Monday, June 4, 2012

Six Stories for Six Years: The Musical Fisherman

This week the Schmoops and I will celebrate six years of wedded bliss. That's six entire years of Paddy putting up with how grumpy I am when I'm hungry, and six years of me learning to cope with the way his burps smell after a Costco hot dog. I've learned enough about Jazz basketball and BYU football to carry on a reasonably intelligent conversation, and he has dazzled my family until I think they like him better than me. (It's ok. I do, too.) We love each other.

It's our SUPER special anniversary this year since we were married on 06/06/06. (I know, I know. The devil's day. It wasn't really an intentional decision, ok? It just worked out that way.) To celebrate, I'm going to spend the week sharing six of my very favorite marital memories that didn't make the blog.

The Fisherman and Debussy

Paddy loves loves loves to fish. It's by far his favorite outdoor activity, and when we were first married, we used to go pretty often on weekends. These pictures are from a little jaunt we took over Labor Day clear back in 2006 at Trial Lake, my very favorite fishing hole. It's beautiful, first of all, and while the fish are small, there are lots of them and they are pretty easy to catch, even for a fishing novice like me.

Remind me to tell you about the time my foot got wedged in between two rocks on that dam and I fell and sustained a jet black bruise the size of a grapefruit on my right butt cheek. Oh wait. That's basically it.

Anyway, those pictures aren't from the same trip as this story, but they illustrated how young and innocent we used to be.

Now I'm rambling.

So early one Saturday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn and headed up the canyon to fish at Strawberry Reservoir. The 'Berry is one of Utah's premier fisheries, but to tell you the truth, we've never had great luck there. It's sort of tough to fish from the shore, and we don't yet have a fishing boat. (The 'yet' in that sentence just gave Paddy a ray of hope for his future. He's probably dancing in his chair in an office someplace.) We spent the early morning much as we usually did. I stood on the banks of the lake in my 50 layers of clothing, shivering and praying for the sun to come up. Paddy got the tackle boxes and poles set up, and tried in vain to teach me a proper cast.

We were tucked away in a smallish sort of cove, and while I sent a few worms to their watery graves, Paddy tried various more complicated lure setups. We both commented on the lake birds that flew overhead from time to time, especially the pretty loons that swooped and twirled toward the lake. Schmoops wound up and sent a rig sailing out over the water just as one of the dark-headed loons glided lightly around the outcropping of land and into our little cove just feet from his lure.

Paddy turned to me, eyes wide with a bit of panic. "I've got a minnow on the end of that line," he said.

Before we could turn back to face the water, the bird began to dive, planting his fat body on the water exactly where the tiny, silver fish on the end of Paddy's line had splashed in seconds before.

Without saying a word, he slowly reeled in the line.

And just like that, the loon slowly slid across the water toward us. Backwards. 

For a few moments, we didn't believe it. Paddy reeled more quickly, and ziiiiip. The loon slid faster. He slowed, and so did the bird. Neither of us knew what in the world to do. I envisioned that loon panicking and taking off, flying in circles above our heads while still connected to the pole like a feathered kite with a heart beat.

To make a long story short, the lucky loon managed to throw the hook somehow, and flew off with a belly full of dead minnow, seemingly no worse for the wear. Paddy reeled in the hook and chose a bait that looked a lot less like breakfast to the local fowl, while I stood next to him, laughing and shaking my head about how we couldn't catch a fish, but we could sure catch a bird.
"I'm going to name that loon," he said, without missing a beat. "Claire. Claire the loon."


katelinklug said...

Oh man I wouldn't have known what to do if I had caught a bird!
You guys were so cute and youngins! I'm excited to read the other 5 stories :)

Liv said...


Allie Waite said...

we love pat and we love you!! and i can't believe you guys have been married for six years. in some ways, i can't remember a time before pat was part of our family! guess that shows how well he fits in :)