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Fish Camp: Part V: The Fishing and Fun Continue...

Hello again, everyone.  Yes, believe it or not there is a Part V...and a Part VI, VII, VIII...decided to do the rest of the week by breaking it down into each day as every one stands out with a unique experience all its own. I have appreciated hearing from those who have said they are still reading!  I've been amazed at how this has become more of a journal/diary experience and I greatly appreciate you allowing me to share with you.  We received our digital storybooks in the mail last week and while I love all the pictures from the trip, I found I did not include many of the details.  So, for my own remembrance and for future generations...I'll finish the story--complete with details.  Someday I'd love to hear, "Hey, Grandma, you were quite the adventurer!" In the meantime, know that Phil is "itching" to get back to blogging himself. You'll be hearing from him again soon! :-)  Enjoy ~ Shannon

Monday, August 29th~  I found that my journal was the only thing that kept me "in touch" with what day it was.  As our days seemed to be regulated by the hours of daylight rather than the hands on the clock, knowing the time/date wasn't really that important--ah getaways--gotta love 'em. With the first day of fishing under our belt, the boys were raring to head out bright and early.  So at 7:00a.m.ish, at the first sound of footsteps outside the airstream trailer, both boys hit the ground running.  I loved laying in my warm down filled mummy sleeping bag listening to the all fun bantering going on around the campfire--adult reminders to the boys upon returning from the outhouse, "Did you remember to flush?" And heaven forbid if you should hurt yourself...the sympathy train left indeed left the station, "Did that hurt? Yes. Then don't do that again."  All in great fun and belly busting laughter. "Seriously!" "Don't look at me with that tone of voice."  And yes, that's a "true story!"  Mike told me the day I arrived that if I had a low self esteem before I got wasn't going to get any better before I left...No kidding! With the sounds of laughter dancing in my ears, I found myself roused out of my comfortable digs by the smells of a true "camp breakfast" under way.

Doing what the boys did, I put my pink "Jalama Beach" cap on over my now crazy bed head, adjusted my glasses and headed out the door.  (I quickly found out that makeup, hairdryers and curling irons are way overrated. I LOVED this hop of bed, jump into the day start much better!)  What greeted my eyes was indeed a feast...well, a feast under construction.  With sounds of sausage sizzling in a HUGE frying pan--think "lumber jack days"-- I found myself once again delighting in this amazing menu...these guys are awesome!  My mother had tried to reasure me that after 20 years, they had this "food thing" down to a science. She was right! With sausage complete, it was time to add the scrambled eggs to this Paul Bunyan sized pan.  A side order of toast and this Camp Restaurant quickly earned my five star rating. Delish! To help show my deep appreciation,  I was quick to sign up for KP duty.

Next it was time to get the boys ready to head out once again. The day had dawned bright and sunny.  I was thrilled at Mother Nature's show of kindness regarding sunshine and warm temps. Like yesterday,  "fishing teams" were formed and today it looked like Ethan would join Tom and Denton while Hunter crossed over to Jerry and Dan's boat.  Brian enjoyed the serenity of fishing from his own kayak. Waving them off and wishing them much success, I settled into a cozy chair overlooking Lake Racine to enjoy morning devotions and catch up on journaling while Dad napped.  How I relished this unplugged time from the real world.

Lost in my thoughts and words, I felt a chill breeze rustle my pages.  I was surprised to look up and see a cloud bank heading our way.  The wind continued to build bringing the fishermen home earlier than planned. By late afternoon a rain shower sent most of us to "nap time"--something I didn't really mind at all! With a full stomach from a lunch of cold cut sandwiches, checking the insides of my eyelids was just fine with me.
This must be my "meal day" journal...even with the sound of a light rain still lulling me into an afternoon sleep, I heard the familiar sounds of the dinner prep crew under way.  Tonight's Menu? Our first Fish Fry.  Once again the lumberjack size skillet was filled with the catches of the trip so far...small mouth bass and walleye.  Served with fresh corn on the cob and once again I found myself smacking my lips. The rain spiket turned off just in time for us to partake of this feast at the campsite picnic table. What a wonderful thing for the boys to experience...what swam in the lake last night or even this morning, sat on their plates this evening.  And as avid fish eaters...they woofed down each bite giving their nods of approval to the evening chefs.  Phil would have been so proud!

With the rain continuing to hold off, "everyone"...well...almost everyone...sans me...declared it a perfect early evening to fish and started to form their teams.  After last night, I wasn't sure I wouldn't be the one offering the higher anty for a cup of coffee in order to return should the threatening rain arrive. So, tonight...Ethan went with Brian and Dad. Hunter joined forces with Mike and Paula.  Dan and Jerry, Denton and Tom all together again.  I was as proud of Hunter as I was of Ethan for heading out with Mike and Paula.  Seeing these new streaks of confident independence was exhilarating to this mom.  I also learned that earlier "while I was sleeping" the boys had been over at Mike and Paula's "school of lure making"--something that they both noted that I HAD to see tomorrow.  (Is this cool or what?  Could this trip possibly hold any more learning experiences for the boys?!) Awesome.

My job while everyone was gone was to do a little KP duty.  Blessed with a husband who loves to cook, he knows that I've often said, "If you cook it, I'll clean it up!"  And now familiar with the heat the water on the cookstove, wash and rinse buckets and set out to dry line up, the fish dinner fixings were soon a vision of the past.  I also took this opportunity to make sure our corn cobs made it into the garbage bag and set out by the road for the evening ATV/Garbage Truck that drove by each night.  I'm sure a bear would have thought this was fine cuisine!  I also thought I might earn some extra "we'll consider having you back someday" points by scoring a few extra rolls of much coveted TP for the outhouse from the impish young garbage truck driver ironically named Cole the same as our new puppy that was awaiting our return. But there I go again...the dog story belongs to Phil to blog! 

So far, no rain but lots of wind...according to the news that Paula had heard, we were finally getting the results of Hurricane Irene that had swept the East Coast over the weekend.  I enjoyed the peace and quiet to reflect on some of my thoughts of the very thankful I was that the boys (me, too!) had the opportunity to be surrounded by such fun, patient :-), God honoring men.  They were learning not only fishing skills but life skills as well. I was feeling so blessed.

Darkness once again made its descent and I found myself sitting on the overlook feeling like a scene out of "12 O'Clock High" as the ground crew would begin to count the bombers as they returned from battle. Sure enough, as the sounds of boat motors baring a faint similarity to a mosquito in your ear grew louder, the lights began to show up coming across the lake...I began to count... Boat #1, #2, #3, #4.  All accounted for!  Now it was time for the nightly campfire for the results to be shared, the stories to be told and good ribbing to begin

Campfires were quickly becoming a favorite of mine as I enjoyed watching the boys sit on the laps of their Uncle, Grandfather and new found friends often talking with their arms outstretched depicting the size catch of the day.  And, I'm not quite sure which night the singing started exactly but by now, the boys were quite adept at joining in for a rousing chorus of "I love my cow, my cow loves me..." singing enough farm animal verses that would give Noah a run for his money on the ark!  The boys also learned the fine tune of "spirituals" with the deep baritone voiced Tom teaching them "Oh Mona..."   Songs that I STILL hear the boys singing at home.  Jerry delighted the boys with his night time "Snack Stand" set up of fire made pies with apple and cherry pie filling.  He also inducted them into the first "Order of Siam" initiation they'll never forget and I'm sure will "get" some poor sap on a future youth group camping trip.

I greatly appreciated Brian for pulling out his "Fishermen's Devotional" book and sharing with all of us.  It doesn't get any more applicable than this...the story he read could have been written by anyone of them regarding a fishing experience they had earlier that day and to have it applied biblically just a few hours doesn't get any more "hands on".  Again, I felt that incredibly deep "thankful" feel in my heart as the fire embers glowed on the faces of these mentoring men that cared enough to take the time to instill in our boys Godly values that they could take with them the rest of their lives. I found myself appreciating these men more and more.  In Dueteronomy 6:5-9, we are encouraged to impress the commandments of the Lord on the hearts of our children, "Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up...Write them on the doorposts of your  houses and gates."  And to that I might add...and talk about them when you take your children fishing!  I appreciated Jerry who shared with me the following words of wisdom: "If you take your child hunting, you'll never have to hunt for your children." there's an experience I've never had...I wonder what a hunting trip would be like? Uncle Brian? In addition, I love the saying, "Love is spelled T-I-M-E."  Thank you, Lord, for this week and the time to spend with our precious boys. Amen. Time to put this day to bed, tomorrow is yet another fun filled adventurous day!