Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fishing and Football and Cookies.

Last weekend we finally found some time to celebrate our last Christmas of the season with Lady Di's parents in northern Minnesota. And the weather surprisingly cooperated completely. We actually had warmer weather there than at our home five hours south.

But don't worry, it still was cold enough to keep the lakes hard enough to fish on. In case you forgot, these are the 'fishing grandparents'.

We arrived late on Friday, so all we had time for was exchanging belated Christmas gifts. Well, actually we also had time to snack on Christmas cookies and a few other sweets Grandma just happened to have out. Grandma complained that she was just sick and tired of looking at Christmas cookies, so I made sure to help her out in any way I could.

On Saturday morning, we all woke up bright and early. Even though I woke up the least early, I was still in time for pancakes and ham. Thanks Lady Di.

With our bellies full, the kids and I rode the four wheeler down to the lake for some ice fishing. Uncle Greg had his fish house all set up and ready on Grandpa's lake. His fish house had two holes, a chair and a bucket. Number One Son got the chair. Sweet Pea sat on the bucket. And I stood. I stood mostly outside since the weather was so nice and the fish house ceiling was so low. The fish didn't cooperate much that morning and N1S walked back to the house after an hour or so. SP was a little more determined, sticking it out for another hour before succumbing to boredom.
Saturday night, we visited Uncle Greg who lives just up the road from Grandma and Grandpa. He has two big dogs and a kitty which SP did most of her visiting with. But when she took a break from the animals, she had business on her mind. SP just happened to bring along her Girl Scout Cookie Order sheet. She then turned on the 'sweet niece' act and proceeded to take Uncle Greg to the cleaners. First, SP took down Uncle Greg's order for a couple boxes of Thin Mints. Then she took her order sheet to Uncle Greg's girlfriend who added a few of her favorites to the list. Then SP returned to Greg to show him some choices he might have missed. By the end of the evening, SP had inked 13 boxes to her Uncle Greg's column. I'd say that was a successful sales call. I'm not sure, but I think SP even sold a couple boxes to Greg's dogs.

On Sunday morning, we had just enough time to squeeze in some more fishing before the Vikings football game. N1S decided that he preferred virtual fishing on the computer to the actual thing, so SP and I were on our own. At least this time I had a place to sit in the fish house. Our luck picked up just where it left off the previous day without even a nibble. But that's why it's called 'fishing' and not 'catching'. But the peace and solitude of the fish house offered the opportunity for Dad and Daughter to have some time to discuss the important issues of the day. We talked about fishing. We talked about the upcoming children's play auditions and which songs she would like to sing. (She decided on "Your a Mean One, Mr. Grinch") SP also expressed her concern about her brother playing too rough when she asks him to play Barbies with her. Apparently, his idea of Barbie play involves more crashing and falling than SP is comfortable with.

After a half hour of pleasant discussion, our conversation was interrupted by a few nibbles on our lines. We lost our bait! This was a good sign. It wasn't too long after rebaiting that SP got her first strike. She reeled in a small perch. Now we were excited. As I was getting her perch off her hook, my rod started bouncing. I couldn't get to my rod before my fish spit out my hook. I'm sure it was a huge one that got away. After that excitement, the fishing action settled down again to just a few nibbles here and there.

Then SP got the big one! She started reeling like a champion pencil sharpener on Red Bull. She excitedly stated, "Ohhh, this is a big one!" And I could tell it must have been big because her catch was taking line out as fast as SP could reel it. I finally had to grab her line and pull the fish to the ice hole. SP let out a startled yip when her four pound northern poked it's pointy lips though the hole. Her line broke just as her fish filled the hole but he was too big to go back down. So I grabbed all 24 inches of fish out of the hole for SP to admire. We measured and then SP was ready for the fish to return to the lake. She likes to fish, but doesn't want to get too close to the fish.

After that you would think SP would want to continue fishing, but she was starting to get hungry so we went in.

That was OK with me because it was getting close to game time anyway. I got to watch the first half of the Viking's drubbing of the Cowboys before we had to say good bye and start the long drive home.

So our Christmas celebrating has finally come to a close. Christmas is always better late than never. And always better if celebrated three times than once. And if anyone is looking to buy some Girl Scout cookies this year, SP is still taking orders.

1 comment:

The Father of Five said...


A couple of comments...

#1 - FINAL CHRISTMAS LAST WEEK!?!?! Ok, I thought we were bad with a January 10th... Thanks Stuff-family! Now I do not have to fell so guilty (snicker)

#2 - Tell SP that all good ice fishermen (or in this case, fisherwomen) sit on a 5 gallon pail... It's sort of an ice fishing tradition!

#3 - Anytime a dad gets to spend in a fishhouse with his daughter is a win!! Frankly, I am a little jealous - but we are signed up for an ice fishing derby down here, and my oldest daughter voiced her desire to go (while #2 voiced his desire to stay) - So this year, I am trading one of the boys, for one of the girls!!

#4 - 4lb, 24inch'er huh?? GREAT CATCH SP!! - again, jealousy rears it's ugly head. (P.S. I'm a "catch and release" sort of guy myself! Good for you SP!)

What a great time it sounds like you had!! Merry Christmas!

Stuff About Me

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.