I started fishing with my dad but I always expected him to thread that worm (or portion of) onto my hook. We would cast while Mom and my youngest brother Dave would build the fire and start supper in case Dad and I didn’t bring supper home (we rarely did!) Then I carried on a bit with Everette once we married, but I eventually developed the unique talent of getting my hook snagged on sunken branches in river bends so Everette would busy himself at retrieval and end up with multiples of that which I lost. We both had fun!
Everette has always enjoyed fishing. As a kid he fished in the streams around Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, and I’m sure he spent time fishing in northern BC as a young adult along with all his hunting. He went through a period of time when our two eldest girls were still small where he would go fly fishing, or take our girls jigging at the marina. And I think it was the summer between babies 3 & 4 that he spent basically the entire summer helping out a friend on his shrimp boat. Progressively far less fishing has taken place for my man since the introduction of the last 7 kids. Where does all the time go?
It was Father’s Day this past weekend, and it found Everette stuck with me and the absence of his nine children. How did that happen?
We spent the weekend at Tinton Falls & Red Bank, New Jersey with another 50 or so people at a conference, and then spent the Sunday at Sea Bright walking the beach….until we stumbled upon 3 guys fishing from the shore. Of course, Everette had to investigate into what they fished for here.
Friendly Nick-with-that-New-Jersey-accent let Everette reel them in, and in 4 catches Everette got a Triple-Hitter.
The first catch we were told was a Sea Robin Fish. Never heard of it before but it was totally cool, as you saw in the video. With fins spread out one could imagine it flying through the water (if not the sky). And using those feelers to crawl across the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately we didn’t hear it grunting. Maybe next time!
Then it was time for some little sharks. Called by various names, I think Nick called them mud sharks but out west we call them dogfish. Certainly sharks, though these were just in small packages.
The third participant in the Three-Hitter was a Skate ray which was never touched but always handled at a distance and with tools. When Nick was returning him/her to the ocean by its tail, the way it arched reminded me of an overgrown scorpion. Keep away!!
We were so thankful to Nick for sharing his enthusiasm and gear to make it a great Father’s Day for Everette doing one of his all-time favorite things to do. And Nick declared that we made his day special, too.
You know, whenever people ask our kids about what their favorite part is about our big family traveling, the majority of our kids usually say “It’s the people we meet!” And I totally concur with that. If it hadn’t been for the interaction between Everette and Nick along the water’s edge, our day at the beach would have just been another day. Sure, we had interacted a bit with a few other people on our walk, but it was more of a sharing of special moments with Nick. We aren’t likely to ever see Nick again….but in a sense he touched our hearts. He gave a stranger control over his catch and his fishing gear. He poured out his knowledge and love for the sport in enthusiastic ways while we gobbled it up. He spoke of his family he was anticipating having Father’s Day lunch with and had to soon run off to meet, but he took time out to connect with us. He seemed very present in the moment, totally embracing the interaction with us.
That’s what we love about traveling. Far and above the beauty of natural surroundings, more than the ethnic cuisine, more than investigating the businesses of the town or city, its the local people who make (or break) our visit rewarding. The ones who aren’t so rushed that they stop to interact with us, telling us about their craft, or their boat, or their children, or their business.
These are the people that jump out at me, the ones who make my travels so enjoyable.
But makes me ponder….what about how we treat others? Are we engaging with strangers whether they are new to our area or not? Do we take a few moments to devout to them, to let them know that we appreciate connecting with them today? Do we take the opportunity to encourage them, to guide them to somewhere they wouldn’t otherwise have known about? Do we instruct them on how to reach the hidden waterfalls, or discover that great local restaurant they would otherwise not stumble upon?
Nick had his buddies there and could easily have brushed us off. He had told his wife he’d be home by 11 to go for lunch and because of us he was running late (just a bit). I trust that she’s as engaging and caring a person with strangers as Nick is, that she will forgive these traveling Canadians who interrupted her husbands morning of fishing and made him late.
Because, although we had a fantastic time the previous day with The SFM people at Momentum Day, it was really Nick letting Everette go fishing that painted a great picture in our minds of the people of New Jersey and endeared us to this place.
I must remember that most people are absolutely wonderful and good. The are like Nick. And don’t let the few bad apples ruin the whole crate.