the catch? and gratitude part 1

Mud boots on, water in their packs, camera hanging from my neck, his fishing pole in hand, two hours north and one long, narrow dirt road, we tromped and crunched through the woods, over the fence, and "not too close to the edge!" of the banks. Gingerly side-stepped down the super steep mountain incline. OK, it wasn't a mountain but that's what Lucy called it. Clomp-clomped in our boots, climbed over fallen birch trees, flattened the long grasses with Mommy perpetually lagging behind to "quick take this picture". And we finally made it down to the gurgling river alive with motion and currents and dark shadows that were the elusive apple of my husband's eyes.

We had left late in the day because of Eli's soccer game (which hubbie coached) so the light was beautiful and low and golden and the air that perfect dry 73 degrees. And the beauty









We all spread out...each one being led by their heart. I couldn't get my eyes off the milkweed ripe with seeds ready to fly...the golden light shining through. Hubbie went straight for his sweet spot in the river and was rhythmically casting and reeling...his fly fishing dance. Oliver, tucking his jeans into his mud boots, tested the waters with his walking stick and finding it shallow, waded out to poke at a big, dead, bloated fish. Eli roamed the shores searching for those fish shadows, Lucy on his tail.


fly away

"you go first"

It wasn't long before we were called from our four corners to the voice of Daddy, "I've got one! Oliver, do you want to fight it?" Tearing through the dead wood and crisp leaves and dried grasses, their potato chips and apples nearly spilling out of backpacks, he said it was a big one and to, "Hold on tight, O!"



That tiny, wiry boy reeled and pulled with all his might and still was almost yanked into the drink. Daddy took over, telling the boys to, "Grab the net and head downstream!"






Upon which my 6'3", 220 lb. man gallantly fought that fish, trying to lead it over to a place where the boys would be able to net it. (You would have thought it was Moby Dick! :)




And I at this time, camera glued to my eyes, clicking away, trying to get the best shots, stepped down onto what looked like sand but was actually thick black muck and immediately sunk down and was stuck fast yelling, "Honey, I'm stuck in quicksand!" (as he's reeling for his life, mind you). (And, yes, I was able to pull my own self free!) :)


SO, were the kids able to net that monster or did it snap the line and make a timely escape? You'll have to wait and see tomorrow....

(That's a sneaky not-so-sneaky way of saying I shot 220 pictures and was too tired to edit them all last night!)

OH, what a beautiful day it was. What a beautiful life. Lest you think this all idyllic perfection, I'm not saying that the kids weren't fighting over snacks and overly loud and scaring away the animals and other fishermen, and that there weren't holes in mud boots making for soaking, sloshing feet, and that there weren't tiny gnats swarming our faces because they were...the kids and the holes and the gnats. But beautiful all the same. The time together as the bedraggled family He created. And, of course, His creation all painted by His hand for His glory orange and scarlet and gold.

And my thanks pours out.....

#563. the brightest orange-red leaves that I can't get over...can't get over Him
#564. the smell of the woods...earthy, piney
#565. the sound of the river...rocks and dips below making white-capped rapids
#566. children excited to just BE in His creation
#567. "this is my Father's world, He shines in all that's fair, in the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere"
#568. oh, how He speaks to me

Won't you join Ann and the community of gratitude-givers in seeing and recording all His gifts? You can click on the button below to read the grace lists....

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you and your words are a GIFT to me! thank you!