The truck was loaded up yesterday – canoe secured on top, tackle box, boat motor, oar, life jackets, anchor (a heavy disk tied to some kind of strong rope), a trash bag in which to stow the catch when carrying it from canoe to truck, and, of course, the freshwater poles.
I went to bed right around the time the Yankees bumped the score up again…Timlin had thrown a few pitches and then they brought in Okajima, and Bill followed soon after. I had to set the alarm for the Opening Day of Trout Season Ungodly Hour of Awakening. Ten past four. (So I could hit the alarm twice and not be OVERsleeping. Or, more importantly, not allowing Bill to oversleep. Yes, I am custodian of the alarm clock, and of the wake-up calls. Or nudges. Or shoves. Or mumbles.
Naturally Julia, being unsympathetic to anyone’s lack of sleep but her own, woke up twice during the night. First time, she had woken up and couldn’t find her elephant (THE most important stuffed animal) so I turned the night light in the bathroom so I could see without waking anyone else up, found the elephant, and then she wanted to sleep in my bed. And I said no, THIS was her bed, her big-girl bed, and THIS is where she sleeps. Of course that went over well, and she sank to the floor and wailed, and so – mindful of Bill’s need for a decent night’s sleep prior to Opening Day of Trout Season – I hissed "Wanna watch a cooking show?" and she lifted her tearful face from her little purple bedside rug and said – at top volume "I can watch a cooking show?" I shushed her and picked her up and carried her downstairs and turned on the food channel (Alton Brown doing a show about vinegar) and she fell asleep almost instantly, but I watched the rest of his show anyway, dozed off, woke up during one of this week’s "Chefography" profiles (Bobby Flay) and watched the rest of that before bringing her heavy, deeply asleep little body (and elephant) back up to her bed. That started oh, maybe after 12:30 last night? Wait, I can check, hang on………………….okay, so that Alton Brown episode aired at 11:00 and at 2:00 last night/this morning…..okay, it had to have been the 11:00 one – that’s right, and then an episode of Unwrapped or something came on – I slept through that – and then the Bobby Flay episode at midnight. Good. Apparently I could not continue with my story until I had that straightened out. Anyway, after the Bobby Flay story, which I enjoyed – I am a big fan – I carried Julia back to bed and then put myself back to bed, too. She was up again around three – I woke to the sound of her heels slamming against the floor as she marched from her room to mine. She will be an imposing boss somewhere some day. Anyway, she just climbed up into our bed, shifted around a bit to get comfortable, dozed there briefly and then whispered "I wanna go back in MY bed now." (YAY!!!!) So I tucked her back in and went back to my bed for the brief horizontal time remaining to me.
While I was awake, I listened to the rain pouring down heavily. So glad I wasn’t one of the followers of Trout. Yes, you might think it’s nutty of me to even get up to fix Bill breakfast and see him off on these yearly pilgrimages, but I’ve done it for so long that I fear it would jinx things for him if I stopped. (The Fish Gods smile on tradition.) So I continue.
Actually, we were both pretty well rested this morning. Bill got up ten minutes earlier than planned, even.
He mad the coffee. I made the Opening Day of Trout Season Traditional Morning Breakfast for Bill Sandwich. Simply – a toasted english muffin, an over-easy egg, a slice of ham, and a slice of cheese, salt and pepper.
Yes, that english muffin IS toasted. Bill doesn’t like his english muffins toasted too much.
I also made one for Joe, his nephew, and this year’s Opening Day of Trout Season fishing buddy. It seems to alternate between Joe and Bill’s friend John.
Anyway. I took that picture of the egg sandwich in the dining room. Bill was fixing the coffee, and he saw the flash go off and asked "Are you chronicling my morning?" Who, me?
I took a couple other pictures – not of him; he doesn’t like having his picture taken and his fake smile resembles a sneer, and who needs that at this hour of the day?
In the picture above we have…his lucky fishing hat. Keys. Meal worms for the classic "worm and a dauber" setup. And that plastic container is to hook on his belt or pocket or waistband and in it he can put a few lures and hooks and whatever while he’s fishing in a river – nice and convenient and no need to lug a tackle box. Oh, and that little purple plastic heart thing is Julia’s. It was the weight for her Barbie fishing pole (a pole that is no more, because someone in my house has occasional frustration-management issues and somehow instead of having new line put on, the reel and pole were broken. But that person also had to suffer the invisible pain of bits of fiberglass stuck in his hands, from when he broke the pole, so maybe he’ll think twice before SNAPPING HIS DAUGHTER’S FISHING POLE IN TWO JUST BECAUSE THE CHEAP REEL IS PISSING HIM OFF.) Anyway. She has a new rod and reel – NOT of the Barbie variety – and is all set.
And finally…off he goes into the damp, dark, still morning. Several layers on – jeans, a shirt, a sweatshirt, a coat, and over everything, his rain gear. Boots. Gloves. It wasn’t raining when he left – actually, it was pretty nice outside.
I waved as he drove away. Because that’s part of the tradition. And, like I said, the Fish Gods heartily approve of tradition.
And it wouldn’t do to anger the Fish Gods.