Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

June 2005

Fishing Life

June 2nd 2005

Fishing with Jennie
(Sent in by a dear friend)
I often wonder if she really knows how much I adore her. I have never loved someone so much in my life. We have so much in common! Rivers and beaches and boats and the out of doors!
Once upon a time, we fished together almost every day. We still fish together, just not quite as often. When we do, life is the best that life can be! I can honestly say that I can't be happier when we are together in the spring, on the river.
The Kilchis river is closed for fishing for a point in time, in late winter. It seems to last forever. On those days after dinner, we simply meander on the river banks inspecting the beaches, watching for the dippers and the otters at play, and... well, anything that moves!
I don't keep track of the date, but sometime in the late spring, tension fills the air. She'll go for her boots in the morning, before the light hits the meadow. What a surprise when she reaches up for her fly rod! My heart races! I'm so busy with my own activities, that I hadn't realized and she didn't even tell me! Fishing in the spring is my absolute favorite, but I certainly don't waste time wondering when it is open.

I love the lush feeling of June... rain or no rain!

Don't get me wrong. I love the winter fishing months, also. There's nothing better than an icy morning on the river, together with Jen.
She gets so excited about those fall chinook that we stay a lot longer, just waiting for a bite. The ice collects on our feet, and afterward, we go in the house and lounge for long hours by the fire. We watch the winter birds out the window. The whistle of the teapot is the alarm to gather by the fire and talk about the morning's catch, or lack thereof. She mumbles aloud the theories of her fishing, and what our plan of attack will be, tomorrow. Regardless, the memories are vivid and enchanting, and will remain with me for my lifetime.
Fall chinook fishing season melts into steelhead, and we are equally busy on the river.
As with many who spend countless hours together, there is an unspoken communication. As she sits at the computer, I know when her thoughts are leaning towards fishing. I can feel the tension in the air, and my heart beats just a little faster when I feel it. There's no need to talk. We have so much in common. Did I say that? We are both a bit restless in spirit. We never can stay indoors too long.
When she has a fish on, I get so excited for her! I race to her side to watch the action. I drop everything that I was doing to be a part of her success. Some times I'm too far away to even know that she's got one of those feisty steelhead on. On those occasions, you can be sure she'll yell for me, and whoop and holler until she has my attention. That girl always has to have attention, if even just from me. I love that about her, too... Did I mention how much I adore her?
This year was rather odd. In the dead of winter, with absolutely no warning, she was gone from the river beaches for what seemed like weeks. I had no idea where she had gone. The nights were lonely. The days, oddly quiet. I worried myself sick, spent way too many hours by the fire without fishing. Without the river... without Jennie.
Then, one day she reappeared as if nothing had changed. She lay in bed, though, and didn't act right. But one day, she drove her car down to the river. As I waited for her to get out, my heart raced. It's time! Come on!
But-- she didn't get out of the car! She urged me to fish without her, but I could not-- would not, go without my friend. She kept insisting, "Go fish! GO!!!" Everything in the world was wrong. What I thought we had in common, seemed distant. I was devastated by a lack of unspoken communication.
There was no way I was going fishing alone, as long as she was there! I simply stood by her car door and waited. Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong. Why wasn't she getting out of the car to fish on the river with me?
I finally gave up, and joined her in the car. I absolutely refused to budge. If the car is where we were going to be, together we would be in the car, and that was final.
You know, she never did wade as well as I did. She is cautious in every step. I keep trying to tell her that she'd catch a lot more fish if she would just plunge in like I do, cross the river, and cover more ground. There is a whole river to explore! Miles of it! Oh well, she seems content in her style, but it seems lazy to me.
Things slowly got a little better, and our communication started to improve. Relationships are so odd. Just when you think you are getting to know a woman, they throw you for a loop. But slowly, gradually, this fickle creature brought me back into her life by returning to the river with me, once again. At first it was once a week. Then, twice... then finally, just about the time the end of spring was upon us, she put on her boots, and reached for her fly rod.
Life is back! My heart beat so fast that I thought it would jump out of my chest. "Let's go!"
For several nights, now, the rhythm of life has returned to normal. Dinner comes and goes, and just like in years past, when the food is gone, she heads for her rod, hanging high on the garage shelf.
You know, she sits down on logs by the river more than she once did, but her cast is still the same, sitting or standing. I don't know how she does that, but she does it just fine, thank you.
Sometimes she'll ask me to find a stick for her, to help her walk. She uses it to stabilize her gait. As if she didn't have enough trouble wading before... I try not to rub it in, as I make my way back and forth across the river with ease in front of her. She doesn't mind at all. In fact, I can hear her laughter echo through the canyon as she watches me. Pure joy comes from both of us on the banks of the Kilchis river. Did I tell you how much we have in common? Our moods seem to be as one.
As darkness approached, last evening, she made a last cast and hooked into a fine sea run cutthroat. She called to me to show off her catch, and we admired it before she gently released it back to the river.
We were both cold and wet, as we slowly made our way back to the house. She, using a fine stick as a cane, that I had found for her. I think it's a keeper, as it is now leaning against the hall tree, waiting for our next trip.
We made our way across the living room to the wood stove, The warm and glowing coals, already in progress. She sat down with a heavy and contented sigh, and I joined her. The heat from the stove warmed both of us and I shivered, just a bit.
I couldn't help but wonder, once again, if she truly knows how much I love her? How much I miss her when she is gone? How much I worry about her, when she needs help?
With the most love a dog can muster, I gently plopped my wet head on her knee, cocked my eyes unevenly up to look at her and wagged my tail. No doubt about it. I was irresistible.
She smiled the most heart warming and sincere smile, and reached down to pat my head. A rush of happiness and content that no dog could ever know filled my soul. There was no doubt.
She knows.
(P.S.--Later, we went upstairs together, and I plopped my wet sandy body on her big, soft bed, and snuggled up next to her. In the middle of the night, she kicked me off and told me to get on the floor. Just when I thought we had a communication breakthrough!

June 5th 2005

June is so wonderful when it rains. I opened the door this morning, and there it was. It blasted me in the face, again. The deep, moist smell of rainfall in June. My ears were filled with the sound of solid raindrops on the lush canopy of trees. Even when it rains in July... it's not the same. I love that muted, muffled, thickly sound of water and dripping green. I wonder if it would be the same, if I couldn't see. It's kind of a whole body experience. It's all consuming to try to take in the thousands of shades and shapes of green. The bright dancing colors of spring flowers jump out of the green to greet me. It's warm-- Almost tropical out, and the birds are having a field day on the feeders, and all through out the trees, they sing in riot.
This is my Father's world. Sometimes I wonder if I am already in heaven, when I wake in the Kilchis river valley. What better reason to rise in total praise and awe for His creation!
Sometimes I tend to make life so hard. It's so simple, really. All we have to do is wake up from a night's rest, and realize that we are not in this, alone. I thank God for taking care of me, and I believe that he'll lead me through my day. I am not alone! --And that's a darn good thing, because I have proven I don't do a very good job, on my own!
On Friday night, I wept at Andrew's graduation. I was rather embarrassed, and tried to hide my tears. However, I looked around, and there were so many other Mother's doing the same, that I decided it wasn't something to be ashamed of. I held my head high and cried. It felt so much better!
You know, I've followed so many women's columns in the newspaper. My most recent favorite ended, just a month ago. Elinor Markgraf. Her column was centered around her life with her boys and ended when her kids grew up and moved out. I couldn't believe my shock when it ended. When your kids grow up, it's the end of an era.
I just have to remember that when a door closes, another one opens. No, I'm not going to have another baby... but I do get to keep writing my column. After all, it is called "Jennie's fishing life." Not "Jennie's kids."
Maybe I can start getting more of that fishing stuff done and recorded... now that I'll have more time!

June 7th 2005

Wow. Woke up this morning in the middle of a dream. In my dreams, I had purchased the most lovely shoes in this quaint little store. They were SO cute and they fit perfectly! Darn! I wish I had shoes like that! However, I also lost my wallet in that dream. At least I woke up and know where my wallet is! Little blessings for the day!
I had a lovely time on Sunday. I drove to Portland to a friend's 50th wedding anniversary. Now that is pretty special! I always dreamed of having a 50th. It occurs to me about now that that won't be happening! LOL... But I can still live vicariously through my friends! I was so tired that morning, but no! I had to go! I wasn't going to peter out on this special occasion! So, off to Portland and was I ever glad I did! When I walked in the door, there she was! The lovely bride... in tears to see me! YAY! We embraced for the longest time. REAL friends are hard to come by!
I received this lovely note from my friend, just this morning. What a gift! much I (we) adore her(and him, who is with her)....She hastens hither and yon, and is admired and loved everywhere she (he) goes. Sometimes she limps, and we follow, and sometimes she strides, and we gooooo; sometimes she just stays put and smiles, and draws a hundred pieces of love. She sparkles and draws others....She somehow goes many miles to support those who care and love....She seldom complains; she goes the extra mile; she knows she is loved ----just because.......
Thank you, Jennie and Bill, for coming...You were the very best of our day...We look forward to the time we can spend more time with you....
Sending you both love and hugs, and remember that you gave to us much more than you will ever know, Ginny and Glen

Life doesn't get much better than days like this.

June 9th 2005

Jennie's going to be taking a break for a couple days... Don't know how long. Hope all is well, and please save some fishes for me!

June 11th 2005

I can't really stay away from ifish, because I can't really get the energy to do anything but ifish.
It's Ifish, and playing the piano.
Sometimes I feel like a different person, since my heart surgery. It makes sense, you know.
After all, I've had a change of heart.
I've been doing a bit of research on hearts and after heart surgery, etc. Did you know that women's hearts are totally different then men's hearts? They are made of different feeling tissue. Women's are more supple, soft, and smaller... with smaller arteries. Men's hearts are tough, and sinewy.. threaded... tough tissue.
I've also read how after heart transplants, people are different. Occasionally taking on different likes and dislikes that are similar to the original heart owner. Mind you, I didn't have a heart transplant, but I have some new things in my heart.
I've always lived a life full of music. However, in all of the time that I used music to pay my bills, I almost never played for pleasure. I played because it was my job. Not to say that I didn't enjoy playing. I did. I just never sat down because I wanted to. It was always to study, to better my craft, to perfect a run that was troubling me, to memorize for a concert, or to quick learn a piece for a performance.
Lately, I cannot stay away from the piano. I find myself in deep trance like states, playing Chopin. I have memorized, on accident, three or four new Chopin pieces that run in my head, as I walk on the river. My favorite, right now, is a Valse in B minor. It's opus 69, No. 2.
As I stroll along the river, it sounds to me like falling leaves, and has me longing for Fall. Might as well have Fall, and all the salmon that comes with it, with this weather so drab! I sure missed last year's Fall run, being ill and all.
And I'm not just playing music. I'm really dramatically playing it, experiencing it... with my entire being. It's so emotional at times that I cry, or smile, or shudder. It's so beautiful to me! How incredible that people wrote such inspiring works, and how exciting it is to be able to reinvent it! There are passages that are difficult, but once I get them, each and every note thrills me. I play it this way, and that way, and wonder which way the composer would approve of.
Back in my high school days, I'd attend Nellie Tholen's playing classes. Each student would play their chosen piece, and we'd all have to close our eyes and if you were chosen, you would say what visual it brought to mind. Well, this Valse is about falling leaves... there is no doubt about it.
I struggle as I write, right now. I want to walk over and play.... and that is what I'm going to do.
Used to be that on a day like this, with spring in the air, and Springers in the bay, I'd be either drawn to the river to cast a fly, or in the car, driving to the Bay.
But, today I have a strong desire to drive to the local Nazarene Church, where they have a beautiful grand piano and an auditorium with awesome acoustics. I want to hear falling leaves, there. I want to be all alone... just the piano, Chopin, and little ol' me.
It's kind of funny. With my new heart beating so loudly, everything I play tends to be in one tempo, according to my pulse. But, that's OK... as long as I can keep up on those quick runs!
I'll fish tomorrow along the river, and as I feel the quick tug of one of those beautiful cutthroat trout, I'm certain that it will be accomanied by some Chopin piece.
I've got to get these two together. Music and fishing. Somehow, they have got to fit together. I don't want to lose either one, as long as I've got them both on my line.
Oh yeah, you can listen to this Waltz, here. I think I like Renzi's performance, the best. Most like mine, I think. Hear the leaves? They come down in swirls, and sometimes stay up in the sky for a long time.. before resting on the rocks on the river!

June 13th 2005

I'm off to Portland on business for a couple days. I'll have my laptop along, so that I can fix things, but mostly I'll be busy.
There should be an upgrade to ifish in the next little while. It was supposed to be over the weekend, but I'm not sure what happened.
I'm usually the first fan of rainy days, but I have to admit that this continual rainfall is beginning to get old. My flowers in the garden love it. They are beautiful! However, I sure could use a little of that sunshine!
I remember last year in the summer, being so tired of bare feet and sunshine that the first day it rained, I pulled on wooly socks and a sweatshirt and welcomed the change!
I saw pictures of Portland on the news and it looks like you had a nice day there, yesterday. We on the coast, however, did not. It was cold and windy and cloudy.
Just a little break from it now and then is so refreshing! The only good thing about all this rain is that when it begins to be summer, I'll be so thankful!
Then, before you know it, I'll be craving Fall! The wind, the rain, the storms and best of all, the salmon!
Life is a constant wish for change sometimes. Today I'm going to pretend that it's been sunny for days... pull on some wooly socks and celebrate the rain!
Join me?

June 13th 2005 later...

Did you ever hear 'bout the guy who swam half way across the ocean and decided he couldn't make it, so he swam back? That was me, on the summit of hiway 6. I was doing just fine, and then a migraine hit. I am home now!

June 15th 2005
Ode to Sunshine!

Heavenly Sunshine! Heavenly Sunshine! Flooding my soul with glory divine....
And I really am singing, this morning!

I love the bright sunshine that lights the tips of the trees! The entire face of the hillside that towers over me is so bright I can barely look! On the opposite shore of the river, the tiny pink, blue, white and deep red flowers dance in the breeze! They play against a thousand shades of waving grasses, green! Their reflection hits the flowing/flowering water like a grand explosion on the fourth of July! Oh! How I think it should be the colors of our flag!
Can you imagine that? With glittering silver sided fishes for stars!
The smooth surface of my fly rod feels good in my hands. It's a day for my dry waders and my 4(th of July!) weight rod! What better way to celebrate the fireworks than with a silver sided sea run exploding out of the stillness of a deep pool?
The soft shelf of sand that I wade on changes to slippery rock as I lean against a piece of driftwood to stabilize myself. Yes! I'm glad I wore my felts! In order to get into the fishy current, I have to face this danger. It wouldn't be fun if it were any easier! Part of the feeling of success is getting out there a ways, having to 'work for the jerk' on my line.
The current pulls steady on the thick yellow line, adding breathless antic-c-c-c-cipation to the excitement. Any time now.... and sure enough! Just as I'm gathering line to recast, it happens!
The little pink reverse spider that was working in the current is too much for that 15 inch cutthroat to take! Off my line whirs, as if someone lit the lure like a fuse! And we are off!
Kilchis stops his random dipper chase and cocks his head to look at me. "Got one, Mom?"
Slobber from his frantic chase whips around his mouth, leaving a disgusting trail of saliva from his nostrils to his eye. He looks hilarious. I can't help but laugh. Are we having fun, yet?
Molly the cat meows from the grasses that shade the deep pockets close to shore. She wants so badly to come out and sit on my shoulder. Does she dare? She has before!
Can anyone ask for a more grand experience?
And I live here! Whoooo hoooo!
America! America!
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!


June 17th 2005

Crud. Ifish is broken with MySQL errors. I'm working on it.... Just when I was going to go take a hot bath... sigh. :(

June 18th 2005

Can you believe that spring has almost left us and summer is beginning? What spring? I keep thinking about Stan Fagerstrom living in his new home in Arizona, and how warm it must be! All the flowering cactus and such! How I'd love to be on his sun porch right now, sipping coffee, and giving thanks to God before breakfast. Ah... I think I could like that, right now! It feels so cold and damp, here!
I'll never forget being at a huge convention in Las Vegas. It was a luncheon for a big company, and tables of executives filled a huge ballroom. I was sitting next to Stan. After we were served our lunch plates, Stan glanced at me, and asked if I'd join him in prayer. I loved that! It made me feel at home and so comfortable!
Back to the rain... The birds like it, and so do my flowers. They are simply beautiful this year, living in this rain forest environment.
I have been enjoying reading plenty of books, of late. The latest, a gift copy of Madelynne Diness Sheehan's "Fishing in Oregon." It's the tenth edition of this lovely piece of work.
It's one of those "feel good" books, with quality paper and a lovely front cover.
I have really enjoyed browsing through this huge resource. I believe it is available at G.I. Joe's at 34.95. I have looked it up on Amazon and only the 9th edition is available so far online. I'm going to write to Maddy to see if there isn't an easier way to order the book. It seems to me a "must have" for all Anglers, and a great idea for Father's Day. I know that my copy disappeared for quite a while. Where did I find it? Bill's desk!
I have browsed through all of my favorite rivers and the information is invaluable. I'd recommend you have this book handy in your library. It's a sure bet you'll catch more fish if you know the area, and what to expect. Make sure you read your regulations, however, before you venture out. They have a way of changing, and Maddy reminds you of this in her book.
I was pleased to see listed as a reference in the back of the book. Thank you, Maddy!
Well, it's off for another day in the rain. I've been putting off fishing the bay until the weather clears. I'm deciding that a trip out might just have to include rain gear, though. I simply cannot wait another day!

June 19th 2005
Happy Father's Day!

I know. It's just a Hallmark Holiday. However, I like having one day set aside to really think about how much our Father's mean to us. Sometimes a certain day falls on a day that we are not able to fully devote our time and thoughts to what it's dedicated to. Don't feel bad, if that happens to you. Just pick another day! But, whatever you do, make time to let your Father know how much he means to you!
I'm going to Canby today, to celebrate my nephew, Eric Logsdon's graduation from college. He is doing so well! I'm so proud of all of his track accomplishments. It is becoming normal for me to see him in the sports section of The Daily Oregonian.
The celebration will be held at my brother's home, but my Dad will be there, so I'll be able to celebrate Father's day, also!
My Dad must be very proud of his family. His grand kids are amazing! I know that I'm proud of all of them!
It will be nice to see everyone. I can't wait!
I have noticed that for years on ifish, people were raving about Traeger Grill. For the longest time I couldn't figure it out. What would make one barbecue/Grill so absolutely special?
Then my kids went to their uncle's home in the Dalles, and they came home raving about a barbecue dinner they had there. The grill they described sounded like a Traeger, although they couldn't name the product name. I still wasn't convinced that any grill on earth could make such a huge difference.
It wasn't until I was given vac packed meat from Thumper on ifish, that the proverbial light bulb went off. When I was recovering from heart surgery, Thumper brought me meat cooked on a Traeger grill.
I was stunned. The kids gathered around as we opened the first package and took a bite. It was scrumptious! Even cold.. the flavor was out of this world. I was taking the hint.
I started by taking a glance at the Traeger web site.
Well, long story short... I have been cooking on a Traeger Executive bbq125 for the last two weeks, and I have never eaten so well in my life. Nor, have I had so much fun, cooking dinners!
My local butcher is getting to know me by name. You'd think I'd be buying expensive cuts of meat, but I don't have to! Anything cooked in a Traeger is amazingly wonderful!
I bought a jumbo chicken on sale the other day, and "Traegered" it whole. It was the absolute best chicken I have ever had in my life! I rubbed it with the Traeger chicken rub and just plopped it on the grill! No mess, no fuss, just wonderful, juicy chicken!
I am going to take pictures and put it on it's own web page, to show you how it all works.
At this point, I'm such a fan of Traeger Grills, that I want everyone to have one. You would not believe how good things turn out!
I'm going to bring ours to the Ifishstock bbq on 07/24/05 at Sellwood Park in Portland. I do hope you join us!
It's off to the river for me. I've been catching nice sized cutts on reverse spiders for quite some time now. It's so nice to have the river open to flies and catch and release only. It's the most peaceful time of year!
Have a great Father's Day, and God Bless every one of you!

June 20th 2005

I just have a blast watching the radar on the internet, when exciting weather happens. I was busier than heck switching from cams around Oregon, to NOAA, to weather warnings.

Take a look at the pictures that ifishers took of the weather system last night! Awesome!

June 22nd 2005

Soon... I will get back to posting on the front page, more! I have been so busy with the "upgrade" on the forums, that I have no time for anything else!
Life has otherwise been slow and mellow. The rain this summer is getting a bit old. It just rains for days and days! Every time I glance at the weather on the internet, it's a full seven days of cloudy icons!
This is summer? Oh! I miss sunshine. Let's all gather together and do a sunshine dance! I would have prayed for this kind of weather as a teenager, working in the strawberry fields. But, I don't do that anymore. I want sunshine!
I have been trout fishing out back, nearly nightly. I've been doing alright. It seems that there isn't as many trout this year.
We are selling the infamous trampoline. It's a sad time for me. My boys are getting to old to do that kind of thing, it seems. I wonder when I'll be too old? I still like to get on it, occasionally. I don't bounce very high, but it still makes me giggle!
I think I'll take a break today and go for a cruise on the bay. I'd love to get some crab. We'll see what happens. A springer would be fine, also!
I'm off to the races. Have a great day!

June 23rd 2005

Just got off the bay.
Picture this.
I'm sitting in the passenger seat with a chartruese spinner spinning merrily behind me. it is soaked in Marie's sticky shrimp scent. YUM!
The sun is shining, but it's windy, cold and hard to keep the boat straight. Kinda miserable out, but hey... I'm fishing. What could be better?
A half hour passes and it's time to take my daily pills. I have a cup of coffee to swallow them with. I have a dog, half standing in my lap and wagging his tail madly. I have a pill container open, with plenty of beta blockers, tiny lisinopril, aspirin, coumadin and the likes at the ready, and I have my rod in my hand. (Never let go, spinner fishing! EVER!)
Anyhow, I put the pills in my mouth, and WHAMMO! What a drug! WHOOO HOOO! I want more of these!
My rod nearly pops out of my hand with the force of a huge springer! This was no slack bite, baby! This was a "GIMMEE THAT SPINNER I'M GOING TO EAT IT!" bite!
My pills flew into the air, and landed all over the boat. My dog got kicked in the side and thrown to the side of the boat, as I lurched to grab my rod. (It was airborn, but I wasn't letting it go!)
My coffee spilled into my purse. (Who carries a purse while fishing? I do! It has all of my secret fish catching colors of lipstick!)
Finally, feet crunching pills as I fell, choking to the back of the boat, I caught up with my flying rod and reel and came back on it, hard, just to make sure the fish still had it in it's mouth. YIP! It hit hard, back, and my drag, set very loose starting singing the song.
ZIP!... went the fish, over to the shallows!
ZIP!... went the fish, over into the deep!
I finally had good contact with it, and set the hook a couple times, just to make sure the hook was deeply embedded.
Fish still on! Fish zipping! Fish still on!
Zipping... zipping!
And then, as if nothing at all had changed... Fish off!
My spinner flew through the air, and hit me in the arm.
Hey! Cool! It stuck!
Don't you HATE that?
I mean, don't you really, really HATE THAT?
It was the only fish we saw caught. Of course, we only fished a couple hours, cuz it was so nasty out, but still! It was the only fish we heard of at the dock, too.
I had it on a total of about three minutes.
What a mess! I have to go sweep up pill crumbs in the boat now! :laugh:
Bill was so sad that I lost it. I don't get it. I had a great time, really. My most favorite part is feeling the bite and the first run.
However, I don't like spinners stuck in my arm. I really, really don't like that! OUCH!
Anyway, there is your T bay report for June 23rd, 2005!
Bill and I have lost more fish this year than ever before, and the funny thing is that I have heard of more fish lost this year than ever before. It's weird! And there is no reason for it that we can think of. They are just biting funny!
But, like I said... At least they are biting! :)

June 25th 2005

As the light of this odd, and seemingly never ending sunshine-less summer day comes to an end, the shadows melt into an eerie darkness over the meadow. My mind reflects those same green gray tones.
It happens at this time of night, if it is going to happen at all. I feel a bit lost, scared, tired... overwhelmed with things. All of my better senses scream, "Go to sleep, Jennie. You are too tired!"
With the excitement of heading to Black Butte, though, my mind is equally restless, and cannot find a way to settle.
I have yet to make it through a full day, since my surgeries. I hesitate just a bit, when people ask how I am. I give that automatic, "Great!" reply, even thought my mind questions it. I am great, but oh, the road is long, and I've still a windy ways to travel. Sometimes, when I speak with my doctor, I confide. "I'm tired all of the time, and some days I'd just as soon stay in bed."
It's a very slow process. If it took this long to catch a fish, I'd never go! In fact, I can think of nothing I'd choose to do that takes this long for results...except for to live, to recover, to get back to my life!
When the doctor asks me to consider how I was two months ago, or even four months ago, however, I see the incredible progress. Incredible, it is! Oh! When I think of what happened to my insides, and really, how they still are today, I marvel at the very fact that I can walk down to the river, now, to fish!
How many things are like that? How many things do we not realize are progressing, getting better, only because it is such slow change?
In talking to a dear friend today who has also undergone this same surgery, we agreed it was like taking on an entirely new body. Everything changes, seems to me, after this surgery. I believe there is much we do not know about working on hearts. There is something interconnected, that touches upon everything when you touch someone's heart, let alone, cut it, sew it, or change it in so many ways.
My feelings are different at times... It's not only the shock of what I've gone through, but the things I like to eat, the things I like to do, what makes me tick, or laugh, or cry.
The other day, I was driving past the hospital and Life Flight was landing. Last year I would have 'oohed' and 'ahhhed' and thought the whirly machine in the sky was a marvel. Nothing more deeply than that.
This time, I cried.
I looked for the ambulance, I spotted the family waiting for it to land... and I cried. I think they were tears of reality, of fear, and of loathing. This could really happen to me. This could really happen to any of us! That reality comes hard.
Kilchis just came up to me and lay his head in my lap as he does so often. His big round eyes looked up at me with love.
It occurs to me, as I pat his lovely soft head, that the two things I trust and love most in the world, are spelled with the same letters, just backwards.
and Dog.
I don't think that's a coincidence. My two best and most trusted friends. One I get to keep forever. The other, a fleeting 'little while' friend. I often wonder how much God is in my dog... just the happiness, the joy he spreads! The love! Maybe it's just a touch of God, to help me along the way, until I come home, someday.
I can barely make out the outline of the trampoline, as darkness falls, now. The ghostly memory of kids yelling and screaming, laughing into the night, haunt me. I don't want to sell that toy, but it is up for sale. The kids used to use the tramp as a bed, in this season. I used to wake on a summer morning to blankets strewn across those metal springs. Pillows, trailing to the house, lying wet in the summer morning's dew. Sometimes I'd join them, and I can still feel the cold wet grass on my feet as I headed for the house in the morning to get coffee, before they woke.
Now, the kids stay up most of the night, talking to their friends on the computer, and playing video games. Seems like once they turned 16, childhood was over, and it was on to more important things. They are still wonderful to have around, and I'm oh-so-lucky to have good, friendly, and helpful kids. Our relationship is 90 percent or more very pleasant.
Oh.. how I wish that they'd realize that being an adult is not as fun as jumping on a trampoline, or spending all night under the stars in the summer. I wish they weren't so anxious to move out, move on, and move away! We could have so much fun!
Maybe they'll realize this sooner than I have, and cherish those childlike memories! Perhaps they'll try to recreate those wonderful simple moments throughout their adult lives. We all should!
You know, it's never too late! I do have a sleeping bag, you know... I could... yes I will! I am going to sleep underneath the stars, tonight! On the tramp!
You know, I realize why I don't usually write at night. My mind is tired, and I tend towards sadness. No one wants to read this kind of thing! Isn't it amazing, though, how after a good night's sleep things look so much different? Better? Refreshed and positive?
Well, it is time for me to turn in. Time to turn to God to have a little quiet conversation under the stars. I'll say prayers for my friends, and give thanks for the progress that I have made, and for the gifts I have been given.
Oh! How I have to get some sleep!
As the river plays a soft lullaby to send me off, I secretly pray that my kids will notice just where I'm sleeping. I'll not say a thing.
But, maybe... just maybe, they'll realize that no matter how old they are, it's just plain fun to be a kid.. and join me!
I'd be pickled tink!

June 27th 2005

Oh my! I can't seem to get further out of town than the Guide Shop! Three times this month I have tried to go to Portland or further, and I stop at the Guide Shop and go back home. I get all dressed up, or packed, or whatever, and get that far before I poop out, or lose confidence! TODAY I have to go!
Last night, I got the car all packed, went to the Dairy Queen to get the kids a burger, headed out, and turned around at the Guide Shop, three miles out of Tillamook. It was seven P.M. It was just getting too late. I was going to make half the trip to Black Butte last night, and finish this morning.
Well... thinking that I'd get a better night's sleep, I turned around and came home, instead.
However, just as Murphy's law would have it, I lay in bed, heart pounding, with the expectation of a long trip this morning. I couldn't sleep!
11 PM, 12... 1... Argh!
So, here I am, sleepy and groggy, but kind of excited to go!
Murphy's law also decided I would get up this morning to an overheated video card. Isn't that cute? So, I turned off my computer, cleaned it out, and it works, at least temporarily. I needed to get the Weather Station running, before I left.
Well, speaking of running, I'm off. Off to shower, get the kids in the car, and go!
This reminds me of old days, when Nancy and I used to go on road trips to play music. I'd get in the car, and she'd smile and say, "Well, we are off on another adventure!"
An adventure it shall be! Now, if I could only find that smile! OK! Here it is! Let's go!

June 30th 2005

So glad to be home, but so overwhelmed with catching up!
Black Butte was beautiful, as always. Here are some pictures if you'd like to follow along!
We had a great time. I had Pete come down for Andrew's graduation celebration and a little fishing. We had a blast. Pete even climbed Black Butte while I took a nap. He brought back some awesome pictures. My nephews once rode their bikes up to the top!
It was really nice being able to be with my nieces and nephews and get to know them again. They are growing so fast!
I stayed in the kids house, where all the cousins had a blast, partying through the night. The adult house was nice, but come on... You only get a few chances to really experience living with a house full of children! It was really fun despite the loud music and the late night laughter! Let me tell you, I slept like a rock last night, when I finally got home.
There is something about staying in the Black Butte Golf homes. All of the beds seem to be made of rock! Youza! Nice homes, but the beds are so very hard! The last night I slept under the stars. I woke up at 3:00 AM and it was 37 degrees outside. I wimped out and limped to my bed and snuggled in the warm covers.
Anyhow, I have much catching up to do. I have to get Stan Fagerstrom's column published and out for you. Please note the alert at the head of this page and keep yourself up to date on what's going on with the summer chinook fishery.
Have a great day! I'm going to get a jump start here and wish you happy July a day early! Can you believe it is almost mid-summer?


A journal of my adventures.