Well I don’t know about all of you but to say this year is full of twists and turns is definitely an understatement. I always make time for a few fishing and hunting trips this year and unfortunately most of my fishing has been on the river. Now I love catfishing, but I prefer to eat bluegill and crappie. The freezer is starting to get low, so I think I better make crappie fishing a priority here soon. I think I may be a little cranky since it’s the first time in over 10 years I haven’t been crappie fishing in Wisconsin the first week of August.
This year instead of going to Wisconsin we decided to put siding on our house. Now this is something my wife has wanted for several years but all I can think about is it will just give them a reason to raise our property taxes. After putting this off all spring it was time to get this project underway. We had all of the materials showing up on Thursday, so we began tear off on Wednesday. What I should have thought about is it’s the beginning of August and it’s hotter than blazes outside but no… that didn’t come into my thought process. Now I have to push through this 95-degree heat and get this project done.
We cruised through Wednesday and Thursday and then came a little slow down. The plan was to have a whole crew of people there on Saturday and Sunday and we would get most of the siding complete. Well in order to do that we needed to have the whole house prepped and ready to go. We worked our butts off trying to make it happen and we had everything ready except some J channel. Saturday morning arrived and a few people decided it was too hot or something and didn’t show so it was a rough start to the morning. Thank god my daughter and her boyfriend Ace were in town to spend some time with family. What he didn’t realize is the work he was going to do over the next five days. I have to give him a lot of credit. He was willing to learn and worked hard and really helped finish this project up. I can say it took us a full week but the house looks great and now I think my wife is ready to sell it and move to Missouri!
After my siding job was complete it was time to spend some time with family. My son Gabe was back from California, my daughter Payton was home from Wisconsin, and for the first time in a couple of years we were all back in the same spot at the same time. That is one thing you don’t think much about until your kids are older; what is life going to be like not having them around. Our two decided to spread their wings and we don’t get to see them every day like we were used to. At first, I enjoyed the peace and quite then there was a time where I felt like our home was empty without all of the kids and their friends invading my home and refrigerator. I kind of missed the craziness of life with teenagers but there are many things that will remind you why they can drive you nuts. I swear I went downstairs one morning, and the Tasmanian Devil went through my man cave. There were people sleeping on every couch, chair and every sq. ft. of the floor I looked at all of the soda cans, empty candy wrappers and chip bags and boom! I was reminded why I liked it peaceful and quiet. I love the kids but damn they can wreck a house in minutes and never even blink an eye. Luckily for them I am a little calmer now than I once was.
When Gabe arrived from California the whole family was excited to see him. He had a big smile on his face and truly looked happy to be home for a couple of weeks. We grabbed his luggage and off we set for home. On the way home I asked him if there was anything he wanted to do or eat while he was home and the first thing, he said is anything grilled, and I want to go fishing. Well both are my specialties and always happy to oblige.
We started planning our fishing trip and both Gabe and Payton and their significant others were all excited to be on the boat. I have had the boat now for four years and neither had been on it yet, so they were eager to hit the water. We set off to get fishing licenses for Gabe and his girlfriend Sam. Payton and Ace were just along for the ride. Sam had never been fishing and Gabe hasn’t in several years, so it was a day I was looking forward to. Of course, with kids we were not going to be on the river at daybreak we would be lucky to get there before noon. To my surprise they were all up and ready to go by 9am and I took that as a win. We set off for Chillicothe and I was excited to get them on some fish. We arrived at ramp and I got the boat all set up and ready to go. I had Ace undo the straps in the back and we were ready to go. As I backed the boat in I got out of the truck, hopped in the boat and started the motor. At this time, I look back and the back of the boat was under water. Yea you guessed it I forgot to tell Ace to put the plug in the boat. Of course, I am like pull up, pull up and Ace is like what the hell is he yelling. Finally realized I needed him to pull the boat out of the water. We had to let the boat drain for 10 minutes. I didn’t realize that much water could get in there that quickly. Well lessoned learned. There is a reason my dad always called me the master of disaster.
After all of the issues we are finally ready to insert the plug and hit the water. One thing I didn’t know is Gabe does not like going very fast on water. I heard him say don’t go too fast but when I looked back, he had a grip on the boat that wasn’t letting go. We arrived at our first spot and everyone was getting in their spots so I could bait some poles and get Gabe and Sam on some fish. I hadn’t told them that I use Triple H Stink Bait and they were both like “what is that?” I stated it was our bait go ahead and take off the lid. When the lid cracked open the look on Sam’s face was priceless. She looked like she was starting to gag and everyone was complaining about the smell. Of course, me I am enjoying every minute of their discomfort, maybe a little too much. I got the poles in the water and we starting get hits pretty quickly. The fist few bites were on Gabe’s poles and he kept missing them. They were really nibbling this day and not being real aggressive. We were sitting there for almost 45 minutes when one of Sam’s poles just takes off. She grabs the pole and sets the hook. As you will see in the pictures, Sam is not a very big girl and this fish is taking her for a ride. She is fighting this fish with every ounce of her soul. She keeps asking for help but we just hold the rod up for her and let her do the work. When the fish came to the side of the boat she was so excited. For a couple of minutes, I wasn’t sure if she caught the fish or the fish caught her but one thing was for sure she was smiling from ear to ear with her first ever fish. I was so excited for her to get to experience that.
The morning wore on and Gabe finally caught a couple, but it was obvious the first-time fisherman was schooling him in every way. Sam was such a joy to watch on the boat when she was fighting fish. She couldn’t stop smiling and it was obvious that I probably just created a fishing monster. After a few more hours and a few more fish we decided to call it a day. There was a ton of boat traffic and I couldn’t figure out why until I saw the white trash bash was taking place on the river that Saturday. I had such a good time with the kids and their significant others, and I look forward to the next fishing trip with this crew.
Well it sure seemed like the time was flying by with the kids at home and I know nothing makes momma happier than having all of her baby birds in the nest. One of the reasons Gabe came home was we wanted to get some family pictures. I am big on pictures and I am not sure why. I love to have family pics around the home and in albums just so we can all sit back and remember so many special moments we have spent together. My side of the family is so big that they haven’t had a family get togethers and pictures for years. Leah’s family (grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins) hasn’t ever had family pictures since I have been around, so the Gibbs family all came together for a great evening of pictures. I am amazed at how fast all of the kids have grown, and it seems you blink and they are out of your house and I am afraid I blink again and I will be a grandpa. Enjoy every minute with your kids. They will always be your babies, but they grow and fly and maybe one day have babies of their own.
Adventure Sports Outdoors, the world and the City of Peoria lost a great man a couple of weeks ago. Norman V. Kelly was an amazing writer and Peoria Historian. He shared hundreds of his stories with the readers of ASO Magazine. He loved the City of Peoria and the people who lived there. He dedicated most of his life sharing his love of this great city. Harry and Norman were the closest of friends and he will be missed by many. Rest in Peace my friend.
May your sunrises and sunsets be magical!