Ramble with Storm: Daughter, topwater bass & softened heart

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Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

I was so busy this weekend that I spent a fair amount of time this morning catching up on and cleaning up texts and emails.

One of them just touched my heart.

My daughter had texted a photo of the largemouth bass she caught with a topwater (my favorite of a Skitter Pop) while fishing with her friend.

Our first two children were boys. I wanted them to be upright young men. So I was strict with them, probably even rode them hard.

I know guys. Most of the time, sometimes decades into life, men are walking around with our heads up our asses. Trust me, I know this well from my own life.

I guess I did not want the oldest two boys repeating some of my mistakes.

A blue jay squawked to set the tone as we set out this morning, in near darkness just after 6 a.m. On the far end of the extended ramble, I realized the corn had turned brown since I last passed several days ago. There might be some harvesting beginning this week. Otherwise, it was a pretty bland morning for wildlife and such.

But then we finally had our daughter. And I found my heart just softened from the start. And I think it helped me lighten up on her older brothers. And when a bonus baby, our last son, came along, I was different with him than the older two.

You learn there are other ways of teaching.

So maybe that explains why the two oldest boys really don’t care much about the outdoors, while the youngest two are rather avid about the outdoors and wild things.

My daughter is turning into quite the fisher. Fisherman? Fisherwoman?

Topwater fishing is my favorite method. Last month, while doing a summer’s end camping trip with our youth group at Davis Creek, I taught her how to burp a popper on the Kankakee River.

I figured if she can burp a popper on running water, doing it on a pond or lake should be a snap.

For once, I was exactly right about teaching kids something. On Saturday, she and her friend wanted to go fishing. I could not take them because I needed to grind out some work.

So I set her up with a Skitter Pop and her friend with a plastic worm. It’s summer, you should be able to catch bass on one of those two ways.

Well, they came back with two bass and two big bluegill, and wanted me to fry them up.

I can live with that.

A tiny toad hopped around on the east side of the south pit. A rabbit bolted across the trail on the south side of the south pit.

Well, yesterday, they went back again on their own. And this time, my wife suggested they release the bass. And they did, but sent me a photo first.

Just beautiful.

Looking at the photo and seeing the nail polish on the toes made my morning today.

Back on the edge of town, the most notable thing was a complete lack of mourning doves, picking grit or sitting on the wires. But three Canada geese flew in low from the south. Just a different morning.

Change is part of life.

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