We met at the lake and everyone started fishin'. I didn't get the Memo about it being a fishin' party... but don't let that fool you. If I had, I still would have "forgotten" the poles. We have 4 of them and they are hopelessly tangled in a mess at the bottom of the garage. They'll stay there until our next Annual River Trip for Children, Furry and Non... I'll bring them and Miss Laurie will have to spend the better part of a day fixin' them. We aren't fishermen around here and we need folks like Miss Laurie to bail us out. Needless to say, the poles were left in the garage.
That didn't deter Chojuk. He zoned in on some poor soul who was soon helpless to turn his pole over to my inexperienced 7-year old. I watched as Chojuk cast and reeled... cast and reeled... cast and reeled. After about an hour at the lake, few fish had been caught and they were puny little things. So those crazy Friendly Cotton Pickin' Neighbors surprised me and loaded everyone up in the back of a hay filled trailer and pulled us over to another lake. This one stocked with catfish.
Once again, Chojuk managed to pry some unsuspecting adult away from his pole and began his own adventure. While I was happily enjoying some long over due adult conversation, I would gaze over to see Chojuk sitting patiently, pole in hand, along the side of the tank. Every few minutes I'd do a head count... Doodlebug, playing in the mud... (Always headcount the Doodlebug first. She finds trouble the best.) ... Snuggle Bug, throwing rocks into the lake... Baby, in my arms... Chojuk, sitting in the grass by the tank. Check. All accounted for.
After about 30 minutes, Chojuk comes briskly walking over to me and says, "Mama, I need some help. I think I caught a fish." The panic immediately set in... if he's here talking to me, where's the borrowed pole?!? As we hurry back to the place he was sitting, I explain to him the importance of NOT setting your pole on the ground when there is a fish at the end of it. -sigh-
Luckily, the pole was sitting there waiting for us. I pick it up and give it a tug to see what was at the end of it. It pulled back rather spongy like... it didn't come right in like there was nothing on it, but felt more like it was stuck on something on the bottom. So I start to reel it in. That's when I felt it. WHAM! A huge tug on the line. Surely my inexperienced 7-year old hadn't caught a fish completely unsupervised. Maybe his line was tangled up with someone else's. YANK! That was a fish! There was no doubt now! My brain started screamin'... Reel! Reel! Reel!
That's when I noticed the reel wasn't working. The line was completely wrapped around the pole. So I hollered, "I need some help! I can't reel in the fish with a baby in my arms." No one answered. One Mama offered me the assistance of her very experienced fisherman son. He came to my rescue and said, "Yep. The line's tangled. You'll have to reel it in by hand. Good luck with that!" Thanks a lot! Again I yelled, "HELP ME! I can't do this with a baby in my arms." Surely someone would either come hold the baby or help me reel it in.
That's when my Friendly Cotton Pickin' Neighbor came to the rescue. He and the owner of the pole pulled that fish in. Right when my Friendly Cotton Pickin' Farmer pulled the fish out of the water, the line snapped. That big ol' catfish fell on the ground.
I couldn't believe it! My Friendly Cotton Pickin' Neighbor was great! He wanted to know if I wanted to keep him. WHAT? Keep him? For what?!? Oh, you mean to eat? If you clean him and cook him, I'll keep him. No, you aren't that friendly. Oh, okay. Throw him back in.
When I finally turned around to look at Chojuk, my little fisherman, he was about 10 feet away. My Friendly Cotton Pickin' Neighbor said, "Get over here and let's get your picture with it." You should have seen Chojuk. He looked at my Friendly Cotton Pickin' Neighbor like his ears had just fallen off his head. This was Chojuk's idea of "getting over here" so he could have a picture taken.
You hold it. I'll stand here and smile.
And I'll keep my hands on my hips so if it jumps at me, there's no chance I'll touch it.
Little brother was a little disappointed he didn't get to touch big brother's fish. Later when my Friendly Cotton Pickin' Neighbor caught one, we got our picture taken with it. It wasn't as big as brother's was, but don't tell him.
We had such a great time at the party. We cooked hot dogs over a camp fire, fished, played with their big sweet golden retriever, fished, ate birthday cake, and fished. When we got in the car to drive back home, my Snuggle Bug said, "That was the best day of my life!"
How can a Mama compete with that?