The Retired Old Guy: Fishing

Hello again from the old retired guy.

I’m still finding things to do as a retired person. One of the more enjoyable things I did growing up and one of the things I often shared with my kids while they were growing up was fishing. I learned to fish from my dad who was an avid crappie fisherman. We spent many days sitting in a boat on some lake with pole in hand trying to entice a fish to gobble up a minnow for lunch. It was always quality time spent together, but later, as I got older I became intrigued with fly fishing. At some point after I got married and moved away I decided I was going to give it a try. I began small, like bream small. One of my first fond memories was my pastor and myself going to a lake to try our luck at catching a few shell-cracker bream. It was a blast and I was hooked. Although I was excited about catching these feisty fish I guess my mind was always dreaming of the idea of wading the streams or rivers and hooking into the awesome trout. I had to learn to trout fish, I had convinced myself.

One of the first memories of my trout fishing experience was with my little family on a river in my home state. My father-in-law had given me a few flies that a friend of his had passed on to him and since he had no intention of fly fishing he passed them on to me. While my wife and I along with two small children were taking a vacation on a trout river, I decided to try out one of the new flies. Not having a clue which to use, but observing the water around me and seeing fish rising to take little white flies off the surface of the water, I picked a very small white fly I thought I’d try. Watching me casting this tiny little white fly out onto the water probably was quite a sight, but after a few tries I managed to get somewhat of an idea of what I was doing. I couldn’t cast very far, which was a good thing because I couldn’t follow that little white fly on top of the water very well anyway. I watched and if I saw a rise and a ring anywhere near where I thought that fly was I set the hook. Several misses finally turned into success and not only had I hooked a rainbow trout but I had hooked myself on fly fishing for trout for good.

In retirement I thought I’d have plenty of time for wading and casting to that elusive prey – the trout. I had introduced my own children to fishing and I figured that would be my ticket to many hours of being on or in a river passing the day catching trout. The thing I guess I hadn’t figured on was that they now have families and they have jobs and they have responsibilities that wasn’t going to allow for my many hopeful hours of fishing. However, we have carved out some great times to be on the water and have spent many days exchanging barbs about who has caught the most fish or the biggest fish and I am thankful for that, but still that hasn’t filled all the day or hours of time since retirement.

Retirement is an everyday thing and diversity of activities is what I needed to fill the days – activities I’m still trying to experience today.

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The Retired Old Guy: Hunting

Hey gang, I’m the old retired guy coming to you.

Well, I do now have a certain amount of free time on my hands and I have to figure out what I’m going to do with it or else be completely bored out of my mind. The main thing I’ve always said I was going to do when I retired was to spend more time with my family. I have a pretty large family and my job was such that I had to work all kinds of different hours as well as most weekends, so I missed a lot of extra activities with my kids and grandkids while they were growing up.

One of the things I got involved in was hunting. I had introduced archery to my children from a fairly young age. My oldest son and myself purchased a small tract of land in the hills to hunt on. The land is covered with hard woods and has proven to be used by an ample amount of wildlife. He and his boys, as well as myself were really into traditional archery. We not only were able to spend time in the woods, but also spend many hours just shooting in our back yards or at 3D tournaments trying to get ourselves sharp for the hunting season. The time we spend together shooting has been a great bonding time for me and the grands as well as a renewal of that bonding with my son. It also has got me time in the woods with other family members – time that I hadn’t gotten while actively working a job.

Having hunting land also requires a little more work than just showing up to chase wild game. There is preparation involved before each season opens. We have had to make sure the places we hunt from are ready for each season. I hunt from a box stand elevated about 10 feet off of the ground. It has to be checked for weakness or rot before I can climb into it each year. We spend time together repairing and or maybe moving other stands to hunting spots prior to opening day. At times, there are shooting lanes to be cut and animal signs to be searched for in order to be hunting in the best spots. These times in my life now, although its later in my life, are precious to me.

These times with sons and grandsons have helped us each to learn a lot about both ourselves and each other. How we thought and how we respected things on this earth. We planned together and followed through with our plans. We’ve shared victories and disappointments. We’ve entertained ideas for each other to help us be successful. We’ve grown closer and I’ve loved it and still do.

So, I found one outlet for my time, but obviously this wasn’t enough to fulfill the many hours of life outside of the hunting season but it was a great start and I look forward to each year.

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The Retired Old Guy

Greetings folks. I’m the retired old guy.

I’ve actually retired twice in this life time. I was at my first and primary job some 43 years. I stayed off work for about six months then started a second job which I stayed with for another nine years. For 52 years of my life I got up, at least 5 days a week and sometimes 6 or 7 days, to go to my job to support my family. I’m here now an old man, way past my being able to do all the things I’ve dreamed of doing, but the fact is I’m still living and breathing and trying to live my life to the fullest that my body will let me.

Life has changed for me now, some of it is good and some of it isn’t so good. I promised myself when I started staying home that I’d start helping around the house more, you know make life a little easier for my sweetheart and I have tried to do that. I’ve taken over, pretty much, the breakfast duties. I get our breakfast most every morning. The main thing is getting her that first morning cup of Earl Grey tea. That tea is as important to her as my coffee is to me. The tea just gets her day started off right. Breakfast used to vary, but since we’ve started our diet it’s been mostly eggs and bacon with some kind of fruit. It’s a good start to the day. Funny, when I worked full time, I hardly ever ate breakfast but things change when you retire. Oh, how things change!

My wife is also retired. With me helping her out around the house, she has time for her projects that she occupies herself with. But that’s a story for a different day. Her projects keep her busy and happy and keep my days empty, at least empty of the type of activities I’ve been used to. Well, I had to try to figure out just what I was going to do with my time. You know you think before you retire that you’ve got it all figured out. You’ll have plenty of time to do all those things you’ve wanted to do while you were slaving to support your family, but take it from me it doesn’t work out that way. There seems to be more things that can get in the way of your day… like that evening nap or that doctor’s appointment or that trip to see the grandkids, etc. Time just keeps getting away from you – every day.

Then of course there was the pandemic. If it hadn’t been for the pandemic, I’d probably still be trying to work every day. But there was the pandemic. That changed everything that I had imaged about retirement. For over a year we didn’t leave the house, more or less. I bought food by way of hands-free pick up through computer orders. We went to the bank and got medicine by way of the drive-through window. We canceled doctor appointments, except for those deemed extremely necessary. No, the pandemic wasn’t part of my retirement plans. Retirement changes so many things and likewise things can also change retirement. Now, as things are turning around as far as the pandemic is concerned, my retirement must also take on a new perspective. So, what’s next?

That’s yet to be figured out.

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