Friday 9 September 2011


Today was one of those perfect late summer days. It was hot, but really bearable with a beautiful blue sky dotted with wisps of clouds here and there. I was transported back in time to late summer at my grandmother’s cottage when I was a kid.

I was too young to do anything useful and too young for anyone to hope that I would do anything useful, so I was generally left to my own devices. There were a gang of us around the same age and we would search for frogs and snakes, see who could throw a rack and hit the fence post first. We were always busy doing something or other and invariably I would have a piece of straw between my teeth. If you were lucky there would be the sweet bottom part of the straw to chew on. Nothing better!

Every now and then we would all pile into the old aluminium row boat with a can of worms, a bunch of old fishing rods and a small can of hooks and sinkers. We would argue about where we should go for about twenty minutes and then decide to go over by all of the driftwood at the end of the lake by the swamp. Thinking back, the decision was probably made because it was the closest and no one really liked to row very much. The driftwood swamp was a perfect place for fish, because they could hide in the weeds and under the driftwood.  Unfortunately it wasn’t the best for hooks. It would take us about an hour to untangle the fishing line and then try to tie the line to the hook so that it would actually stay on.
Now, we had to get a worm and skewer it onto the hook. Of course we would argue for about twenty minutes about the right way to do this. I favoured running the hook lengthwise through the worm, and Tommy liked to pierce the worm again and again giving it a looping look. He felt that it looked much more natural that way. What is natural about a worm in the lake? I am sure that the fish never saw a sight like that before! Of course we would argue and start to push each other until one of us would fall in. Everyone else would then jump in and we would cool off. I imagine the fish would hear the commotion and come on over to see what was going on.

Now that we were back in the boat we would toss our lines in the water and sit back against the warm aluminium hull and tell stories about our city lives. Jeremy Harwood was always the one that was full of bullshit, and we didn’t hesitate to tell him. He told us that his grandfather had invented the self winding watch and that his sister danced in the national ballet. The rest of us would then make up all sorts of outlandish stories about how our fathers nearly killed Hitler during the war and were on the short list to be astronauts. Ha, ha, ha, what a dweeb!
harwood watch steel gold1 Harwood, Original Maker Of The Automatic Wrist Watch Resurfaces: Look Past Lukewarm Looks For Interesting Designs
John Harwood didn’t invent the self winding watch, but his company was the first to make a self winding wrist watch. Jeremy’s sister, Vanessa was the principal dancer at the National Ballet of Canada from 1970 – 1987, and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984. Sometimes bullshit isn’t bullshit, but humble pie. Sorry Jeremy!
Anyways, once we got down to serious fishing we actually caught fish! Sure, they were rock bass, but we just kept pulling them in. We kept catching them even when we ran out of bait! I think we caught about fifty, and on the way back to the cottage we had visions of a fabulous fish fry for supper. My grandmother met us at the dock and praised us for doing so well, but she said rock bass weren’t any good to eat, however she could use them to fertilizer her flowers. I don’t like fish anyways, and no one else was too keen to eat them after the whole “crayfish” debacle.

Yep, good day, and tomorrow promises to be just as good. I hope the memories are as well.

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