Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
November 2006

Historical Flood of November 2006
Tillamook Oregon, Oregon Coast

Photo by our own David Johnson, who assisted in the rescue.
November 6th Flood
Record amounts of rainfall... record river levels. Wow. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.
Flood Pictures

Wilson RV park thread

Wilson River Hiway 6 thread

Happy November 1st

Please tune in to Stan's page, and read his latest thoughts on Gami hooks. I found it quite interesting. Thank you, Stan!

November 2nd

The town of Tillamook is abuzz with the Rendezvous and the incoming rain, both! It's going to be an exciting week's end, I'll tell you!
I have so much admiration for Shana, who pretty much runs the show on the Rendezvous, these days! Several people actually give their all, to make this event work, but Shana, in her tireless, selfless tradition, pulls it off, year after year!
In talking to her on the phone, she sighed, "It's like putting together a wedding, every year!" I can imagine! From doing ifishstock and the Christmas party, I can only imagine!
I can't wait to go spy on the fish coming up the river! I will post pictures! Finally! The time has come! Salmon, come home to Mama!

November 3rd

I'd actually forgotten what a real storm was like! It's awesome! The wind raged all night long. We had a gust of 48 is all, but it's constant! I slept on the balcony to get the full affect of the warmth of the wood stove, the wind slamming against the house and the rain on the roof. I woke several times to the slamming of things that go bump in the night, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Every time I woke, I'd just snuggle up in my down comforter, listen, and be lulled back to sleep. Ah... nothing like a good storm!
Rev, (the new dog) barks at everything in the first place, as she isn't familiar with the noises of a home. During the windstorm last night, she went nuts at first, until she realized it wasn't about to stop! Every time the wood door slammed, she'd be up and barking! She finally got tired of that, after figuring out she wasn't going to scare it away.
If it weren't for the wind, I'd be out fishing right now. The temps are warm, but it is nasty out! There is no way I could cast, and I'm certain the river is a chunky soup of leaves and debris.
Still, I can't wait to get dressed and go watch the salmon go upstream over the riffles. This happens only once every so often, as usually they come up gradually. However, this year we've had so little rain, that we'll get a huge push of salmon that have been waiting all season to go up to spawn. So, on this morning, I'm just certain I'll be able to sit in the storm and watch as they hurdle over the rocks and to their favorite spawning grounds, just upriver of our place.
I'm going to go do that, now! Kilchis! Rev! Let's go for a walkie!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTICE

Please forgive. I am typing by feel. I have lost my vision, and am headed to the hospital. I am so glad that I took those pictures last night. I studied them and saw them so well. Anyhow, I won't be updating nor answering e mails for a while, I'm afraid. I sure hope this typing is alright! I'm doing well for not seeing! Anyhow-- Off I go. Please say a prayer for me. I am really scared. :( My vision just clicked off, as fast as can be. It was so scary.
Bye bye--
Oh yeah-- long drive to the hospital with 6 closed. All the way around. sheesh.

We have a list forming on the board of anyone who would like to come help with the cleanup.
Please sign up, here.

November 6th

It couldn't be, could it? This couldn't be a real flood! You know, we have been so lucky in this house, and I'm just going to keep thinking positively. The only thing that scares us is that when the river gets so high like this, it can change it's course, and if it were to, even ever so slightly, yes- It could come into the yard. We have talked about emergency evacuation plans, and what to do with the chickens, and other pets. What's scary is that this is a 'one way out' kind of road. The park and a dead end is to the right. The left is the only way out. Slides happen often on this road.
OK, stop with the "what ifs!" Anything could happen, yes. But, it's not going to! We are fine!
You know, I was worried about the Rendezvous weather, but comparing it to this, they were darn lucky! Conditions were wonderful! Oh, by the way, I wanted to mention the wonderful work that Jack Smith does with the Rendezvous. If it weren't for he and his wife, the Rendezvous wouldn't happen. I hear that his work is tireless for the fisheries. We all owe the fun of the Rendezvous to Jack Smith. I want to write more about him, in the future. The fish have a friend in Jack Smith. I wish I knew him better. I hear so many wonderful things from all of the local guides.
Well, at 4:30 AM this morning, I tossed and turned under my covers, listening to the rain on the roof and the wind slamming sideways into the house. I couldn't take it. I had to Get up to peek at the rain gauge, check the beautiful pine tree that I bought Bill for his Birthday, and take a glance with my flashlight at the river, and to check flood predictions and river levels.
Groggy, the waggly wiggling dogs followed me and were rewarded their treats. I sloshed some dark liquid into my coffee cup. I didn't bother with the heater as it's nearly tropical out, and sat down to the tedious hum of the computer.
Oh, man. Not good news! It really is Fall!
This year, I've had the darndest time letting summer go. I'm almost thinking by now, that this is a good thing. Spring will be here before I know it, and I'll still be refuting the end of summer, picking raspberries! I kid you not! I'm still having raspberries on cereal! It's November!
I panicked as I flashed a light out onto Bill's tree. It's sideways. I don't know how many times we've worked on it, cabled it, tried to keep it upright, and each year we think we've succeeded. Each year we expect the roots to take hold. Nope. It broke both of its cables and is leaning at a 45 degree angle towards the river. I'm afraid we may give up on all of its 30 foot growth.
The kitty meows and wants into Andrew's room. Molly is still afraid of the big black dog, and I don't blame her. Rev is a wiry mass of furious fun, and the kitty is too delicate to enjoy that. She continues her request to have me open his door.
It's so funny. Andrew adores Molly cat and is honored to be the chosen one. Molly spends most of her time, curled up in his room.
As Molly sits to be let in, I quietly knock on his door, and hide around the corner. I hear Andrew snicker as he opens it to find no one there but a small black and white kitty, sitting proper. Yep. Molly is knocking on your door, Roo!
Hey wait! What's that I hear? The rain! The rain has let up! Maybe I'll wrap my robe around my knees, put on my rubbers and go check out where the Kilchis is, in the dark. Do I even want to know? Really?
The high water is good for escapement, I believe, but... is it good for me? I just shake my head in dismay at the dismal outlook for my chance for fish, this year. I haven't caught anything worth noting since May, when I came home with a beautiful springer. I can't even remember the feeling!
It used to be that I was worried about spaces remaining on my tag, by this time in the season. This year, everything is different, and my worries are centered around handing it in, with only one space filled! It's ridiculous!
Best to get the puzzles out, perhaps put up some apples for apple pie. It's going to be a long winter's rest, while the water takes over Tillamook!
Rev wags her tail and wants me to play. I'm too tired, Rev!
Perhaps Molly has a good thing going. Maybe I'll go knock on Roo's door. When he answers, I'll come on in and crawl up on his futon next to Molly and wait out the rain and wind.

November 6th Flood
Flood Pictures are here.

Wilson RV park thread is here

Wilson River Hwy 6 thread, here

November 7th

Well, we are still high and dry... kind of!
It's sure been stressful. Hard to sleep when a river is 20 feet from your home, at historical levels and just raging, with entire old growth trees floating down it!
I have nothing to complain about though, when I see the pictures, linked above.
Plus, Bob Rees brought us dinner last night. What a treat! Elk Stroganoff! We gave him a half of a loaf of our fresh bread, some ling cod and some fresh pears and kiwi in return. We also had a very nice talk. You know, Bob Rees and his wife are the very nicest people on this earth!
I had a blast yesterday out in the field. It's covered like a duck lake, and Rev was so funny! We were all itching for some exercise and fresh air. Rev has this puppy dance thing she does, in between running around with the 'happy wilders'. She jumps in the water and springs out on all fours, like she's saying, "What was that?! Did you see that?! It's water! Ohmygosh! Water!" Then, races off in happy circles! She had me on bent over, laughing! I love the spirit of puppies at that age! What complete joy!
Bill and I have been very stressed out, listening to the news forecasts casually reported as if we had nothing to worry about. Sleep comes hard. We both were just stunned to listen to the eleven O'clock news as they laughed at folks losing their homes in the Wilson River RV park. One reporter joked, "So, whatcha going to do? Bail water?" We both listened, in shock. This isn't funny in the least. People are losing everything they have! What are they thinking?
And then this morning, reporting that folks on 92nd are "up to their ankles in water." Oh my! Their ankles? Do they even know that we are up to our cows necks? Do they realize that people's homes are floating down river?
Do they realize that entire mountain tops are sliding down on our only road to the city and on our homes? These sliding hillsides have the ability to totally and completely devastate people's homes and kill people. It's frightening! It's certainly not funny!
Anyhow, this whole thing has seemed a bit dream like. The rivers are at a historical high, and beginning with the very first and shocking forecast, the citizens of Tillamook listened in fear. We kept mumbling amongst ourselves, "Do they realize what this could mean?" It's like no one really realized that this could be devastating to the coastal communities. We were all shaking our heads, wondering why no one was really reading into what it could mean for us.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not upset, really. I'm just confused. The balance is off. Usually, if there is even a hint of a flood, everyone rushes down with their news camera and records a half foot of rain in the Safeway parking lot. We laugh at that over reactions. This time was big, and there was so little worry or coverage! It just didn't match up, as usual. I guess it's a busy news time, with the elections and all.
Anyhow, we've got a duck lake, now. Bill wants to set up his decoys and do a little training with Rev. The idea makes me laugh. She's got the sillies so bad, I just can't see her doing any serious training!
I'm so thankful that the river is going down. Seems odd to look at 3 inches of rain since 6 last night, and be relieved, but we are!
I am still praying for folks in the city that have it worse than we do. My friend Kim, who owns Passing Thyme. She lives on the slough and reports, "Ho boy, it is a mess out there! Hey! Our house sits 1 1/2' above the highest recorded flood, we have about 3 inches left! AND, idiots are flying through the flood causing huge wakes - then floating down 101 after they pass my house, the sheriff has to come and rescue them - one lady climbed out the window and went to the hotel. What are people thinking? So far I have watched 3 different people do this."
So, please... don't drive through town! Don't make Kim laugh!
I'm off, waiting for daylight to see what new damage may have occurred over night. Good luck and all of my prayers to the people in town.
We have a list forming on the board of anyone who would like to come help the less fortunate. Please sign up, here.

November 8th
Click here for new pics of the Kilchis

Bored beyond belief, she sat in her maternal rocking chair, rocking slowly, monotonously, back and fourth. The rain had poured for too long. She was past the stage of restlessness. The days and nights had become all the same. Blowing, driving wind, pouring rain, and a steady and warm temperature. It was enough to drive even the most even tempered woman to madness.
She surveyed the residence. It occurred to her that a change of furniture, and a thorough cleaning would be refreshing.
She rose from her resting place, and got to work like only a woman can. With a near perfect plan and with a gust of wind, off she flew to start the project. Nothing would ever be the same!

--You know that feeling when you come home from work, and the entire house is rearranged? Partners sigh when their loved ones utter those words, "Let's rearrange the living room!" You know that foreign feeling of entering the room, and not knowing where anything is, anymore? It's still all your stuff, but it's so different!
It was a race, this morning, to get out of bed. We knew that everything would be different and we knew that finally, the water had receded enough to reveal the work of the "Mother of all Mothers". What had she done? Where would things be? Would we like it?
We stood on the banks of the Kilchis river in total silence, while Bill and I surveyed the powerful changes that Mother Nature had performed, the last few days.
Bill broke the silence. "Wow." He took a step forward. We had been incredibly lucky. We escaped any damage. However, the changes are still shockingly unfamiliar to us.
The first thing I noticed was that all of the agates that I had spent years collecting, were gone! She's a thief! The tradition was that anyone going down to the river had to find a pretty rock or an agate. They were to toss is on the top of the drive, down to the river. What had once become a beautiful white crystal and purple and jade lead down to the river, was now a mud pit full of gray rocks and waterlogged branches. Yuck.
I sighed, and moved on.
Oh Bill! Look!
On the bank where I fish, she had left a 30 foot tree, perched perfectly, (or so I thought) on the river bank. Childlike, my imagination was running away with the possibilities of a bench or a wonderful fort, or a tent of some sort, for plunking in the rain! Bill didn't like it. "How are we going to cast?" I sighed.
A few tiny coho fingerlings lay dead between the rocks and silt.
I had been excited to look for new agates unveiled by the powerful churning of water, but that was not to be. Instead, an even layer of new silt covered all but the bigger rocks. It will take a winter's full of rainfall to uncover them. It will be a gradual process, repossessing my old agates, and uncovering new ones.
The trail that leads down to the lower river was at least a foot higher than it had been. My shoes sunk in a thick layer of mud, as I made my way down to the lower banks. I stood a foot taller as I gazed down at the river. I wonder what the channels will be like, where the fish will hold now, when the river finally settles to winter levels.
The trees that Bill had carefully planted, and had grown to be nearly 10 feet tall were gone. Vanished. No where to be found!
Old growth trees that must have weighed tons, giants that had previously fallen in windstorms, were lifted from the banks and swept downstream effortlessly.
Trash was also no where to be found. It had all been swept clean, down to the cities of Bay City and to Tillamook, where mountains of garbage is now piled up in the streets. And yes, I've seen it. It is there. As the water recedes, there will be more, and more garbage. But, the upper rivers are totally swept clean. Not a pop can, not a fishing lure, not a cigarette butt remains. It was scoured clean to the brim, and then freshly coated with silt.
The city of Tillamook, however, is where dear Mother Nature forgot to bring the dust pan to finish the job. With one big sweep of a broom, she swept the upper rivers clean, and left piles of garbage to be picked up by someone else. Perhaps a hundred dump trucks, or so.
This is where we need your help. What a mess Miss Nature left in her wake!
You know, as I walked across the field, today, I was again, as I am often, thankful for my abilities. Although I can't see well, and my sight is diminishing, I am thankful for the ability to see at all, knowing that I could lose it, in the near future. What I saw, held me in awe. And it is a divine miracle to me to be able to walk, after being stuck in a wheelchair, and so sick for so long.
As I reached down to move a waterlogged branch from my access to the river, I realized that it was too heavy for me to lift, so I left it be, for Bill to move, later.
I returned to a standing pose and took in a deep breath, full of life. Before I walked back to my home, I took in a full view of the immense changes that had taken place on the Kilchis river.
The power of what had taken place overwhelms me!
I can no longer rearrange the furniture in my home. I can't lift couches, or even a table, to vacuum under! I am weak, but She is strong!
With no effort at all, an entire river bank from mountain to ocean had been totally revamped in less than two days! My gosh! How Great You truly are! The power of it just hit me like a shock. And just then, a great bolt of lightning struck the sky, and thunder rolled over the mountains that surrounded me. I felt so small.
I hummed, as I hurried to shelter...

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

November 11th

I feel like wearing black, to honor the loss of my eyesight. No kidding. I am sad about it. Not only is it confusing and terribly difficult to work, but it is a loss for me. A sad thing. I miss it terribly.
Every time I lean over, my lens that came loose, slips back into place and it makes me smile. I can't help but exclaim! "There it is! I can see!"
Too bad that the world isn't upside down, though. If it were, I'd be good.
Funny, though, how my will keeps me going. I think of all kinds of creative things to do, to try to get along. I begged Bill to put the TV upside down so that I could stand on my head and watch my favorite TV show.
As long as I'm face down, I can keep my lens in place. So, I thought I'd get a massage table. You know, with the hole for the face? And then put my laptop on the ground to work. Aha! That would do it!
But, it never works out. I just can't see. It just isn't right.
Ifish member and opthamologists "eyefish" helped me out so much, yesterday. I just thank God for him! He wrote my surgeons a list of surgical options to consider, and to talk with me about. I so appreciate that. He also called ahead to a local optometrist to help me with visual aids, until I have surgery. It has helped. It isn't wonderful. In fact, it's awful... but it helps!
The lady optometrist was so caring and so nice. I wish that all doctors could be that way. She took so much time talking to me, helping me, listening to me. Another angel from above!
I'm so distressed that my surgeon that is to work on me seems so cold, distant, and matter of fact. It would be nice to have a surgeon that could talk, face to face, and have more than 5 minutes of time for patients. My optometrist yesterday had a wonderful idea! I would like to get a program started like she suggests.
Surgeons are terrible pressured and busy, so why not have a hired helper to sit, explain things, listen to your concerns and to relay information that the surgeon has no time for? What a perfect idea! I would adore that, and I am going to call the hospital to see about starting something like this. That would take the pressure off of the surgeon, and help the patient, too.
Anyhow... I promised Bill that I would try to fish, today. (River permitting!) I'm almost hoping that it's too strong, too dirty, because I am afraid. I can't walk very well because of my sight. I'm so afraid I'll fall, or someone else will be watching and I'll get my line all messed up, or cast somewhere awful, or mess up handling a fish.
I'm blind, and that's hard to swallow, let alone have someone watch me swallow! I'd just as soon hide in my bedroom, thank you.
But, no. I'm going to live... every moment, I'm going to live. Life is so short... and I'm not! I'm very tall and it's time to stand tall. Just watch me... go ahead! If I cast into the bushes, I'll just laugh.
Here goes.....
Do know, though, that I am behind on my work. It is really hard to see my e mail, and the board, and well, my computer screen. Be patient with me. I'm trying!
This is the song, that I hear, today....

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

 

November 12th

I get criticized sometimes for writing only about all the beautiful things in God's world. You know, the little birdies and the trees and the thousand colors of greens in Spring.
Today, I'm going to try to write a solid "how to" article on fishing for the handicapped.
Today, we are going to discuss how to bank fish for salmon, with a dislocated lens flopping around in your eye. I hope someone finds it helpful. Although many of you can not relate to the experience, perhaps you can pick off a few tips, anyhow.
After all, I live on the banks of the Kilchis river, and if anyone has experience bank fishing, it's me. So, listen up, and learn!
Let's get started.
Safety First!
Remember to always wear your life jacket!
Admit it. It can happen to anyone. We are all at risk, but the visually disabled, even more so. It is important to wear a life jacket if you are fishing while blind.
Bring your 2 way radio! I find it helpful to always have communication with someone inside the home. If I have a fish that's too big on, or that I can't handle, I can simply ask for help. Also, make certain that someone capable of pulling you out of swift rapids is on the other end, and not too busy playing video games to care.
Currently, and I hope not permanently, I have no vision. Without my "seeing eye Bill" I'm lost. My left eye was scheduled for surgery in January, as my cornea is wearing thin due to an intra ocular lens that was too small. With this eye, I see duplicates of up to 8. No one wants to fall into 8 rivers. Just as I was preparing for this surgery, my right eye dislocated it's intra ocular lens. This leaves me with one incredibly blurry eye, and the other one blurry times 8.
However! I can see if I lean over! So, follow along!
Now, before I leave the house, I put on my hip boots and my life jacket.
I fill one pocket with pliers, 2 pairs of glasses, (one for long distance, and one for near) a jar of eggs, scissors, an extra leader, and an extra bobber set-up. In the other pocket, I fit a kleenex, my favorite fish catching lipsticks, Marie's scents, latex gloves, warm gloves, and a hat, just in case.
Remember to put your hip boots on first. Once you fill your pockets like I do, you won't be able to lean over.
OK. You are ready to fish! Call the dog, and let's get started on our adventure.
Raise the garage door! Twice now, I have run into the darn thing on my way out. This hurts and can easily be avoided by the garage door opener. I've got that one down, now.
Just empty your pockets and get out your far sighted glasses. There's a button on the wall!
OK, we are now through the garage door and crossing the lawn. I can't travel while wearing glasses, because with these new fangled glasses, you can't tell how far down the ground is. Put those away. They won't help anyone.
The river is getting closer, but we only know that from experience, and from the sound of it. If you really need to know how far, stop, dig out your glasses again, and look. This takes up a bunch of precious time, though, so I don't bother.
Ah! My feet are on rocks! Now, I know I'm getting close! This is the tricky part. Walking on rocks is hard enough for the sighted, but for those of us with none, it's a real trick. Here's what I do.
Lean over as far as you can. Touch your toes! OK, if you are lucky, your lens will slide into place in your right eye. The trick is to keep it there. That means, do not look up! Not even once! If you do, it will slide back to the bottom of your eye, and you have to start all over. So come up just enough to be able to walk like you are on all fours. In fact, I haven't tried that! That's a great idea! Next time, I'll just get down their with Kilchis!
Now, your lens is in place, and you can see the rocks to navigate better. Stay steady! Don't move your back! Good on you! You are making progress! The rushing of the river is getting closer! Closer! Oh no!
Only once has the cold rush of water been too much for me to back up and get back on dry land. But, not to worry! We have a back eddy not 1/4 miles downriver where all tackle collects. That's where I ended up (but only once.) It was actually pretty cool. I was able to collect some really nice corkies that other fishermen had lost. Their loss, my gain!
I wasn't able to call for help on the 2 way, because it was really wet by then. That's alright, though, because my Mustang life vest worked just as it said it would. Once I was in up to my waist, it inflated perfectly! However, when it did, it busted my coat's zipper and sent the entire contents of my pockets whirling through the air at top speed. I speak from experience! Do not wear your coat OVER your life jacket. Just don't, alright?
Now, I was without backup gear, but I had lots of corkies. I was wet and cold, but I had no fear of falling in, anymore. None! I had been there, done that.
Let's get to the actual art of fishing.
Say that you do find yourself the perfect distance from the river and you want to make your first cast.
How to bait your hook.
(Side bar) Please be careful baiting your hook. I like my hooks sticky sharp. I take coumadin, and because I can't see, I checked my hook a little too abruptly. Coumadin thins your blood. I could not get the darn thing to stop bleeding, the entire fishing trip.)
OK now, you see to bait your hook by trying to lean over and stay leaned over, thus pushing your lens into place, or you can use your glasses. I love choices. Don't you?
I chose glasses.
Eggs out of jar, cut into pieces, and placed neatly on the hook. Perfect! Tighten egg loop. Drop and watch it sway beautifully back and forth. Perfect! Looks yummy! Alright, now stand upright.
Place glasses back in pocket. Wipe blood off with kleenex, again.
It's a good thing that I know my river. Well, I knew my river until the floods came and changed it all. Now I have no clue how to fish it, so we have to learn where the deep spots are, all over again. This is a good thing! You have nothing to aim for!
Toss it out there. Anywhere! OK! Quick! Put your rod between your knees, put away near glasses and get out far glasses. As soon as they are perched upon your nose, immediately, start searching for your bobber. It IS out there, somewhere!
Look left! Look right! Scan the entire horizon! I know it's out there! I know it is! I just threw it out there!
But, all of the sudden, I felt pressure on my reel! Oh no! Oh yes! I have a fish on! First cast! I can't believe this! The slack line that I previously felt tightened, and my rod started thumping like I have never felt, before! The line, zinging from my reel, singing the most awesome, exciting song! Whooo hoooo! Fish on!
I had absolutely no idea where the fish was, but I knew if I held my jaw right, I could land this sucker! All by myself! Who said the blind can't fish alone! Whhhheeeeeeeeeee ha! If they could only see me now!
I was so preoccupied, that I didn't even notice that my dog was yipping and running furiously on the bank. Kilchis and I were made for the river. He always finds a bird or some critter to entertain him! He must be having so much fun! I laughed. We were both having the time of our lives on the river! I love the outdoors!
Golly be jeebers, I've had a couple wild fish on before, but this one was different, somehow. It wasn't until I thought that this fish had grown legs and was shooting up the bank, before I wondered if something might be wrong. I just couldn't understand it. How much had the river changed with the flood? I could have sworn that last time I looked, there was no river in the direction my line was heading. To check to make certain, I reached for my other glasses. I thumbed the reel with line peeling off of it at break speed, holding the rod high, with the other.
My dog's yips began to sound like painful howls, and at the same time, my line was headed up the trail, and straight for my home! Was it going to filet itself and jump in the freezer, too?
Uh... what the? A bright red bobber raced past me on the rear end of my dog! Heart still pumping with adrenaline, excitement turned to terror as I realized I had caught Kilchis on my back cast. Big fish, indeed!
And so, my friends... I have decided that you are going to have to stick with stories of pretty flowery things, as I learn to fish blind. Either that, or someone is going to have to get on it and fix my eye sooner than three weeks from now.
These kinds of fishing adventures are not even for the dogs.
P.S. Kilchis is just fine, despite a long battle. In fact, when I got to the door, I had more blood on me from a darned finger poke than he had on his rear end. I looked at myself in the mirror, and I looked like I had been through a war. I felt like it, too.
Now... let's talk about the color of the trees in the Fall.

November 16th

It's been a bit hectic. I guess that's good. Passes time, quickly.
This morning I am off for my six month aorta check. I have to have a CT. They are always early, so I'm up at 5, and on the road.
Have a great day!

November 17th

Wow! The entire run of salmon on the Kilchis will be decimated, today! Bill and I have never seen so many boats on this little stream, ever! Not in our lives! I don't know where the salmon will hide! It's almost sad, seeing so many, many boats! In another way, it's very festive!
I hope everyone does well, and has a beautiful day! We do deserve this day of fishing, don't we? I wish I were out there, but I got some unfortunate news, today, and I'm a little off kilter.
Anyhow, I'm going to take a break, today and pull everything together to fish, tomorrow. Get out there, and get them!
I sure wish the Wilson would clear! It's just as muddy today, as it was the day after the flood!
My poor little Kilchis river is going to get tired blood at this rate!

--I'm back. No fish, but I do feel like I've already been to church. Nice solid warm rain, and no wind. It was very nice, out. I don't expect a fish, and almost don't want one, lately. I feel like the pressure and the amount of fishermen on the Kilchis has been too high to be taking any more fish out. I'm getting old, aren't I?

November 19th

I'm sitting here waiting for it to get light enough to fish. Yes. In my jammies.
However, as I sit, the rain pounds harder and harder, and I'm going to be so upset if by the time it gets light, the wind starts. You know, you can pretty much gage when the wind will start by when the tides change. I should look that up. But... do I even want to know? (laugh) I think I'd rather just wait it out!
This morning, on top my jammies, I will be wearing a USIA suit, hip boots, a Northwest Rain hat, and a rain coat that falls to my knees. I broke off my favorite jig, yesterday. In fact, I lost my whole outfit on a rock, bobber and all. Without my sight, I can't tie a new one together, and Bill is duck hunting this morning. So, I'm on my own. Although I prefer jig fishing over eggs, (it's cleaner) I'll fish with eggs, today. I have some sand shrimp to tip it off. I think I just might get lucky!
I'm sitting here watching a few boats go up to the park. That always makes me nervous when a full wind storm is predicted. I'll never forget the time that a poor couple of guys got caught in a wind storm, and Bill and I went out to offer them an out. We shuttled them to their car, and let them take out, here. While we were shuttling them, the guy that stayed behind to watch the boat, lost control of it in a wind gust, and it went toppling, head over keel down the river beach! Oh my! That wind is strong, here in the Kilchis valley! Some people don't take forecasts seriously, and frankly, I don't blame them. Alot of times they are wrong.
Well, the light is coming, and I'm headed out. I'll let you know the results. A little fishing before church never hurt anyone!

November 21st

Twas The Night Before Fishing and all through the house, I couldn't see it, but I felt it! A little gray mouse!
I don't have to clean house any more! It's not dirty! If I can't see it, the dirt is not there, right? I do say, however, that it is a bit scary to feel things in the night, and not know what they are. I swear that a mouse ran across the bed, last night. In fact, I know it did. There were mouse guts in my bathtub, again, which adjoins my bedroom! The bath tub is my cat's favorite place to dissect those meeces to pieces. Every morning I have to get up and sterilize my bathtub. Yuck! I've tried everything... Including leaving just a bit of water an inch deep in the tub. I laughed as I did it, thinking, "I'll get you yet, Molly the cat! But, it drained before she got there, and did her deed, anyhow!
It's really pretty smart of her. I can just see it now. The mouse can't escape! What a cruel trick!
However, now that I can't see the mouse guts, they aren't there, right? So I can just get right in those bubbles and uh... baubles and bathe, right? Yuck! Not!
Bathing by braille... lots of 'b' words to play with, here. Brushing away the baubles in my bathtub, by braille....
I was going to go fishing today, but the wind and rain have changed my plans. The river is high and dirty. You know... like my bath water would be if I didn't clean my tub. Yuck.
I have so many appointments this week, medically, that I can just forget about fishing, anyhow. It's too stressful to even try to fish, really. Between appointments, trying to keep ifish up and just getting around, it's hard enough just to keep up. If I attempt to fish, either I risk falling in the river, or I cast and can't find my bobber, or work the entire day to get my lure out of the trees across the river. I'll just save myself the trouble, and put all of my energy into getting my eyesight fixed, instead.
Last night Bill caught a bronze beauty with a First Bite Jig, not three feet from shore. It was fun to watch! (Or listen to, anyhow!) I'm so glad it was him and not me. I really don't know how I'd do with a fish on my line, blind!
So, back to the Holidays..
It was the night before the doctors and all through the house, Molly May in my bathtub, dissecting a mouse...
And I in my jammies, preparing to fish, shouting at Molly, "My bathtub is for bathing. Get your own feeding dish!"
I'm going to have Bill fix the tub, today. It's leaking.

November 23rd

Time to get out the Turkey Candles!

God has a great sense of humor.
Yesterday while walking on the river, I found the largest agate I have ever seen! I'm just sure God put it there, just for me. I can't see the little ones, right now, but I saw this one! It's nearly as bigger than a softball! It's beautiful! Thank you, Father!
I have so much on my mind, but I've decided to put today away and just be thankful for how much that I have been given. I have my family with me, today, and I have wonderful food. I'm going to grill the Turkey and smoke it on the Traeger. I have everything that I need for side dishes, and I have help to read recipes. It will be a good Thanksgiving! --and I love my little candles that have been in our family for years.
I'm going to get dressed and go stand in the rain and see if God will also give me a salmon big enough to see. By the looks of the agate he gave me, it should be a real doozy!
I am so thankful for the doctor that I met, yesterday. Dr. Hwang (pronounced "Wong") at Casey Eye Institute took the time to talk to me, to explain to me, and to teach me. He is so awesome, and I'm just so thankful that I met him.
There is a chance that I may be having surgery this Thursday! I have some big decisions to make. It's a risky surgery. But, as I said, today is for thanks. None of that, today!
I got the giggles over the fact that the man who saved my life through my aortic surgery was Dr. Song. --and now I have another life saver, Dr. "Wong".
With Song and Wong, how could anyone go wrong? Dr, Wong will help me to see before long!
I can't tell you how thankful I am!
I was watching a show the other night about children with cancer. They have hardly any chance, right out of the gate.-- and here I am, 40 some years later! I have lived a long, very exciting and fulfilling life, and I have so much to be thankful for!
My children are young adults. I've been able to do most of all that I have dreamed of. Most of all, I'm happy and yes! I'm thankful!
Last Thursday, I had a CT exam. I was so looking forward to graduating to a 12 month exam, instead of every 6 months. It wasn't to be.
I found out on Friday when Dr. Song called, that it showed another aneurysm on my descending aorta. It's been hard for us to digest.
It's almost 2 years out since the big event, and I was starting to forget about it and beginning to really live again. This is a harsh reminder of my condition, and it is a bit hard for me to believe or to take in. I will be more careful, but I will not stop living how I choose to. No more lifting the vacuum or the grocery bags, but I will, by golly, fish for salmon!
The surgery to fix this is a long, risky, 12 hour surgery, and although I'm not a candidate for it quite yet, it looms over my head, more closely now. It's hard for me to accept that my only hope is that I "get" to have the surgery, rather than have the aneurysm rupture. If it ruptures, there isn't alot of hope for me! That's not a fun thought!
Well, now that this information is out, I'm returning to being thankful for the day. I am putting out of my mind my eye surgery and my aortic problems, and I'm concentrating on everything that I have had, and everything that I will have!
Before Dr. Song hung up, after delivering 'the news' to me, he said, "Jennie, keep fishing!" He knows that fishing is my passion, and even though I'm not really supposed to fish for large salmon, he knows that this love and passion of mine is what keeps me alive. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
My body may be very delicate, but I feel strong in my soul. Strong, healthy, and thankful.
Today I am filled with thankfulness and hope. Like the salmon in the river who are fighting against the muddy, silt filled waters... they can and will survive. And they will spawn to make a new generation of salmon!
I am thankful for my life, and hopeful for my future.
As for right now, God isn't finished with me, yet!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

November 26th

You'd think that by the time someone reached my age, that they'd thoroughly understand what love is. I have to tell you, I keep learning about it, every day.
My Heavenly Father is first and foremost, of course. It is He who surrounds me with more love and support than anyone deserves. He has surrounded me with love from my friends and my family. I am so thankful for my seeing eye-Bill, Pete, my helper with ifish, and Kilchis my dog.
I couldn't make it without any of them!
My Heavenly Father loves me, and no matter what I do to fail Him, He is with me, constantly forgiving me, and constantly wrapping His big, loving arms around me.
Thank you, Father! I am unworthy, but yet you love me and you provide all that I need, and so much more!


Kilchis and I on Tbay

Today, I thank you for Kilchis, especially. I can't imagine my life without my dog. He is with me almost every minute, showering me with love and praise, and did I mention love? It is no surprise to me that God, spelled backwards is Dog. Dogly love... There is nothing like it!
I believe that every dog is good, and I have had several dogs in my life that I have loved and adored, but Kilchis? He's a once in a lifetime friend. I never thought I could feel so deeply for a pet. He is my all, my everything... my dog.
He is so cute that every time I see him, I sigh, or laugh, or oogle over him.
When I come in the door, no matter if I've just seen him five minutes ago, he races to go find his bunny or his bear, and he brings it to me, wagging his tail so proudly. I'm not sure what this means, but I do know that it makes me incredibly happy. Maybe that's it! He wants me happy, at all times!
It's amazing how dogs like routine. Just like a child, they gain comfort from it.
Kilchis knows that after dinner, I will go up to bed. He proceeds me, and is there waiting, with his bear or bunny under his head for a pillow, his nose all scrunched up into it, and with his curly ears cascading all about. When I enter the door, he knows it's me, because you can hear his tail wagging from the last steps of the stairs.
"There's my Kilchee!" I say, and the rhythm of his tail beats faster.
As soon as I break through the door, he leaps off the bed and goes for his "Kilchee place". The Kilchee place is something that we started when he was a pup. I have a red and black flannel soft blanket that is all his. It's called the "Kilchee place" and that is where he sleeps. No matter where I go with him, I take the Kilchee place, and then he has bed that he knows is his. I place it on the floor beside me when I go to sleep. I just pat the blanket, and say, "Kilchee place!" and he lays on it, to sleep for the night.
The Kilchee place also has another role in our lives. It's for play.
Kilchis knows that after dinner, we get out the 'Kilchee place', and we wrestle with it on the bed. I use it to cover my hands as he bites, playfully at them. It protects my hands, and gives him something to tug on. We laugh and tumble around for a while, until we both get tired. When we are both tired, he comes to my side and settles in, resting his head on his bunny, on my lap. I pet his long, silky ears and back, and spend the rest of the evening watching TV or reading a book, while stroking him, lovingly. I wonder if he realizes that this massage, if I were to receive it, would cost 75 dollars an hour? Probably not, but I love doing it for him. He enjoys it so, and so do I! He closes his eyes, softly, and lets out comfort sighs as I pet his soft belly, or his curly chest. He, on his back, totally trusting in love and safety.
Since I had a St. Judes valve put in, I can hear my heart beat very plainly. I can feel it slow, while we enjoy our evenings, together. Kilchis is good for my health. Of that, I am sure!
This morning, I woke from a long winter's nap. My leg hung out from under the blanket, and Kilchis was licking my toes. I giggled, and quickly jerked my leg back into the warmth of the down. He came to me, licking my face and wagging his tail, begging me to start my day. I did, and I rose with a smile. How could you frown, when you have a wagging tail to greet you, and such excitement from him, over something as simple and regular as the start of a new day?
It is a new day! And I'm here to enjoy everything that it entails! If I had a tail, I'd be wagging mine, too!
I'm so thankful, Lord, for all that you have given me. My friends, my family, and my dog. I am so lucky!
Thursday and Thanksgiving have passed, but I find myself still more thankful every day.
This morning just as the sun rose, Kilchis and I went out to fish on the river in the rain. I didn't catch anything, but we came in all wet, and together, we headed for the mud room. This is where Kilchis waits patiently for one of his favorite things. (Everything is his favorite thing!) He knows I will take a towel and gently dry him off. He loves this ritual!
And now, the wind is howling outside, and we are sitting together by the warmth of a radiant heater. He, exhausted from chasing dippers, and me, tired from chasing fish.
I have a hot cup of coffee spiked with hazelnut, and I am celebrating the love that I sometimes take for granted, but that I am learning to appreciate, more each day.
It's a wonderful life, Father, and I have you to thank for everything that surrounds me. A beautiful river in the canyon of a deep green forest... Friends, family, and... my dog.
Lord... I have it all.

November 24th

Snow! Snow! Snow!
This method has worked, before. It can work again. I'm praying for snow with all of my might!
Snow! Snow! Snow!
Dear Lord,
I've been a good girl!
Please! Let it snow!

November Solitude
Click on it, for a bigger picture.

November 27th

Prayer works! It's snowing!

November 28th

I'm not watching things that closely. Nuh uh. Not me. That's why I don't know that it's 32 degrees out now, and it was 33 when I woke up.
Tee hee! The snow isn't melting... YET!
In fact, it was 33.6 and now it's 32.8! Whoo hooo!
I woke up with that excited feeling, but with a touch of impending doom. Will it melt? When will it melt?
The snow falls thick. Big, heavy flakes, so crowded in the sky that you can't see very well, 10 feet ahead of you. Of course, I can't see anyhow, so it's no difference to me! Now we are all even! No, I haven't been outside in my slippers and bathrobe to see. Of course, not! Not me!
And I won't go fishing in my jammies, on such a cold day. No way!
I have not seen one boat go up to the park to put in. Not one! So, I don't need to hurry. I'll even have time to put real clothes on, this morning!
This snow has been a real wonder for me. A gift. I love it so much. I'll never forget calling my Mom when it snowed, or having her call me. Those words, "Jennie! It's snowing!" brought back memories of the excitement of no school, or the beauty and wonder of the hush that snow brings to a normally active, busy neighborhood, filled with kids play and nonsense. Of course, the snow brought those same kids out, but their screams were hushed and distant, once the snow blanketed the neighborhood. What is it about the quiet, of snow? I love it!
I stood outside in the snow last night and whispered up into the flurry of falling flakes. They landed softly on my eyelashes and lips. "Momma, it's snowing!" One tear rolled down my cheek. I miss her, so much!
The snow has quieted my mind.
I have so much going on inside my mind, lately, that I feel like... well, you know that look a fish gets when you bonk it? That wiggle of shock and then that icy surprised stare? That's how I feel. The deer in the headlights thing.

Oh no! There is a boat! A boat and trailer going ever so slowly up the icy roads! Oh NO!!!!!!
Boys and girls, I have to go. No time for clothes. It's fishing in my pajamas time. NOW!
I'll be back!

 

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