It’s the first week of February, cold as hell and old Phil saw his shadow. The lake is frozen, or at least it appears to be…there aren’t many ice shanties set up yet. My portable shanty is still tucked in behind the coats in the entry closet at the cabin. I’m going to be 73 next month and I need incentive to dig it out and pull it to the drop-off on the lake and sit pretending the little propane heater was doing its job keeping me warm. That’s the problem with getting to a certain age, instead of chomping at the bit, you remember what it’s like, discomforts and all.
I miss getting catalogs from outdoor companies that used to come about this time of year …they served as an aphrodisiac for cabin fever. I still have several of the ones I found more interesting than others: Herter’s catalog, for instance, had everything outdoors. They were the Home Depot of the hunting and fishing crowd, from individual hooks and feathers to the latest gadgets, you could even buy a boat through the catalog. Cabela’s, Buckeye Sports and LL Bean were others I looked forward to getting. The arrival of them marked the beginning of the countdown to the trout opener…FYI, it’s 86 days.
I have a lot of the electronic gadgets due to the insistence and generosity of my kids and I know every store has a website that took the place of catalogs, but it’s not the same. LL Bean catalogs had covers that were beautifully drawn. One cover in particular was of an old man dressed in appropriate fly-fishing regalia, using the newest gear, handing a boy – dressed in shorts, t-shirt and no waders, using an old rod and reel – money for the stringer of trout the boy caught. That cover was offered in a print, but I procrastinated too long and missed out.
Although She Who Must Be Obeyed would differ, if it wasn’t for Gus, I’d be more miserable to be with than I am. Gus is easy to please and get along with, all it takes is my constant attention and letting him run off leash until the ice builds up between his toes. When I cross the line and aggravate her, I’m told Gus and I are like two peas in a pod…but I know that’s not true, I wear shoes.