Friday, August 8, 2014

Fishing in the slow lane

It’s been a pleasant day of sun and high cloudiness. This has been our weather the past several weeks.

It's been a long string of nice days. We stop and comment to each other about it. “A bunch of beauties,” we nod and say.

It’s starting to be called an exceptional summer. June rains, even with the widespread damage that resulted, contributed hugely to the beauty around us as it turns out. 

Wildflowers and flowers in the simplest of garden settings stand taller than we ever recall due to the bounty of sun and rain.

Though warm temperatures hold, and the days are falling perfectly one after the other, like ripe fruit for the picking, we can tell inroads are being made on the season.

Acorns are falling, there is some slight tingeing to a smattering of leaves and, most significant of all, the sun creeps off to bed earlier each evening.

These signs, taken as a whole, remind us that August shares its beginning letter with autumn and in the end hands summer off to fall.

Another indicator of the time of year is a sign seen on the side of a metro bus the other day. 

Maybe you have to be Minnesotan to know what the sign advertises before you read the other part of the sign that tells you who is paying for the sign.

"As a Minnesotan attendance is pretty much mandatory" is the message. To those in the know (Minnesota natives and Minnesotans by adaptation or adoption) it can only mean one thing.

It means the Minnesota State Fair. It runs August 21 to Labor Day, September 1 this year.

Along with the chuckle the sign provided we agreed that mandatory is a good word. Mandatory is pretty much the only correct word to use in connection with the State Fair.

Obligatory might be a close second if there was a vote. Both words fairly accurately define how seriously we take our State Fair.

Attendance is almost de rigueur at what is arguably Minnesota’s oldest and best annual tradition. 

Mix family reunion with party vibes and throw in multiple foods on a stick (for some, the biggest draw). That's a start. Everyone has something that's favorite at the fair which they go back for each year.

In the meantime there’s plenty of great summer ahead. Some of the best moments are now.

Parks and beaches have been busy ever since it was dry enough to come out and play. And play is what we’ve all been doing to the fullest extent. 

The enjoyments of summer were brought home by a fishing scene we witnessed at a city park. 

Two small boys, maybe ages five and three, were shore fishing with their dad.

The brothers were fishing for panfish. They were having phenomenal luck. They cast and the fish repeatedly took the hook.

The boys were fun to watch. They were very into fishing. With each catch their dad released the fish back into the water.

You could tell the dad was liking this quiet time with his sons. They didn’t chatter or fall in or elbow each other out of the way. 

They cast and caught fish, always turning to him to help take the newest fish off the hook.

Before the dad threw the fish back in the water he took a picture of each boy with his fish. 

It was time slowing down in the best sense. The three were lost to the world in the patterns of casting, catching and companionship.

The younger boy, a natural fisherman by the way he cast, struck a fisherman’s pose when his picture was taken. He held the fish out in front of him and wore his broadest smile.

The camera caught the pride on the boy’s face. In some way the dad also recorded the reflection of his own pride in his two sons. 

The pictures are proof that the boys fished. The photos are testament to a father giving of himself to make his sons happy. 

Lots of good summer stuff is going on. We have delightful weather, low humidity, still generous amounts of daylight and nights that are good sleeping weather. It hardly gets better than this.

August lets you know that, however much you’re in the thick of summer, the season is preparing to wind down. Time takes on an air of appreciation all its own.

Ro Giencke – August 8, 2014


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