Certainly catching a pollock would be the highlight of any trip,none-the-less I felt some more fishing was in order. So the boys and I did some old-fashioned dip netting, and brought Austin along for the ride, little did we know.
It just so happened we went on a day when the fish were literally pouring into the river. In fact, I think it was the best dipping I have ever seen. The problem with good dipnetting is that it is extremely addictive and very hard to stop, especially when the fishing is good.
Now the way the personal use / dipnet fishery works is that you get 25 fish for the head of the household and then 10 fish per each household member. So if you do the math, that means I am allowed 105 fish on my permit. You can bet that makes me a popular person to bring on your boat when you go dipnetting. Normally it is kind of hard to go over limit with me around. In fact, not only do I not want my limit, the closest I ever got was 92 reds. That was way too many.
However the summer of 2010 turned out to eclipse that. In fact, it was a virtual fish blood path, a feeding frenzy of fish, a plethora of pescado, a lot of fish. If you were on the boat or even near the boat you got bathed in fish blood and guts. I know it sounds disgusting, but it was very manly for those of us to experience it. Although I only kept about half, the cleaning, smoking and prepping still took some time. In the end, as always, it was worth it.
We managed to get a few more fishing trips in for Austin. We spent an afternoon chasing red salmon, and he caught on quickly. He landed three red salmon all by himself with a fly rod, a not so easy task, as those who have tried knows. One of them he managed to hook legally and we kept that one for him to bring home.
Any excuse to go fishing is welcomed, but I find that my absolute favorite times to fish are those times when I get to take a kid or an out-of- stater that has never caught a fish up here. For some reason I get more joy seeing them hook up a salmon, or halibut, or any species of prized pesces. Of course, like I said before, any excuse to go fishing.
With a family our size, there have often been references to the Brady Bunch or Partridge Family. For those of you too young to recall, these were 70’s TV show icons. The Brady Bunch was cool, and they had some talent, especially in choreography:
But the one that I have often dreamed we were like was the Partridge Family. Here was a family that was a full band. They traveled the world, their misadventures shared through the magic of television. They had kids that sang ( David Cassidy), a kid that played the piano, a kid that played guitar, a seven-year old drummer, a five-year old tambourine player, and a mom that played the keyboard and tambourine. They would make the most wholesome teeny bopper pop music. See for yourself, if you dare.
Why I am writing about the Partridge family? Well, I thought maybe our family could be the next Partridge family. We only have one hurdle, and it’s a very small one; There are only 3 of us with any musical talent at all. Obviously we have other skills, like my surfing. But musically, Tracy & Ben can sing, and Livy can play the piano. Dont’ get me wrong, I sing a lot, and I sing loudly, just not well. Dorian hasn’t sung a note since he was three, Alli, well Alli tries hard, and she is an excellent dancer. Jeremy is learning to play the guitar, with a heavy emphasis on learning. Kassie, she is a very good smiler and gymnast, but I don’t know how much that would help us. Jake and Jo, well they actually sing a lot, but only when they think no one is watching, usually while going potty. So performing live could be an issue.
The reason I bring this up today is because, like they often do, my children surprised me with a performance. Now when they perform, they don’t sing or really do anything, they just dress up come find us, and do their best to look cool. This is the outcome:
So for any of you talent agents out there, you can clearly see we have almost all the bases covered, a large family, a diverse family, awesome attitudes, fraught with misadventures, willing to travel, and THE LOOK! If Milli Vanilli could do it, why can’t we? I, as the manager of this up and coming band, or shall I say musical dynasty, can be contacted via the comments section. We look forward to performing, uhhh standing in front of you.
Finally the soccer season has come to close. Unfortunately it ended with Jerms team losing at the state tournament, so it was a bittersweet ending to be sure. However it has been a great summer of soccer. The sport has brought us to Anchorage multiple times and Fairbanks, ending with the state cup here in Kenai. During our travels we got to visit my sister and her ever increasing family, some long lost friends from Kodiak, the Wolffs, who were on the precipice of moving to Seattle from Fairbanks. The Coons who now reside in Fairbanks, and of course my Mom who is still in Eagle River.
I must admit, prior to coaching soccer or watching the kids play soccer, I was not a huge fan. I did not understand the appeal. I mean there are no home runs or slam dunks or three pointers, and what the heck is up with the offsides? Then the refs are always playing with cards and waving flags, it seemed more like a parade at times. Now, well now it is a different story. I have come to learn and appreciate the nuances of the game, the beauty of a perfectly set up cross, the thrill of a header goal, the rarity of a blocked penalty kick, the trickery of offsides, and the amazing full speed footwork, all of it, to me, has become interesting and enjoyable. Even the refs and line judges have felt the wrath of my tongue, a sure sign that I am enjoying the sport I am watching. I will even admit I have actually chosen, not by accident like at a sport’s restaurant, but chosen to put the t.v. on a channel where a World Cup soccer match is being played and watched it. Soccer players are incredible athletes that have earned my admiration.
I guess it is like anything else,when you take the randomness out of it and understand the order of what is being played out before you eyes, then you can appreciate the beauty of what is occurring. It also helps if your kids are participating so you feel vested in the outcome therefore peaking your emotions and proclivity to care. It probably doesn’t hurt that unlike football, the weather is often warm, and you get to sit on the sidelines in comfy lawn chair coaching a prefect game with all the other sideline dads, with no risk. So today’s post and pictures are dedicated to the summer of soccer and the joy, exhilaration, frustration and aggravation it brought to our family; or in other words, LIFE.
Tis the season for soccer. I know we still have snow afoot, in fact if I am not mistaken, we had one of our biggest blizzards of the year last night. But here in the AK you gotta make it work, and you gotta be ready for when the fields melt and you can start practicing in the plains of mud. So this past weekend we had soccer tryouts for Ben and Jeremy. Last year they both played comp soccer, which basically means the parents pay more $$ for fancier uniforms, and the parents pay $$ for matching backpacks, socks and water bottles and the parents pay more $$ for trips, and the parents pay $$ to travel to Fairbanks and Anchorage at least 3 times. You gotta love comp soccer!
We had a great time with it last year. It gave us a chance to go visit my wayward sister in Fairbanks and enjoy a real summer. Last year it was about 106 degrees in the land of the midnight sun, and we spent most of our evenings at the lake. The downside, the kids had to play soccer in the heat. When you are used to playing with a jacket or under armour or sweater on, adjusting to about a 40 degree temperature swing can be challenging, even to a 9 year old. I saw a lot of red faces matching the hue of their bright red uniforms, but the redest face of them all was on the sidelines cheering with reckless abandon, me.
I always warn the boys to get in shape before tryouts, and they usually listen…. the day before tryouts. This year was no different.
Both of the boys did great and were excited to make the team. Ben’s team took second in state, which is quite an accomplishment I am told, over and over and over…
We still have not received notice of whether or not the boys made the teams this year as there was a significant increase in the amount of participants; they must’ve heard about summer in Fairbanks. But if they do, it will be days of fun I am sure, if they don’t it means a few less road trips and a few more fishing trips, either way it is a win for us.