News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mike Lunsford

August 24, 2008

The Off Season: Writer wishes he could be gone fishin’ more often

When my friend Joe called last Sunday with an offer to go fishing, I jumped at the chance like a bluegill going after spinner bait in clear shallow water.

It seems as though Joe can sense when he needs a little break from life’s fast lane, so over the years we’ve spent a lot of time together when we’ve been busy or frustrated with other things. One of the biggest differences between the two of us, though, is that he’s smart enough to know he needs some time away from his hassles, and he does something about it; it s usually an afterthought for me. I’m happy he called. “We’ll have a chance to get caught up,” he said on the phone.

Yes, I had desk work to do; yes, I had a family birthday party to get to as well, but I told Joe I’d leave the latter a little early, get home, grab my rod and tackle box, and be ready to spin both my reel and a little gossip with him on his family pond not three miles from my house.

His pick-up pulled into my drive on a gloriously cool evening, and the breeze that was blowing clearly told me that I had made the right decision. I felt right at home in my old boots, worn blue jeans, and torn white T-shirt — the outfit our Creator surely endowed to us for times such as these.

It had been a while since either of us had fished. For a number of years, my son — my daughter too — and I spent nearly every summer afternoon on a pond, crazy about the prospects of pulling in a nice bass, even a catfish or two, but just about as pleased to have spent some time together in that old aluminum tub, a bag of sandwiches and our thoughts for extra company. Joe often joined us, and one of my favorite photographs is framed and hanging in the “Men’s” version of my home’s two bathrooms: Joe and Evan sitting in that same boat, their lines bobbing in the green water.

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Mike Lunsford
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