Monday, March 7, 2016

What you plan to do, and don't.

When we retired we received a full array of gifts for fishing enthusiasts. People knew we were moving on a lake in Oregon, a short canoe ride to the dunes that separate our house from the great Pacific Ocean. So, fishing was on the horizon for us as an activity we could definitely get involved in. We had spoken of the possibilities for months.
Everyone was as excited as we were. Yes, catching our own fish, canoeing to the Ocean, walking the beaches, these were activities we looked forward doing in our retirement.

The trunk of the car carried our goodies that December 2002 toward our destination, poles and jackets, hats, and fishing boxes full of tackle gear. We stopped at a gear store in Gold Beach on our way to Port Orford and bought our first rain jackets and rain boots. People had warned us about the copious rains we would experience.

Our children tried our gear before we did. For days, that first wet Christmas when the whole family experienced their first Oregon winter of torrential rains and hurricane-force winds day after day, whenever the rain stopped and we could venture outdoors, my children and grandchild spent time trying to catch fish on the two docks on our property. Ten days of rain, with occasional sunbursts made us appreciate every second we could open our doors and walk outdoors.

When the weather got better, we took walking trips to the local commercial dock to see boats hoisted up and down for their daily catch of salmon, tuna, or crab, marveling at the hard work of these folks who risk their lives each time they go off fishing. We then brought home fresh-off-the-boat-catch and cooked it the way the fishermen suggested.

Never had better fish.

The next Christmas my daughter in law gifted me with an All-Clad Stock Pot, big enough to make cioppino for a crowd. Every time I look at it I'm tempted to go clamming and fishing and crabbing, and put it all together in that lovely pot. Instead, I purchase my seafood, appreciative of the work others have done to bring it all to my table.

Up the road, we were tempted to go crabbing on this dock many times. Crabbing looked interesting. With minimum effort you could catch your quota of crab in the amount of time that it might take you to open up a tuna can. Fresh crab never looked this good, and this easy, and this inexpensive.

We never did try to catch crab. We watched for a while, and decided we were way too hungry to wait around. So, we turned to Tony's Crab Shack, notable for fresh crab prepared any way you wanted. Thirteen years later, we still admire families spending time with their loved ones on a cool morning, typical of this area, with snacks and heavy coats, throwing the crab cage into the waters and waiting for crabs.

Our fishing gear and our canoes are still in and around the gazebo by the docks, waiting for visitors to get active and enjoy the thrill of fishing and canoeing. We, Hubby and I, just haven't got much taste for either.

Though, thinking back, it was a great start to our retirement adventures.