Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ladies Fishing?

Women are the largest growing segment in fishing.  Studies have been done that show many women are interested in going fishing, but are leery because they don't know how, or they don't want to touch the fish.  I'm gonna let you in on a secret here.  I used to be one of those women!  I know, I know... you say that's impossible!  Sadly, it's true, but not anymore!

Those of you who know me, probably think I'm tough.  I hear that a lot and I don't know why.  I cry at Little House on the Prairie for goodness sakes!  Anyway, I am fiercely competitive.  I didn't fish for the longest time because I did not want to touch the fish.  When I would ask my husband to take the fish off, he would give me a hard time.  I know that's hard to believe- a man giving a woman a hard time about something they hate.  Alas, it's true...  So, I just would go until I had to hear the complaining about taking the fish off then I would be done.

The thing is I liked fishing.  I started taking the fish off the hook without touching the fish.  That worked ok for most fish, but I started catching larger fish and it just sort of happened.  You really can't brag about your catch when someone is taking it off the hook for you.  So you have to take that fish off.  The only fish I have an issue taking off the hook is saltwater.  That is mainly because those fish can actually hurt you!  I don't know all the spots to touch them, yet.  I will learn as time goes by, but for now, my dad is a wealth of knowledge for me.

Me holding a nice smallmouth just to prove I'm telling the truth, not for bragging purposes!
I take pride that women and young kids can come to my store and learn about fishing without feeling belittled.  I have had people tell me before that they appreciated that about my store.  I mean, isn't the whole idea that we all go fishing?  It is great fun to go as a family.  I love fishing with my kids!  So, I'm teaching a class for ladies who want to learn to fish this weekend.  It's amazing how many mom's want to take their kids, but won't because they just don't know how.  Or, how many girls want to fish with their guy friends, but are intimidated.  If you would like to come, there is still time to sign up.  Hey, you will know what a Palomar knot is by the end and you will be able to tie one!  How about that!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spend The Time Now!

We have all heard, or seen, the ugly side of life.  You know, when parents get older and family starts fighting over money, their care, etc...  I have come to the conclusion that part of this is due to our kids/family not really understanding us.  I think if we all spent more time in the outdoors with each other, and less at home vegging, much of this could be solved.

Let's face it, we live in a society that is dominated by electronics and the ability to be in constant contact.  There is a commercial out right now for a truck.  In the commercial, the guys are traveling around with their cell phone in the air.  One will say, "Now?" and the guy holding the phone shakes his head no.  They continue this throughout the entire commercial until they get to the end and the guy with the phone says, "Finally!"  While this commercial is about how the truck can get you to these places, it brings up a bigger question- Should we get away from technology every so often?  I think the answer is clearly, YES!  There is a problem with being constantly in contact.  There should be some time where the only people you have to talk to is your family and God.  Who knows what you have all been to busy to talk about lately?  You may even find out something new about them, or maybe some struggle they are going through.

My favorite form of this is fishing.  Taking your cell phone fishing is a big no-no!  Water and electricity do not get along well.  My form does not have to be your form of getting away.  You could go hike for the day.  You could go for a camping trip.  How about hunting?  Bird or nature watching.  How about the beach?  How about just a walk, or a game of basketball, wiffleball, football?  Anything where you have to put your phone down and get away from it.

When you are out and away, you can really talk.  There are no distractions.  Tell stories about your youth.  Let the kids tell you what is going on in their life right now.  Does this have to be some serious minded discussion like something from an After School Movie? (just showed my age there) No.  This is just being a family.  Maybe if we knew each other better, we wouldn't assume things about one another.  Maybe, we would feel comfortable asking tough questions when we need to.  We would know each other so deeply that there would not be questions about each others character.

Life is passing by us all so quickly.  The same technology that has promised to make our lives easier is, actually, making us fill every moment of our day with something.  So today, why don't you plan something with your family this year?  Plan to go hiking when the weather warms.  Or, if you live somewhere where the weather is warm, go do something on your off time with your family this week.  I can remember so many special moments with my family.  Sometimes is was just a cookout with family over, or at their house.  I remember my parents taking us sightseeing or to a huge state park for the day.  I doubt that late in life I will reminisce about playing Words With Friends on my phone with any such delight, or great feelings.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Dream

Public Domain: Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. at 1963 March on Washington by USIA (NARA)

This Monday is an official Federal holiday.  It's a holiday to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.  I'm going to guess everyone reading this blog knows who Martin Luther King Jr is.  If you don't, here is a link to some information about him:  http://www.thekingcenter.org/history/about-dr-king/ 

During the holiday, many people will talk about what Dr King would do today, or how his dream has been fulfilled in Obama's presidency.  I won't write about either of those things.  I won't write about how Dr King was perfect or imperfect.  No, I want to write about a line from Dr King's I have a dream speech, and if I don't get to verbose, I may add a line from another one of his speeches.

Dr King said: 
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I live this part of Dr King's dream each day.  You see, I live and work in a rural, mostly white area.  Some folks here are still  angry about the civil war.  Some proudly fly the Confederate flag.  I own a sporting goods store in this area.  As a black woman in this area, I have never had a customer "judge" me by the color of my skin.  I hope it is because my customers judge me by the content of my character.  This goes both ways.  I don't see someone with a rebel flag shirt on and label them racist.  You see, Dr King's dream, at least how I see it, was for us all to respect one another.  If I expect someone to respect me, I should also respect them.  I will not treat any my customers differently because of any of their race, financial status, or even, standing in the community.  I'm not looking at the outside appearance.  I'm looking at how they are inside- character.  Are they going to steal from me?  Are they cussing when they walk in my door?  Character.  I have learned that for the most part, my customers have it.  Every once in a while I have to call someone down for their language, or I'll find something taken out of it's package, but that's rare.

Really, when it comes down to it, this isn't Dr King's dream at all.  It's God's.  Listen, it's really nothing new.  In Matthew 7 there are some goodies on how we should treat one another.  It all comes down to this, though, Matthew 7:12 ESV:
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

I guess we should implement this like Nike slogan says... JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hit the Ground Running

Photo courtesy USA Today

Wow, this year has started out like the overtime in the Broncos- Steelers game!  I have hit the ground running!  I somehow was under the false assumption that it would slow down.  I actually think I was just delusional.  Nothing was going to change with my schedule, but I have been doing a better job keeping to it!

So what is new this year?  Well, there are a few new license offerings from VDGIF.  The Commonwealth has decided to offer a multi-year license for resident hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses.  For each year you purchase, a dollar comes off the normal cost.  Unlike the lifetime license, you can purchase these online or at our store as well.  Here is link about it: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/release.asp?id=319 

Another new fee has gone into effect this year.  It's called an access permit for public lakes and WMA's.  If you have a hunting or fishing license, you don't have to get one.  Seems to me it's another way for Virginia to get money from people using public resources, but I will let you make your mind up on that one.  Here's the link for that: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/access-permit/

We also have the new regulation book in the store.  The book also covers boating regulations.  The newest Woods and Waters Magazine is at the store.  Both are free.

We will have an introductory fishing class/tea for ladies on Saturday, Feb 4.  It will include such subjects as types of bait, how to tie a knot, types of reels, fish identification.  You also get some goodies to take home.  Ladies, if you think you may like to get into fishing, sign up for the class.

Hope you had a restful holiday season.  Next thing you know, it will be warm again and we'll be outside in the sunlight!