Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Throwing away Old stuff

A TV program, based on, otherwise normal folk who accumulate things, has a dedicated following of, otherwise normal folk who evidently don't accumulate things. Somehow a facilitator enters the home of the accumulator/hoarder and proceeds to rip the heart out of the hoarder by getting rid of the stuff. Nope! I've never watched the show, situational TV shows like that are of no interest to me other than they actually exist at all. A oddity in itself. However, I myself admit to more than necessary accumulation of items most likely worthless to anyone except yours truly. Cards, letters, folders, pens, pencils, news articles, gifts I'll never use, broken radios, vinyl records scratched beyond recognition, old faded photos of heaven knows what or who, movie tickets, restaurant napkins, advertising match books and unrecognizable drinking glasses from wherever. I don't think I would be attached enough to these objects to make a good prospect for any kind of TV show but non-the-less I have an unusually strong attachment to my collection of mish mash. Every Spring I set a goal of getting rid of some or all of my treasures. (Yes, trash to others but treasure to me.) Every Spring I open a box full of things, start to sort it for proper disposal and alas the memories flood through my mind and the reasons I'm saving it stop me from placing them in the trash or Salvation Army box. Just can't help it. Happens every time and I've set this goal for at least a decade or two.

A while back, on a warm summer morning, before the sun rose I was up and ready to do something, anything except sit and wait. I grabbed a flashlight, took myself to the garden and dug up a dozen night crawlers, put my fishing pole in the truck, locked the house and sped off to a local park with a few ponds just big enough to have a small population of stunted fish that could be easily caught with reel, rod and wriggly worm. Not big enough to keep but big enough to provide a thrill for an avid fisherman yearning for the feel of fish on hook. I could think of no better way to begin my day. The crimson glow of the dawn steadily grew brighter, the sun lazily moving to brighten our existence. I stuck the worm on my hook just above the sinker, pulled my arm back and let the hook, line and sinker fly with enthusiasm as far as humanly possible into that tranquil, reflective pond awaiting me. The sinker and worm hit the water with barely a splash and sank in the circling ripples. That worm never had a chance! In what seemed a split second my pole bent nearly in half with the weight of something. Until that morning I had never seen a fish larger than two or three inches in length, what was attempting to pull the pole from my hands must be a good sized turtle, that's what I thought. Then the "turtle" jumped from the water into the air, flipped it's tail and dove back into the pond. Huh? What a fish! I fought that fish for several minutes, seemed like an eternity, pulling, jumping, diving, jumping, tail standing and flipping and pulling, each jump was just a little weaker, each pull a little less harder, after what felt like forever I managed to reel the exhausted fish into my waiting hand. It's gills pulsated as if gasping for air, it shown silver in the increasing light, varying colors reflecting off it's scales. I admired it for a moment or two but quickly removed the hook from it's upper lip and released it back into the pond so it could get back to whatever it had been doing before it was "Fish On!" I packed up my gear, drove the truck to work and had a very enjoyable day relating my story to anyone within earshot. Who would have thought there would be a bass that huge in such an itty bitty pond. I've fished that pond for 30 years and that was the only time. I still have the hook and sinker in a little box. I tried to throw it away over the weekend. I ask you, how do you throw away something like that? Maybe next year huh?

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