Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

Oh no! Not more fish? Get out the Vac Pack!


Jennie's Fishing Life


A journal of my adventures.

November 1st 2001

The rivers are receding. This is one of those days you have to drop everything and go fishing.



November 3rd

Tell me it isn't true? Andrew has to have surgery again? We'll see. But his doctor suggested that he does.
Andrew laughed it off. He says that he is trying to make 10 surgeries before graduation in three years. He has an undying sense of humor, but somewhere down deep, this must trouble him.
Last night, after driving all day to doctors, Bill greeted me with the drift boat in the water out back.
We only had a couple hours before dusk, but it was a very inviting homecoming.
I rushed around to finish last minute details and hopped in.
My arm is sore this morning. I thought perhaps it was too much typing. Then I remembered... I caught too many fish last night! It is a good feeling, hooking into those huge kings and fighting one to the boat.
Fishing in open water, like the great bay is fun, but there is something about a king in a small stream, the way they use the current against you, the trees standing tall around you. The peace, and then the breaking of water!
Hooked three salmon on a K 13 Kwikfish, landed one nice 25ish pounder and set it free.
It was so nice... sitting in the drift boat, doing a quick 500 yard drift, and then pulling the boat back upstream and taking out.
Handy little fishery. Yes?
As I sat, I clicked my camera all around me, collecting images of why I love late fall.

Uh oh! Here comes Dee Dee! Who let Dee Dee out? Of course, Dee Dee swam out into the river to greet us. Quick! Reel in your lures!
"No! Dee Dee! NO!"

Whew! She made it across. A slight fog covers the entire canyon wall. It is lined with opaque green tall trees. Yellow splashes of vine maple stand out, still resistant to lose their color.

The sun falls on the river, as I caught an angler, probably just getting off work, racing to catch the last movement of chinook, before dark.
Please click here to get the full picture. If anyone knows this angler, they need to have this picture, and I will gladly print it out for them!
It catches all the feelings of why I like to fish alone. Bet he wasn't wishing to be anyplace else!


November 5th

Disability recheck appointments.. (As if Marfan Syndrome goes away...); Jennie to Portland, Andrew to Newport.
Jennie to Dentist for root canal test tomorrow. (OWEEE it hurts!!!)
Make appt with eye surgery doctor if and whenever I feel brave enough.
Go pick up new glasses at the low vision center in Portland.
Andrew to doctor here on Wednesday. David to doctor here this afternoon.
Ah heck, I'm going fishing instead.

November 7th

Every time someone says, "Look! Do you see that?" I get edgy and stressed out.
This is a test. This is a test of your visual acuity....
I suppose it goes way back to my Dad. He used to point things out to me, as any Father would, while out fishing, or in the wilderness.
The first alert would be kind and patient, wanting to share something cool.
"Hey, Jennie! Look at that ship (bird, fish, deer) out there!"
I think that I realized something was wrong before anyone did, but not knowing vision, I knew no difference. It was confusing... What do they have, that I don't?
I learned, perhaps by the age of four, that I had two choices.
1. Lie. "Yes, I see it! Cool! Neato! I see! I see!
2. Strain to see, because my brothers saw it, my sisters saw it, and I wanted to see it too! If they can see it, why oh why can't I?
If I chose to lie, things were uneventful.
If I chose the straining method, I would say, "Where?"
"Right there!!! Don't you see it! It's right in front of you!"
"No, I don't see it!"
Then would come the frustration from the other party.
The wagging finger pointing in my face would start, leaning into my shoulder, describing exactly where. Next to what bush that I can't also see? Under which tree that doesn't exist?
It's easier to lie. Still, today.
"Oh, yes!!! Right there! Oh silly me! I see it!" (Cross fingers and toes and lie, lie, lie!!!)
It's really not totally lying anyway. I can go there too! I have seen what they describe in books, and can picture it in my minds eye.
Presently and increasingly, as my vision diminishes in my "good" eye, I find myself reverting back to this way of dealing with things.
No one means to be cruel or impatient, but I hear the frustration in Bill's voice as he tries to point things out. He adjusts bird feeders closer to the house, so he doesn't have to hand me the binoculars all the time, or so he doesn't get frustrated pointing and explaining where the Northern Flicker is and yes, that it is really there.
If I tell the truth, and admit I don't see something to strangers or friends, I have to explain what Marfan syndrome is, and why it affects my sight.
That gets old. "Yip, I see it"-- is so much easier.
Thus, I have formed some very special feelings for people who successfully and patiently introduce me to new and real visions.
Chris Sessions was the first person who successfully showed me my first group of migrating salmon. They were shooting up the shallows near the river bank in clear, low conditions. He didn't give up. It was perhaps the 5th group he had pointed out that I finally succeeded in seeing. It was just last year, and I'll never forget it... or Chris! Thank you Chris!!!
Now I am always searching the clear river bottom to see it again.
Hunting for Chanterelle mushrooms became a joke for me. I didn't believe they existed. I hunted by myself, on my knees, digging through moss and ferns for what seemed like forever. Pete Morris finally took me up in the woods and helped me find some. I was like a kid in a candy store! I found them! I saw them! I picked them! Now I can't help study the river banks to try and see one of those golden beauties pop out at me again.
Yesterday, while drifting, Bill pointed out a group of 70 or 80 salmon on the river bottom. I saw them too! It was SO awesome! The river, 10 feet down was crystal clear and the light just right.
A black swarm of chinook silhouettes swirled and darted nervously on the river bottom, locked in a deep hole. They darted from one end of the hole to another as our drift boat swirled freely in the eddy. They weren't going to bite, but who cared? Watching them was a real treat for me!
I love to see things! I love it!
I have put off calling my eye surgeon for weeks now.
They want to "fix" my bad eye, as they call it. There are risks. Risks that could cause me to lose that eye at all, or cause double vision for the rest of my life.
But also, it could "work".
When they "fixed" my other eye, after it had lost vision, they had to take out all the vitreous solution, and all the floating and broken muscles. With Marfan, muscles break, and my lens floated around without anything holding it in place. Then, they sewed a new lens in. They used monofilament! Wonder what pound test? However, usually with this procedure, they sew the artificial lens to the existing muscles. I have none. So they sew it to the eyeball itself. Then, because Marfan tissue sometimes does not heal, I was left with a hole in my eye, leaving it at risk for infection inside my eye. For example, most people, after having their ears pierced, have to keep rotating the earing to keep it from healing over. Not me! It won't heal!!! They tried to force it to heal. They tried everything. Terrible sessions where they would drop caustic acid into my eye, while holding it open with a wire cage. They wanted it to scar over. It refused. More surgery... They took someone elses schlera, and pasted it over the hole. Fun, fun, fun... I don't want more acid in my eye, thank you very much!!
My vision in the fixed eye, however bright, new and shiny things appear are flat. I have no depth perception.
Lately, thinking about surgery, I have closed my bad eye while driving to see what it would be like to have two of these flat vision eyes. Although my bad eye is legally blind, it does offer a blurry hint of depth perception.
It is like driving through a post card. The scenery before me was beautiful, colorful, but flat and strange. Try holding up a picture and bringing it slowly towards you. That is my best description of what it is like to drive with no depth perception. Do I want TWO of these, even if it does "work"? But if my bad eye totally goes, what do I have to lose? Double vision? They said that would be worse than blind. I don't know... Two of some things would not be bad! Not bad if it is a salmon! Two dollars instead of one? Two rivers out back? :)
It took me months after the last surgery to be able to walk again, to learn where the ground was, how tall a rock was on the river bank. I fell alot. I jammed my fingers into things while reaching for them. It takes months for my brain to learn to use new vision. In normal circumstance, a child learns to use vision normally as she grows. My brain never knew what it was to see like this, and often I closed my eyes, with an overload of stimulation... I wanted to scream, "To much info!!!!"
Would it be so bad to be totally blind? My resistance to call makes me reason.
If I totally lose my vision, at least I could have a really cool seeing eye dog!!!

November 8th

Take a browse around The Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation.
Next time you want to thank someone for a hatchery steelhead, or access to Loren's drift, or the pond there, take a look at their current projects and thank the Foundation. They are responsible for many other projects that keep us in the fish.
Every year Dudley Nelson comes to stay with us during the annual North Coast Salmon Rendezvous.
My life has been ultra busy lately!
I said hi to Dud, and breathlessly left to take Andrew to the doc at noon. My drive home was intercepted by a phone call to meet Bill and Dudley at the Ghost hole.
It was a gorgeous day! Flat calm bay, sunny, warm, and the water produced!
Dudley nailed a 28 LB buck on the South end of the Ghost hole during the incoming tide. This, with one hand in a cast! Dudley got thrown from a horse while hunting, earlier this year. His wrist is badly broken. Wow! The one hand landed salmon!
We arrived home to a message from Rod Brobeck, the director of OWHF, inviting Bill and I to come on down for dinner.
That, we did. We got the kids a sub sandwich and headed out to the Shilo.
It was a lot of fun, talking with all the guides, and listening to plans of big fish in the days to come. Bill offered to sled Buzz Ramsey of Luhr Jensen around the bay. Drift boats on the rivers weren't having much luck. I teased Bill about Buzz being his bait boy for the day!
Buzz looked through his bag of goodies, given out to the guides as a gift from the supporters, and handed me some goodies! Some K 13s!
Buzz told me about their new product, a lighted K 13. They will be available in the Spring of 2002 in 6 colors, and will be half translucent, so the light shows through. The water completes the electrical current that produces the light. They will be a one season deal, (the batteries are not replaceable). He told me you are kind of "renting the battery" on these new fishing lures. I can't wait! He promised to send me one, and I hope to get some to give away on the board, for the "Ready, Set," contests.
Well, computer work for the first half of the day, and then out at noon to help set up for the Heritage Foundation dinner and auction tonight. FUN!
I wish everyone lots of luck out their on the rivers and bays.
I wish I were fishing, but, it's almost as much to hear about it, and see the happy faces!

November 10th

I haven't had a heart stopping, terrifying, middle of the night waking nightmare in ages.
It was 3:30 A.M. when I woke with a start. I was sweating, partly due to the wood stove burning too late, partly due to the addition of my down comforter, but also due to my dream.
It was set about 10 years ago, when I was married. Dreams are strange, fragmented, but this is how it went.
I was at the railroad tracks at 99E and Main in Canby. The railroad bars went down over the highway, and I was at a stop in my car. I was with Andrew.
No cars were visible anywhere around me. No trains either. I had a strange sensation that something was very wrong. All time stood still. The ding ding ding of the railroad played over and over.
My husband called me on the cell phone. (I didn't have a cell phone then! Did anyone?)
He was stressed, and blurted out, "Call your Mother and tell her you love her. Call your friends."
"Why? What's wrong?"
On the horizon I saw huge billows of smoke rising from the ground in the distance.
"It's awful. All major cities have been destroyed."
"Nuclear?" I asked.
"Just as shocking..." Is all he said.
Ish! I thought I wasn't terrorized, I thought that I was getting over the terrible drama that unfolded in the United States, but last night the TV was set to the news channel as I did my prep work for the Tackle Swap. I didn't think I was listening, but I guess I was!
I got up and went downstairs. Kissed David, who was sleeping on the couch. All is calm... all is bright. Take a deep breath, girl... All is well in the Kilchis Canyon.
No more news TV late at night for this girl!
Off to get ready for the Swap, and drive to Portland....
Dang I'm glad I woke up!

November 12th
Introducing Kilchis!

Bill with Kilchis
Photo courtesy of Marie

Thank you Veterans!

Yesterday we came home with Kilchis, the 6 week old half lab, and half springer baby.
He is so darling! But let me tell you, I forgot what it is like to have a baby!
As I type, he is whining and crying in his kennel. I want so badly to pick him up, but I can't! Not every minute of the day!
He was so good last night!
I have been reading (again) Barbara Woodhouse's books on dogs. She was so good on TV. Do you remember her?
She always called her dogs to go for a walk, by saying, "Walkieeeee!" I always did that with Hershey. It is so infectious!
She suggests using the words, "Hurry up!" to go to the bathroom. I have been taking Kilchis outside every 10 minutes now, repeating this... with little success.
Well, Kilchis slept in the kennel from 8 until 3 in the morning. When he started whining, I quick whisked him up and took him outside!
He did it! Both! I was such a proud Mother!
He is darling and we are busy, but very, very blessed!
Andrew took pictures of the Tackle Swap, and I put them up here. What a successful event! It was awesome, and my thanks go out to Bev and Dot! Wow!
Click here for a directory of ifishstock 2001 pictures.

November 13th

During late fall, I love to walk up the Kilchis river to the riffles where the salmon spawn.
Up on the river bank, there is a slippery log I stand on. This perch allows me to view the salmon ceremony.
The hens shoot over the rocks, playing tag with their mates, then swish their tails deeply into the gravel beds. Close behind are several bucks, anxiously waiting to perform their final dance. I feel a bit intrusive, but yet lucky to be privy to this event.
A misty fog collected over the water just before dark. An eerie light cast a glow over the rocks that lit up the fallen orange and yellow leaves like bursts of fire.
Except for the occasional splash of water breaking, except for the loud, riotous fall colors, all around me was quiet and still.
The calm before the storm.
Soon the fire of these leaves will be extinguished by the rain swollen river.
It was one of those evenings that will stick in my memory as a picture without words. I had to stop and collect my thoughts. Why can't I describe this?
"How does that sky look?" I looked up, studied it, and fell into the blank that you are supposed to feel while meditating.
I glanced down at the fiery leaves, and realized that sometimes, there are no words that accurately describe.
The moisture over the water became more dense. I could no longer see the riffle in front of me.
"Come Kilchis!" I said to my new puppy, and headed back down river to the house. I know my timing on these late evening walks are important. Being stuck out there at dark can become a frustrating journey.
I felt the silent and peaceful joy that comes only from the natural beauty that surrounded me.
As Kilchis navigated the rocky path, sometimes head over heels like a snowball, we made our way home.
I sang to the sky, to the puppy....
"Oh I wish I were a Kilchis river puppy....
That is what I'd truly love to be-e-ee... Cuz if I were a Kilchis river puppy..... Everyone would be in love with me....."
I hope no one was listening.

November 15th

I sat in bed last night, soaking up the stillness of the time between storms.
It felt like being in the eye of a hurricane. Warm, still, calm, eerie. This morning, the same.
The new symphony of the rushing and full river bank, and the occasional crowing of an unsettled rooster filled my ears.
I thought back to a time, living in Astoria, when we lived in a home on the South Slope hill.
Our windows spread from one end of the house to another, from ceiling to floor. It opened our eyes to Youngs bay, past the bridge, and out into the ocean. We saw the weather coming and going. Formations of clouds were at our fingertips.
David, as young as 6 or 7, pushed his nose against the window, and clung on with all 10 fingers, gazing at a changing evening sky.
The sun was falling, and all around us, bursts of colors sprang forth from behind silver lined clouds.
He turned to me with a serious concern.
"Mom, why don't I have color crayons as pretty as God's?"
I lit a candle this morning, sipped my hot coffee, and threw the windows full open. I let the air in, and I'm listening to the world.
As my ears fill with the song of the new river, and to the quiet of the rain drops on the porch, I too, want to know....
"Why don't I have a musical instrument like God's, that will play this peaceful song?"

November 18th

The Kilchis River cleared beautifully for salmon fishing on Saturday, November 17th.
Heavy pressure was noted from the Logging Bridge down, and fairly light from the park down. (From the park down is a fairly tricky drift, so be careful...)
The Wilson was still muddy as of early morning.
The Trask reported fishable conditions.
We put in at the park and went down at about 11:30, after the early morning fishermen had passed.
Blessed with bright sunshine, we found the river almost to ourselves. Navigating slowly, we fished wherever we pleased.
Fishing was not the "red hot" you would imagine for the first clear water after a flood, although catches of bright chinook were reported throughout the systems.
I landed a 30-35 LB buck that was a definite keeper, but not mint, so we tossed it back. Our freezer is full, and I love to release fish, anyway!
Our trio pulled wigglers with two rods and bounced bait with the other. My chinook was taken on a wrapped K-16.
We were told one steelhead was caught on the Kilchis. They are here!
Tis the season to be Thankful, and steelhead remind me of that, every year!
Good luck out there, before the rivers fall to low and clear again!

I was sent this URL to watch. If you choose to watch it, grab a Kleenex. I am not sure I wanted to revisit this. It is a very graphic and emotionally stirring recap of the 911 events. Very well done. God Bless America... Our hearts and prayers again, go out to the families, to the survivors, to the lost. Be strong.

November 19th

"I prefer an acoustic instrument."
That's what I told the church committee when they asked my opinion about buying a new piano.
A month later I am sitting at a new Kurzweil digital piano, and feeling somewhat disappointed. Buttons, sliders, a whole red light up display, looking somewhat like a flight control panel staring at me. It invited me to lift off into symphonies of recorded country or jazz waltz backups. YISH!
"I know it isn't your choice," said the pastor, but please, we want you to like it, please play something special on Sunday for the dedication of the new piano."
It crossed my mind, (the spoiled little acoustic piano girl), that perhaps I was going to quit playing at church. My creativity seemed stifled.
I dragged to church, having not rehearsed one bit for this event. My mind raced... How was I going to make this "plug in piano" sound good?
As digital pianos go, the Kurzweil is very high quality. I'm just spoiled by the wood, the strings, the life of acoustic pianos and their familiar response.
Traveling around the US, I have performed on just about every kind and quality of piano. From the beautiful Steinway, at the Washington Hilton, guarded by armed guards while President Reagan watched on, to those with gum stuck to their keys, koolaid spilled in the interior, dead keys...
They always, however, respond somewhat the same to my touch. I can adjust. I want to be adaptable.
When the time came in the service, and the pastor turned to me, I began, somewhat nervously, and without plan.
"Amazing Grace". I pushed the grand piano button. It started as plain as a written hymnal. It developed into a bit of a new age 'Windham Hill' label contemporary jazz thang.
From there, it led me to think about the events of 911.
I began an eerie, dissonant rendition, in the same key, of "The Star Spangled Banner." Quietly, in minor tones...
I glanced out at the crowd, and saw people... The people of my congregation with tears in their eyes.
I did this? With this piano?
As I ended the Star Spangled Banner, I thought of hope... of what God can do in all... Of the immense and unending power of our Creator.
I recovered with "How Great Thou Art." It came rushing fourth from my fingers... An attempt to heal the wounds, to stop their tears.
Hope. Hope that might help to heal the depths of despair that the memories of the awful events had caused in our people.
I ended the piece with joy.
At the end of the service, one of the of the members came to me and said, "I know it's not your style, but you sure make that piano sound beautiful!"
Triumph. Phewie!
I barely got home when Chris Sessions called to take Bill and I out fishing.
I landed a 35 ish LB buck...
A pretty darned nice day!

November 20th


I was reading about Marfan Syndrome. They have increased the normally shortened life span of us 'genetically altered' people by putting us on beta blockers, and requiring us to have yearly echo cardiograms and MRIs. YAY! This is good news!
Since people with this syndrome tend to suffer a lot of joint pain, etc., now we are developing a book about Marfan and the older patient. We live with the ordinary health concerns that older people have, plus the Marfan concerns.
Nay! This is bad news!
Therefore, I declare it totally unfair that I have to have a root canal today! I think we should not have to endure this kind of torture!
Off I go to Portland for my very first root canal. Oh boy!
The rivers are flat and very fishable. Chris Sessions just left for a day on the river. Shall I play hookie? :)

November 21st

After a non painful root canal procedure, I asked the endodontist, "Why do people think root canals are so awful?"
His reply. "I think that people refer to the pain or sickness they had before the root canal."
AMEN! I've been sick since late August and I am now looking forward to feeling good!
Thanksgiving... I am happy and thankful for so many things. Small, and large.
At dinner time, two years ago, our family began a tradition. Every night at dinner, the week before Thanksgiving we wrote down 5 things we were Thankful for. This can be tough sometimes, but we always came up with 5, no matter how bad our day was that day.
Bill grumbled at first, when being introduced to this idea. He's not much of a holiday sort, but I insisted!
On Thanksgiving, we read our lists.
This is good therapy, and I now do this in my daily morning or evening talk with God. No matter how badly I feel, it gives me a lift.
I am thankful that I have a puppy to love! Kilchis has very runny, infected eyes and is on antibiotics. He has an infected umbilical cord, and swollen lymph glands. Please help him get well!
I am thankful for the work and resulting success we have had on the discussion board.
Thanks to those that provided many hours of volunteer work to do some serious house cleaning. It brings a genuine smile to my face when I visit the board and see such friendliness between fisher people! Ifish is truly a community and family!
I am thankful for my warm home, for things as simple as water running, and full freezers of salmon!
I am thankful for friends, and the love of family.
I am thankful for The United States military men and women. I hold them in my prayers. Please keep them safe and comfortable, with the hope that they will soon be home with their families.
Write your list... Keep writing it, and read it to your family, your friends.
We need to be thankful!!!
It is in times like these that we need to realize that the simple pleasures in life are often overlooked and under appreciated.
Thank God for my warm, woolly socks!
Happy Turkey Day, guys!

November 24th

I had a lovely time at my cousins in Lake Oswego. It's amazing to think of my nephews and nieces all in diapers. I see them all now, taller than I. Scary! I think I'm old! I am old!
The kids and I stayed at a motel afterwards, got up and did the mall thing the day after Thanksgiving. It was fun to be at Nordstrom's. I could probably spend all day there! I feel like a country hick starved for a pair of high heels sometimes!
It was great to walk around feeling all the fine materials. From rack to rack, touching... Silk, linen, wools...
The crowds, however, pushed me to go home.
I followed the winding highway towards the warmth of my wood stove. My eyes followed the steep, bare-rock cliffs and muddy hillsides to the top, which had been heavily logged. I willed them to stand strong.
"STAY!" I commanded, knowing full well they had nothing to grip onto. It was pure luck that they held fast as we sped by. Big rocks lay dangerously on the side of the road. I'm glad they missed us!
The Wilson raged, creating new channels, churning mud.
Closer to home, a picture calendar for winter.

The sky was troubled, the colors muted into soft blues...
As I made my way closer to home, the river was heavy, but greening a bit. The popular spots were vacant of any signs of fishing people.
Thoughts of plunking a gob of eggs and a spin glo in a slow pocket or eddy crossed my mind. Dreams of building a fire to warm my hands on the river side.
My thoughts sent me to a place on the Lewis and Clark. A plunking shack now stands still and alone. Once a group of men gathered daily here, a fire burned to warm their hands. A low murmur of quiet riverside talk as they waited for the bells on their rods to go off.
The smoke of the wood stove greeted me as I made it down the driveway. I unpacked and was into my new pajamas by 5:00. A very happy puppy was my companion, licking my face, welcoming me home.
I like being a country hick. A little city goes a long way.


November 26th

On the Kilchis River, the weak winter sun prepares to fall quietly away to end the day. The river steals it's last glory.
I sit on the freezing, quiet riverside, plunking for salmon. All is quiet. My rod pulses with the current, and then... it happens again.
It is a magical time, a spectacular happening. Every day, approximately one hour before dark.
The stage: The river's bend.
The sun shines at such an angle, that it magically turns the riffles before me to lit gold. The river surface explodes with light and fire, and I can no longer see my line disappear into the water. I'm nearly blinded by the intensity.
A brisk East wind hits me in the face. I fight both cold and blinding light to be a part of this phenomena.
It has happened time and time again. The surface of the river first borrows a bit of light from the sun, and gradually steals the show in a magnificent, and powerful way.
Sparkling water, as far down as my eyes will take me in a brilliant display! A soft flowing molten mass, a natural miracle.
I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights.
I've stared into the sunsets over the ocean beaches, in hopes of seeing the flash that I have been told occurs. Are they telling the truth? They say it happens as the sun reflects on the ocean before falling. I've never seen it.
I've heard tales of people on the beach at night, where all of the sand sparkles like diamonds. They gathered to swim at midnight, and their bodies picked up the mineral and their whole bodies sparkled. Is it Mica? I've never seen it, and always wanted to!
I've wanted to see many things, and haven't. All is fair, though.
I have seen the river morph from a swift and lush green current, to a flat rolling body of fire and light.
The river revels in it's last glory. The show fades back to a winter gray.
I stand to walk home. I follow the river along the wet and dimly lit path. In quiet awe, I glance one last time at her. She is quiet, and dark, her song repetitious and unassuming.
I shake my head.
Did I really see that?


November 29th

Ever since Hershey died, my old chocolate lab, I have wanted a new puppy. I think I have made that abundantly clear.
I have to admit to something.
When I was healing from losing Hershey, every time someone hinted that they had something for me, I secretly thought... "A PUPPY!" They have a puppy for me!
When Bill was suspiciously on the phone with people last Christmas, I thought... "Someone is getting me a puppy for Christmas!" A puppy, all tied up in a red bow! I can't wait for Christmas!
There was no puppy on Christmas Eve, nor Christmas Day.
When Stan Fagerstrom said he had something for me, again, I thought, "It's a puppy! Stan is sending me a puppy!"
Stan didn't send me a puppy.
Bill Monroe once said he had something he wanted to share with me.
That wasn't a puppy either.
Christmas, my birthday, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day... Holiday after holiday, opportunity after opportunity passed, and I had no puppy.
It has now been a little over two weeks since I picked out my puppy, from a litter of mutts on a dairy farm.
It has now been a little over two weeks that I have had a full night's sleep.
My living room looks like a nursery, strewn with stuffed animals, half eaten chew toys, socks used for tug of war, jingle balls. Ripped up papers lay in the hall way that he steals from my waste basket, one by one to shred for me.
Little gifts of round wet spots litter the carpet. Oh! A gift of puppy doo doo too! "No, Kilchis, bad Kilchis..." Outside we go, in the cold winter rain and wind to correct our behavior, to show where we properly do our business.
We are entertained at dinner by the whining and singing of a pup that sincerely wants to join us, and get the heck out of his kennel.
Despite it all, I did want this puppy.
I curl up with this pup when he is asleep by the fire. I kiss that soft spot in underneath his ear, as I lay my face next to his. He gently nibbles my face and ears.
He wags his tail so furiously when I get home that he knocks himself over!.
As I type this morning, my sheep skin slippers are being torn from my feet.
"No Chew!" I remind him, and get him his chew toy. Not good enough! He goes for the computer cables.
"No chew!"

I want to thank you all. Bill, Stan, Bill Monroe, and all of you at ifish for not getting me a puppy.
I have no one but myself to blame. But I also have no one but myself, to thank!
I really want to thank God for this new addition to our family, for the joy it has brought us.
I'm going to dress my baby up with Christmas bows on Christmas morning.
The tag will read,
"From Jennie, to Jennie."