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The Fishing Trip

June 9, 2014

Jim was pretty excited… in a mere forty-eight hours, on Thursday morning, he would be leaving on a fishing trip with a few friends.   

I, on the other hand, would stay home.  It would be just me and our three little dogs.  I could do whatever I wanted… or nothing at all.  I was looking forward to Jim’s  trip, too, but for reasons different from his.

Things got a little crazy…

On Tuesday evening, Jim called his friend Steve, who was organizing the trip, and asked if he could pick up anything while he was in town on Wednesday morning.

Jim’s eyes got big and his jaw fell slack…  a pregnant pause ensued.  

Finally, Jim found his voice;  “Really?  Tomorrow at nine?  I thought we were leaving on Thursday…”  A bewildered Jimbo inquired.  “You’re sure?”  

The call ended and Jim sat stock still in his recliner, looking very much like the proverbial ‘deer in the headlights.’

Some minutes later, he looked at me,  “Steve said we’re leaving tomorrow morning.”

I gathered that.

Much of our conversation over the past several days centered around his upcoming trip.  I’d ask if he was taking a specific item, say rain gear or a fillet knife, and he’d give me ‘the look,’ roll his eyes, and tell me it was already in the boat.  

Now, I’ve been married to this man for over twenty-six years.  I know how he thinks.  I know what he tends to forget… things like rain gear and fillet knives;  if he’s going hunting, it’s his hunting knife or the right bullets for his rifle.  And, just because something is in the boat does not mean it’s in tip-top shape.  

I maintain that it’s a good idea to check the condition of important equipment.

I recall a time when we took the boat out for a test-run before a Canadian fishing trip.  Unbeknownst to us, mice had chewed the coiled nylon rope in the bow of the boat at about the halfway point, so when we launched the craft, the rope uncoiled until the gnawed end flipped over the side of the boat leaving the craft to float off untethered.  Jim can’t swim, so I was the one who had to swim out, fully clothed, and lead it back to shore.  

Another topic of conversation was our brand new water heater;  specifically, how it was not heating water past lukewarm.  Wayne, our neighbor was a trained electrician and he came to our aid on Tuesday evening.  He determined that one of the fuses in the designated fuse box for the water heater was blown.  We were relieved that it was a such a simple fix.  Jim was going to pick up replacement fuses when he was in town on Wednesday morning.

Jim was going to be one busy man that day… he was also planning to mow at the church, the cemetery, and at home.  He’d promised a friend that he’d check on his cattle and water his chicks, too.

I looked at the clock.  It was 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.  “Maybe you should start packing…”  I suggested.

“I don’t know what to pack for boat food… I can’t eat lunch meat.  It makes me sick.  I’m trying to eat right.  I was going to ask you…”

I began rummaging through the fridge, taking out apples, oranges, and string cheese.  Peanut butter was added to the stash.  If nothing else, I thought, he could use it as a dip for the apples.  I pulled a moose roast from the freezer.  “The guys should like that,”  I thought.

It had rained incessantly for nearly a week.  Tuesday had been the first sunny day;  it would take at least one more day before the grass would be dry enough to cut.  I answered Jim’s unasked question;  “Yeah, I’ll mow.  I’ll pick up the fuses, too.”

“You want me to show you how to change them?” He asked.

“Nope.  I’m not touching the box!  I’ll call Wayne and see if he’ll put them in.”

Wednesday morning dawned bright, sunny, and warm.  Jim left for points north and I drove to town for my pool class followed by errands.  On the way home, I phoned Wayne, explained my predicament and asked him if he would replace the fuses.  He walked over and replaced both fuses and powered up the water heater.

POP!!!   Smoke billowed from behind the top access panel on the front of the heater.

Curses may have been uttered…  So much for a simple fix.

Wayne consulted the manual, and we called the manufacturer.  I explained my problem, then handed the phone to Wayne to relay the technical details.  It appeared that both elements had a short.

The new parts would be shipped and the repair shop would call to schedule an appointment to install them.

Fed Ex would deliver the parts before noon on Thursday, and I was to be the repairman’s last stop of the day.  In between, I’d run to town for an appointment.

I spent the remainder of Wednesday on one of two riding lawnmowers.  I loaded up on allergy meds and mowed the churchyard first, then mowed at home.  I popped another Benedryl and swallowed a Sudafed for good measure.

Thursday was as busy as promised… the elements for the water heater arrived, I ran to my appointment, waited for nearly an hour before I saw the doctor, raced back home and arrived shortly before the repairman.  

It only took him twenty minutes to replace both elements.  A short three hours later, I had piping hot water.  

I was home alone so I celebrated by dancing with the dog.  What can I say?  She’s a good sport, doesn’t divulge my secret idiosyncrasies, and she loves me.

Friday was busy, but not quite as crazy…  I taught my water aerobics class in the morning and visited a friend in the afternoon.  

Jim called while I was out.  I returned his call.  He asked about the water heater and lawn-mowing.  I answered honestly and in detail. He expressed his dismay at my plight.

I responded, “It’s nothing that a trip to the quilt shop can’t fix.”

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2 Comments
  1. Even when you have NO plan, your plan can get messed up! Seems like it all turned out okay.

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