Wednesday, March 23, 2016

That One Time I Went Ice Fishing

 The title is not a typo.
I DID actually go ice fishing. 
For a whole weekend.
During February. 
In South Dakota.
South. . . 
Dakota. . . 

Yep, me. 
And my husband and sons of course. 
As you can imagine, if you know me at all, this was not my idea of a fun little, mid-winter, weekend get away. 
No. I lean more toward . . . well, everything opposite of South Dakota in February. However, my husband loves ice fishing. And he wants his sons (of which we have 3) to love ice fishing as well. So once again, I was outnumbered. 
I could have stayed home. 
Blissfully, wonderfully, alone. 
My H.H. gave me the A-Okay for that plan. But the more I thought about it, the more it just didn't seem like the right choice. 
You know what I mean? 

So we packed up a small mountain of  winter clothes supplies and headed out. 
I will admit, it took three states and some sunshine for my mood to lift above freezing. I was trying. I really was. I knew if I decided to come along, it would not be fair to ruin everyone else's time with my bad attitude. Besides, we have been trying hard to teach the boys that our circumstances aren't supposed to dictate our attitude, so here was a perfect opportunity for me to set a good example.
Example-shmample. Who died and made me a roll-model anyway?

I managed to avoid ice fishing the first night we arrived. Instead I served as the domestic manager for all of our supplies. I neatly arranged the mountain of items we had hauled across 3 states in the small house we were staying in and cheerfully prepared supper for my men who went out to find out where the fish were hiding. 
Alone time: check
The next day, I neatly managed to avoid the ice fishing as well. After dropping 2 boys and an eager H.H on a desolate and barren lake I took off for the nearest 'big town' with my oldest son. We had a task for the day: get the topper installed on my F-I-L's pick-up truck, which we had borrowed for the trip. (let me just say here that last spring we packed for a week in Florida driving my Scion XB. This year we needed a Dodge Ram pick-up truck bed for a weekend) 
I had one thing on my mind while heading even further west from the isolated  frozen lake I had left my loved ones at: TARGET.

That's right. I'm not ashamed.

Oh, my second thought would have probably been: SODA (esp, a McDonald's Coke.) 
Hey, we all have our vices. 

My son and I drove off and the drizzle immediately started falling. Consequently, my third thought ended up being: 'ha,ha suckers!'
I guess that wasn't very nice. 

We spent the day in town, my oldest son and I. 
Bonding with child: check

I even bought my self something I never imagined I would in the spirit of the sport: camouflage mud boots. See, I had packed my winter boots, but the temps were actually quite warm and instead of being covered with snow, the lake was covered in water. 
Shopping: check

The day had actually turned from a drizzly, cold, wet, miserable one to a warm and sunny amazing February day while I was gone running errands. When my son and I got back to the lake in the afternoon, I was actually ready to get on the lake and try my hand at catching a large Northern. You see one thing that is a very helpful element for the improvement of my attitude is sunshine. 
So we showed back up at the desolate lake where my sons and husband had been having a grand old time. 
In all fairness, I should mention that my in-laws borrowed us a very nice  heated fishing shanty and my boys had been fortified with a cooler full of snacks and fully charged electronic devices. However, when I got there, the sun was out so I didn't want to be spending any part of the day in a shanty. I wrapped my new Target blanket scarf around my neck to ward off the chill in the breeze and set out with Hunky Hubby to see what might be so exciting about this ice fishing sport. 
Sunshine and fresh air: check
Bonding with H.H. over something he likes: check
Learning something new: check
Being a good sport: check

I spent the rest of that day and the whole of the next one (which wasn't sunny at all) jigging, drilling holes, exploring deserted island farms, looking for a new 'hot' hole, and warming up in the ice shanty. I reeled in a few nice sized northern and watched the boys and my H.H. reel in some too.  
We laughed, we fell on ice, we bled a little, we rested, we snacked and we walked what must have been miles. I joyfully participated in this frozen tundra winter activity. 
I had a good time. 

But, I didn't love it.

I loved being with my people. My little man-tribe. 
I loved sharing in my husbands hobby and helping to teach my sons to like it too. I am glad I stepped outside of my selfish desires and came along on this trip. I got to be a part of the stories, instead of just hearing about them later. And that is priceless.

Family memories: check
Fish stories: check

But the next time this man of mine suggests a weekend on a frozen, desolate lake, 3 states away, I just might say: 

"You and the boys should go ahead and go without me. I think I'll sit this one out." :) 

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