Well, a little snow floating around in the air today and with the winds, it makes one want to stay inside where it is warm. Of course when we are having weather like this you can almost count on one of the kids letting Wifee and I know how it is up in the 80s where they live. But then again you have to admit the longer day’s sure makes for nice evenings.
There are still a lot of fishermen down at the river, but it seems they are working a little harder for the fish they are catching.
With all the wind we have had blowing this spring it sure brings back memories. Of course these too seem to be memories of yesteryear because you never see any kids doing it in today’s world. Maybe it is because they would have to get their nose out of an electronic gadget and go outside.
Back in the days when the snow left and it warmed up a little and then April winds started to blow it meant kite flying weather. There were times when you came up with enough money to go down to the 5 & 10 cent store and buy one, but usually not having any money we had to make our own.
We would take some sticks from dad’s wood shop and old newspapers and go to work. Personally I always had better luck making what we called a “box kite” and flying it. Once again not having any real kite string we would just take an old fishing pole and use the line on it. Of course using an old fishing pole made it easier when you wanted to reel your kite back in.
The reason I always had better luck with “box kites” was because I could never really figure out how much tail I needed on a normal kite. I would hate to say how many hours we spent each spring playing with homemade kites.
Of course when we got tired of flying kites we would go pollywog egg hunting or fishing for suckers.
When we went fishing none of us owned a real fishing pole so you would just cut a small Tag Alder tree that had a lot of whip to it. You would then tie a piece of fishing line to the end of your “fishing pole” put a hook on the line add a worm and go sucker fishing.
You have to understand that the suckers we fished for in Ontonagon were way bigger than the suckers they catch down here. I used to think that the white suckers were a cross between a sucker and a carp.
They were big and when you caught them on a Tag Alder pole you had a real fight on your hands. We had a ball when trying to catch and land these in the spring.
I can recall with our spring adventures we usually came home wet and muddy but I can never remember mom getting upset with our fun and games. I do remember the time my dad came home with a pair of knee high rubber boots and made the statement to his mom, “At least he should be able to come home with dry feet and pants now.” Grandma just laughed and told him to wait and see.
It did not seem too many days later that I found out these new boots were not capable of keeping water from coming over the top of them when you waded into too deep of water. My grandma sure got the last laugh on dad with his better idea.
One thing that always amazed me was the fact we were always wet and cold in these spring trips but we never got sick. Maybe it was because we were too scared of the home remedies they used when you did get sick. If you had one good mustard plaster treatment you made it a point to never get sick again. Or could it have been that big spoon of castor oil you had to take each morning to keep you healthy. Just sitting here recalling that slimy-green stuff makes me glad those days are gone.
Maybe these spring time adventures were all part of getting me ready to become a game warden down the road. You have to remember that when I first worked as a game warden you had to purchase all your own equipment from flashlights and batteries to waders and other gear. A lot of times a new officer with a family could not afford to buy everything at once so you made do.
This meant when you were checking waterfowl hunters or fishermen in some cases you had to you just wade out to where they were to check them. This just meant like mom, Wifee got used to me coming home cold, wet, and in some cases muddy.
I guess in life some things never really change all that much if you are one of those that love the great outdoors and having fun in it.
As a famous man once said, “I came into this world with nothing and broke and it looks like I just may leave this world the same way, but it sure has been an interesting adventure.” I second this statement.