Sometimes the simple pleasures are the best entertainmentPublished 6:11pm Saturday, December 29, 2012
Looking back over the past few weeks I have to wonder where the time has gone. As a kid I used to get excited about Christmas almost before my uncles Harvey and Orville were done picking the turkey out of their dentures. Yes, it was an exciting time for me as a kid — I almost think that the anticipation was half of it. Once that magical time arrived it seemed to go by way too fast and before you knew what had happened it was time to go back to school.
Now, with my childhood days well behind me, I still find myself getting that little kid feeling when I think about Christmas. I think that I inherited that from my mother who always loved that special time of year. To me, it’s no longer about what I am getting but about what I am giving. I can remember saying that I always wanted my kids to have the things that I could only wish for as a kid. Although I don’t feel that I spoiled them I did try to make Christmas as good as possible. As a kid I don’t ever think I felt that I’d had a bad Christmas because my folks always made it seem special even if I didn’t always get the things on my wish list. I know that my mother had a certain gift when it came to making Christmas feel warm and cozy no matter what material things we had or didn’t have. Now that Christmas is officially in the books and the Mayan Apocalypse, for those of you that were worried, is behind us I can look back on the year and appreciate all the things that went on.
I had to overcome a few health issues but now it’s full speed ahead or at least as speedy as a guy my age can go. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at the cabin this past year which I really enjoyed. Jean and I especially enjoyed spending time there with our grandkids and having our granddaughter, Emma visit the cabin for the very first time was great. I couldn’t believe how she took to the cabin life like she’d been there before.
Although the walleye fishing was a little slow this year it didn’t bother me much because the majority of my time is spent fishing for northern, bass and crappie. The fishing was some of the best that I can remember for nice sized bass, but the crappie fishing wasn’t as good as in other years. We did get a lot of work done on the inside of the cabin this past summer and with the help of my friend Mark we were able to get it sheetrocked in the spring.
Overall as far as spending time in the outdoors I think that I did my share of fishing again this year. Brian and his family took their annual October hunting trip to the cabin and the boys did alright grouse hunting but there didn’t seem to be as many ducks around as in previous years. It’s not always about numbers when it comes to hunting and fishing, it’s really about time spent in the outdoors doing what you enjoy.
On Christmas Day Jean and I were enjoying a quiet drive to Bricelyn to visit our son Brad and his family. There is a sort of peaceful feeling that I get whenever I drive on a country road in the winter time. On the way over it was sunny and the Christmas music that was playing on the radio gave it a cozy, “just right” sort of feeling. On the trip back we decided to take the road straight east out of Bricelyn which is gravel most of the way and goes past the north end of Bear Lake ending at Hwy 69 just south of Twin Lakes. I always enjoy that drive because there is always a chance of spotting wildlife along the way. It was late afternoon and the sun was slowly sinking in the west while at the same time the moon was high in the eastern sky. We actually didn’t spot any wildlife until we drove past Bear Lake where we spotted some deer in a clearing by some woods.
The drive was peaceful and except for the three cars that we met along the way we seemed to have the whole countryside to ourselves. If you’ve ever driven the road that goes over what some call Kiester Mountain you know what a sight that is to behold. You can see for miles and take in the whole countryside from atop that hill. What a view that was on a super clear, crisp and sunny winter afternoon.
When we arrived at our son Brian’s, he and his family had just came from playing a little “pond hockey” on Pickerel Lake. Our grandson Trevor set up a portable fish house to use as a warming house and they spent the afternoon playing hockey. It’s really hard to imagine Trevor putting a fish house on a lake without wetting a line. What they did that Christmas Day reminded me of my youth and how we made our own entertainment. You could call that old school because it was just good old fashioned family fun.
It sounds like the early ice fishing has been pretty good on the channel, but while the fishing was good for a while it tapered off— temporarily, I hope. I do believe that when there is a lot of traffic on a lake your chance for success decreases. With the low water levels this year we can only wish for the best when it comes to freeze-outs of some of our area waters.
Until next time, take a little time to enjoy the winter outdoors even if it’s something as simple as a drive in the country.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers in the New Year because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.
Dick Herfindahl’s column appears in the Tribune each Sunday.