Son Kevin and daugher Kelsy joined me at my cabin this father's day weekend, a wonderful gift indeed.
We had perfect weather today. Went for a 3-mile hike after lunch, nice long boat ride later, and then I caught a very acceptable bass off the dock about dusk while Kev was making killer-good supper.
I saw Zip, 84, next door today. He seemed morose, not very talkative, and I don't think he stayed at his cabin more than 10 minutes. I don't think he is doing very well nearly a year after his loss of his wife Lois. His daugher Tracy and her family were there most of the day and overnight, taking care of mowing and doing some improvements that Tracy said would probably give Zip a stroke. Lois's brother also stopped by. Interesting guy, don't see him often. He's a farmer, I'm a city guy but we could talk about fishing. He is very easy to talk to and he seemed to enjoy our conversation. Lois was also very personable once one earned entry past the traditional MN/ Norsk reserve. Nobody could tell a Norwegian joke better than Lois! She and Mary became quite good friends in the few years they knew each other between July 2005 and July 2010.
Dave (Mr. Tracy) and I screwed around for an hour or so trying to fix a neighbor's mower with Chuckles and my son Kevin kibbutzing. What a Chinese firedrill that was! Two engineers, a diesel mechanics instructor and a retired phys ed coach working on the recoil starter of an ancient Toro mower. All we needed was a corporate Director or VP to make it a complete circus.
Recoil starters are like a handful of energetic and muscular snakes with attitude. After doing it every way but right we tried it my way. (I am a very patient man!) My way worked. So then we reassembled it to the mower, Dave pulled the string to do the honors and start the mower. No luck first pull. On the third pull ... the rope broke again which was the event that had initiated attempts to repair in the first place. We about fell down hooting and laughing even though there was no beer involved. Chuckles had supplied the rope, cotton sash cord he'd probably had since 1952. Nobody wanted it fixed badly enough to drive a mile into town and get some new nylon cord. Dave, Kevin and I declared victory and the hell with it, still laughing with bits of greasy, frayed cotton cord still laying about here and there. Life at the laaaake in MN.
Had a nice campfire tonight. Perfect night for it: cool enough for long sleeves to protect from bugs, nearly calm, flat water with a full moon. It was a Lois night for sure: she loved summer evening bonfires and moonrises when the moon is full. I do too.
Tomorrow looks OK, 30% chance of rain. That usually isn't a problem. My boat got swamped by waves in a recent storm, bilge pump ran for 20 minutes this morning ejecting probably about 400 gallons. I'd tied the boat to the lift so it wouldn't get away in such circumstances, good thing I did. No damage done other than debris in the cockpit where water was ankle-deep this AM. I need to vacuum it tomorrow or the next day. Formerly virulently anti-gun Kelsy wants an introductory shoot tomorrow so that's on for sure if weather permits. Hey, I'm a motivator kind of guy, albeit a lazy and slothful bugger meself.
Chuckles (two cabins west) said his pontoon got loose in the recent storm, drifted downwind and hit my dock. Chuckles is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. With the lake as high at it is one might think he'd tether his boat with a couple of lines even though it was on a lift. He didn't. He was off to play golf so he called 911 -- and they actually responded! This must be rural MN or something. He said my dock sections were floating away but he rescued me. I'm pretty sure that's pure B.S. since I've caught him in other similar prevarications, but I said thanks and let it go. He has hinted broadly that he'd like me to take him fishing. I think he sensed that Mary didn't like him but now she's out of the way. What the hell, I'll take him fishing if he'd like, though I certainly won't show him my good spots for him to use as bragging tender with others. I'll show him spots any competent fisher would know, and how to fish them if he'd care to learn.
I wouldn't take him shooting, either, even if he wanted to and Gerri wouldn't have a cow if that happened. Uh, no!
Mary had no use for creepy ol' Chuckles. Her people instincts were quite good so I was inclined to go with her unless I had strong reason to disagree. I didn't and don't re Chuckles. His wife Gerri is a gem, far better than he deserves or appreciates.