Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Wormery


When it came to fly-fishing, Dad knew just about everything there was to know.
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From his earliest recollections, there just wasn't a stream on the face of the earth that didn't beckon him. Each, he reported, was filled with trout just waiting for him to cast his fly. Mother had learned early on that our car automatically pulled up alongside any moving body of water so Dad could test his theories. She often joined him.
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So it came as no surprise to my husband that I might know something about fly-fishing, if for no other reason than my vicarious affiliation with it. I counted on it that day in the summer of 1971 when time came to get even with the blarney culprit my husband.
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I know ... it's not nice for a Christan to get even. But in my defense, I was a nominal Christian at the time ... just barely a new babe. I didn't know any better (and that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!).
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Besides, hubby deserved it. I could hardly keep track of, let alone recount the number of times he'd loaded me in the boat, so-to-speak. (I'm sure he could, though.)
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Terry's birth position is smack-dab in the middle of seven siblings, who sat smack-dab in the middle of a bazillion cousins (in the pic, that's him front & center with the blond buzz-cut). He jokingly tells people that he was raised by the wolves, and surely those zany kiddos moved as a pack on occasion. Their wit and humor was well-honed from young ages, and all manner of teasing and torments were the norm at their house.
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Not so at mine. While Mom and Dad had great senses of humor, they weren't given to teasing or tall tales. With four girls to raise (and all the associated drama), it hardly seemed prudent to add more energy. Humor stayed well-confined, so the blarney-scale at our house rarely registered so much as a tick.
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Thus I came to my marriage with a blind spot.
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Not for long.
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My get even tale is the first of many self-defense maneuvers that helped me span the teasing chasm.
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It was that summer of '71 when the joy of the gotcha was mine to claim. It was my first, but it was certainly not my last!
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He'd taken up fly-fishing. My turf!
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A neighbor, Jim, and Terry spent untold hours planning which streams or lakes to assault with their newfound fishing prowess. They prepared as one might when launching a moon-mission. They debriefed as if fly-fishing were an Olympic sport. More-and-more fishing gear was showing up at the house.
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And then one day Terry began digging earthworms in the rich Puyallup Valley soil behind our home. He asked me: "Your Dad used earthworms for bait. Do you know how he took care of them?"
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Did I know? You betcha!
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"Well, I remember he had a large, empty paint container into which he'd work a compost-like dirt bed that included cracked eggshells and coffee grounds. On the top he'd place a Kerr jar lid with water, sometimes with a little sugar added, so the worms could surface and get a drink. He kept it in a cool, dark corner in the garage and would, periodically, work in more egg shells and replenish the sugar water."
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With a nod he was off to fix his own earthwormery.
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In a matter of days his buddy Jim dropped by to plan their next foray. It was then that hubby described the process of harvesting bait, as well as his keeping initiative.
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Jim was good with it right up to the Kerr jar lid's addition, and then he broke out laughing.
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Terry (a very smart Terry) knew at once he'd been had. He shot me a knowing glance - - one I swear contained just a wee bit of admiration.
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Me ... well, it was all I could do to contain my glee. I had thus far stifled laughter, but now I unleashed the hilarity gates and joined Jim in a hoot so visceral it still hurts to think about it.
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Oh the joy of the gotcha!
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7 comments:

Beth E. said...

We have had many "gotcha" moments in our family...Bill and I both come from families with a great sense of humor. Our boys have been gifted with the same. Our only rules are that no one is humiliated/hurt in the process. It's all good, clean fun!

christy rose said...

for some reason those "gotcha" moments feel so good. The only problem i have found is that then comes the wondering of when it is coming back around. haha

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Love reading your family stories and seeing pics. It's a wonderful trip shared down memory lane.

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL:)) I absolutely love the picture of your father! He looks like he was the nicest man--I'd blow that one up and frame it:)

LisaShaw said...

I so enjoy visiting with you. We've had some gotcha moments as well.

Love you dear sister in Christ and thank you for your heart to bless and bless some more.

MOMSWEB said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I enjoyed my visit with you as always.

Beverlydru said...

Enjoyed this story. I'm the sucker around here. I continue to be so gullible I surprise myself. My husband has great fun weaving tales that drop my jaw. I come in handy as a good target but thankfully I can laugh at myself. ; )