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.
Did you ever have a lemonade stand? I did, and I think I made about $ 0.75. But I will never forget it. One of my 2-3 paying customers grilled me, as he was drinking his lemonade, regarding my profits. He insisted, with a straight face, that I must report my profits to the IRS. I giggled assuming he was joking, and he never cracked a smile. I was mortified that they would find out, and promptly closed the stand. When I told my dad that I had to report my profits, hey obviously looked at me puzzled, eyebrows furrowed down and said “what the heck are you talking about?” I told him about the guy. It turns out he worked with my dad, and he and my dad had a great laugh over the encounter. At that time, I thought that was cruel and unfairly affected the purchasing power of my Hot Wheels Racing Set. Now, I can’t wait till I get to return the favor.
Well times have changed. I came home last month to find a fully operating coffee stand in my driveway. NIRVANA! If you know me, you know I love my coffee. The problem with the stand, it was being operated by my children, with my coffee, and it was being sold. No freebies. But that wasn’t the main problem, the main problem was that is was up our 100 foot, away from any other traffic, other than Tracy and I. So their customer base was limited, very limited. Further, once they figured out their customer base was zero, they began serving each other. Taking turns as imaginary customers with imaginary profits. But I applaud their ingenuity, creativeness, and stealing of my coffee goods. So if you are ever driving by Sterling and have a hankering for a hot, luke warm cup of coffee, dark water, then stop on by club K.O. It is only a few hundred yards out of the way, and for only a few dollars, I promise that you will get service with smile,if they aren’t doing school work, or sleeping, or eating, or playing……… Just keep in mind, much like Applebee’s, you are paying more for atmosphere than the actual product.
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.
Knowing what to say to someone who is living through a storm has always been a struggle for me. I never know what to say to someone who’s had a close one die, get badly injured, or any tragedy. I desire to be sincere in my words, but also trying to be original. So this last couple of times I have been trying to pay attention to what encourages me, or what I like to hear people say. I remember right after my dad died I would be contacting people out in the field, and there in bright gold right above my heart was my name on my bullet proof vest. It was almost like a neon sign blinking, begging for someone to ask…. you’re not related to the Godfrey that got killed are you? The first few times it caught me off guard and I fumbled around with my words, ignoring the unsuspecting sportsman, but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered what they would say if I said yes. So me being me that’s what I started to do. “Yes, that was my dad” was my standard response. Then I just waited in silence. Almost instantly you could see the blood drain from their face. Now what? What do I say? I would just look at them in silence, curious what would come out of their mouth. Usually it was stammering, followed by “I’m really sorry about that”. The standard response. I would reply with “yeh, me too” and then get right back to business. This taught me a lesson regarding the words that emanate from my mouth, or the double edged sword.
This latest experience caused me to reflect on what people have said to me when I have been going through the absolute lows of my life. I wanted to know so I would know what to say to others when it was my turn to attempt to comfort them. I must say, I really liked hearing “we’ll be praying for you” , especially from people that I knew were not just saying it, people who said it and I knew they would hit their knees, probably cry, and pray from their very soul and being. When they say they are going to pray for you, that means something, that inspires, that gives you hope and encouragement. You know they are top friends on God’s facebook, and he listens to them. I have been fortunate to know a lot of those people.
But upon reflecting, the most memorable, the most inspiring, the one that I will likely never forget was not from a close friend of mine. It was right after I wrote the “at what cost blog” . This giant of a man, an acquaintance but not a close friend, found me when I was sitting by myself. He walked up to me grabbed my hand, looked me directly in the eyes, I could see the tears bulging and sparkling in his eyes, I could feel his hand trembling and see his chest heaving a little as he struggled to maintain his manly demeanor. He ,being a father of young kids, looked right into me and whispered one word with his voice crackling and trembling “dads”. That is all he said, that was all he had to say. I knew right then that he truly felt for me, perhaps he could not relate exactly to what I was feeling, but he definitely felt for me. So with one word, a man, and acquaintance, perhaps touched me more than any other condolence I have ever received.
In conclusion: Only 30% of conversation is the actual words spoken. Therefore, what you say isn’t nearly as important as to how you say it, show that you really mean it, that you mean what you are saying and if you say you will pray, pray and pray earnestly. I am not saying you have to cry or well up, but just be sincere.
How about you? What has worked for you? What have you said or has someone spoken to you that comforted you? Please share so that we could all learn from your insights.