This past week I went fishing twice, once with my son Mark and the other with Elaine. Although as an outdoor writer I am fortunate to be able to fish and hunt with some of the most gifted sportsmen in America, my favorite people to go afield with are family members.
Mark and I floated the James River near our Botetourt County, Virginia homes, and the fishing, frankly, was terrible as we caught nothing over eight inches. But during our afternoon afloat, Mark and I discoursed on politics, sports, books, movies, teaching high school English, and a host of other topics. The phrase quality time is often overused, but our time together this past Sunday was truly of high quality.
Several evenings later, Elaine and I went fly fishing behind our house in Catawba Creek. One of the great joys of my life is that I can walk out my backdoor and go fishing and hunting on my own land. But the biggest joy of my life is being married to Elaine for now 33 years.
We had only fished for about 15 minutes when Elaine slipped and fell, landing hard on her ribs. For a while, we feared that she had broken something, but later it turned out that she had only suffered some bruises. As I was comforting her, she gave me a hug and said how much she loved me as well as how stupid and clumsy she felt at that moment and that she wanted me to continue fishing.
It was such a warm moment between the two of us and typical of what a great person she is and how happy she makes me everyday. I decided that we both should cease to fish and return to the house to examine her bruises more carefully.
On the way back to the house via our logging road, we stopped to examine some bear scat, only to look up and espy four mature gobblers just 40 yards away. After watching the toms slip away, we had only walked another 60 or so yards when we came across a gang of turkey poults with their flock hen.
Although the fishing was poor this week, the companionship and experiences were memorable.