  She unpacks a tiny table to put between them, arranges water and sandwiches, kisses each one on the cheek, waves to me and runs off to her car. The two guys really could not talk, due to the lack of teeth, so they blew me kisses and happily settled down to fish.

I walked a few steps past willows and reeds to spot a covey of quail. I look back and the two men are tearing tiny pieces off their sandwiches, tossing them on the ground and making quail-like noises. They duck their heads when they see me then wave again and laugh. No doubt waiting for me to be gone so they can feed their buddies pieces of sandwich.

Another half mile and a ash-throated flycatcher sits up on a post, posing and preening, giving me time to fumble up my binocs and inspect it at leisure. The air was crackling clean, the cottonwoods tall as pine trees and yellow, glorious yellow, as the sun began to warm the earth. I think of the group I just left, smile, and say softly to myself  “A splendid morning … well met, friends, well met.”

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