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Crazy Jobs ~ Office Whore, I mean Assistant

There was a brief time of insanity in my life where I worked for a company that designed computer games. I was there just over a year and pretty much hated every single moment of it. I hated the work. I hated the constant griping customers. I hated the CFO. I hated the programmer that worked in the same room with me. I hated the working conditions. I hated being treated like a maid. Have I used the word hate enough?

Basically it started like this; three months prior to gaining employment at this company, I had been working a dream job at a local wine shop. Things were not going well there. The owner, while extremely knowledgeable about wine, knew NOTHING about running a business. The hours were dwindling to nothing and the fun was fading. I had to leave. But, enough about that, that’s another story all together. I quit the wine shop and delved into a mire of depression. No more dream job, no more income. Fortunately, my honey was able to keep us going financially until I could find gainful employment. I basically let several weeks float by whilst I kept my self busy with depressing evil thoughts and daydreams revolving around me getting a job. Occasionally I would peruse the local paper for Help Wanted. Vowing to never ever get back into working in medical field as an office slave (yet another story all together), I realized I was not meant for much else but that.

Deeper into depression and seven random, excruciating, interviews later, a small ad in the newspaper caught my eye. The add was brief, asking that serious inquiries email their resumes at the address below. After Googling the email address, I gleaned some good information as to what the company was about. Such as, the company was started by Inventor Geek #1 and Inventor Geek #2 in which they created several games for people to play on their personal computers. I tweaked my resume a skosh to highlight some of my better computer abilities. This was not a lie as I did have some, sorta, pretty decent skills thanks to hubby. I sent my resume and waited with just a tad bit of excitement and wishful thinking. Low and behold I got a response back asking me a series of questions. This was to be part of an interview of sorts. The questions ranged from “find the P.O Box listed for our company” to “locate the owner of the domain site of this company” and so on. I think there were about five or six questions, that I felt competent I had aced.

Next came the face to face interview. This consisted of a sit down with one of the creators (which I’ll call Inventor Geek#1) of the business and the CFO (which I will call Major A-hole), who at the time I had not know was the father of Inventor Geek #1. After your basic interview questions, I was quizzed with some logical puzzle questions. This I found fairly odd as the position was basically a phone receptionist/technical support person, dubbed “Office Assistant.” One of the questions asked was, “Why are round manhole covers better then square manhole covers?” At this point I got fairly nervous thinking to myself, “Now why the fuck would I need to know that to answer a damn phone?” I had just got done telling them I had worked well over 15 years in the medical field as a phone receptionist/scheduler/secretary for both front and back office. I’d had communications training, stress training, conflict training and the list goes one. I was recruited from one medical office to another BECAUSE of my phone skills. However, I was not skilled enough to answer this inane question. I failed said manhole quiz. If you don’t already know the answer to this question, it’ll be answered towards the end of this riveting tale.

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Memorial Day 2010

Memorial Day at Eagle Point Cemetery

I called him Gramps, he called me Stubs. Born in Long Creek, Oregon in 1915, Gramps was a kind, soft spoken man of few words. Grandpa was a native Oregonian, served in World War II, married my grandma, had three wonderful children, joined the FAA and was grandfather to three spoiled grandkids.

Grandpa and his twin Maurice

Master-Sergeant Mervin C. Conger was the radio chief of the 414th Night Fighter Squadron, serving with the 22nd Tactical Air Command of the 12th Air Force, which furnished the air support for the Fifth Army in the victorious northern Italy Campaign.

In 1942, Gramps married Helen M. Hull during a leave from the service. After the war, Grandpa joined the reserves and held various jobs until joining the FAA. He stared his career as an Air Traffic Controller in  Alaska and a few months later the whole family moved up with him. By know there were three children. His career in the FAA, took him from Anchorage, Alaska to the San Francisco International Airport to and later to the Lake Tahoe Airport where he eventually retired. I remember vividly, Grandpa got word that Sammy Davis Jr. was flying in to Tahoe. The entire family got dressed up to the nines and met Grandpa at work. We got to see Sammy and he patted me on the head.

Gramps and Grams

Grams and Gramps ready for a hot date

Not one to retire for too long, Gramps and Grams eventually moved to Netarts Bay and managed an R.V. park and marina. Those were the times I remember the most. We always had so much fun visiting at the coast. Grandpa always took us crabbing and clamming and fishing. Lots of parties and happiness. After they finally retired from the park, they bought a home with a view of the bay and the park they loved. Eventually, my wonderful grandma passed away at their last stop together near the bay. Shortly after, we moved Grandpa to Grants Pass, where he lived with his youngest daughter who took care of him until he passed in 1996.

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The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival

Anytime my honey and I can get away for a weekend I jump at the chance. Especially when we can drive three hours or less to our destination from Grants Pass, Oregon. Last Friday we did just that. After work we headed to my Uncle Steve’s house in near McKinleyville, California. Our plan was to attend The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival. The festival is going on 18 years and highlights local chefs, restaurants and caterers. Their goal is to win the judges approval for best Oysters. The publics goal is to eat, drink and be merry. Or to win Oyster Shucker and/or Oyster Sucker of the year. I am not a fan of Oysters but I knew we’d have fun no matter what we did.

Arcata Plaza

We took off early evening and planned on eating dinner somewhere along the way. Whenever I’m near the ocean my desire to eat fish and chowder becomes overwhelming. My Uncle had told us about a restaurant in Crescent City, California that had great fish and chips. I can not think of one restaurant in Crescent City that has decent food, but I trusted him on this one. The place, Chart Room, located on Anchor Way at the marina near the one and only surf shop in the city. As we drove up I saw that people were standing inside the door. Not a good sign for us as we wanted to eat and run, but a good sign that the food must be partially decent at the least. I ran in and asked the waitress how long the wait was and it was too long for us, plus they were closing in 30 minutes. It did smell good in there but also looked frantic.

Plan B. There is another restaurant about one minute away named The Grotto. I had eaten there years ago and it was fair so we decided to give it a try. We arrived at 7:40 pm. The place only had two other tables occupied. The hostess was just writing the nights special on the board. I thought that a bit odd that she put it up so late. The menu was very pricy for what I had wanted. Small Fish and Chips for $11.95. Large order was $13.95. I ordered the small plate with a cup of clam chowder. Hubby ordered scallops, baked potato and a salad. The menu noted that all fish came breaded, battered or grilled. Sautéed was and extra $1.00. OK this is another oddity. Why charge more for sautéed? Unfortunately my honey did not notice this and the waiter did not ask him.

As we waited for our food, the restaurant filled to capacity. We were shocked. All we could think of was that when the Chart House closed, everyone came to the Grotto. The place turned into a zoo.

Dinner arrived. First bummer was the scallops. Hubby wanted sautéed scallops and got breaded. The scallops were soggy. Frozen scallops always hold a lot of water. He was not happy with that potato either. It tasted like it sat in the baker all day long. The mealy waxy texture is a turn off. My plate was equally unappetizing. The chowder had an odd flavor to it. Some sort of herb or seasoning that I could not put my finger. My small fish and chips order was actually very large. Four pieces of fish, a large pile of fries and a small scoop of overly boiled mixed veggies. What, no coleslaw??? . Also on the plate was about one tablespoon of tarter sauce and about two tablespoons of cocktail sauce. I normally do not see cocktail sauce for fish and chips. I took the veggies off my plate immediately. The water from the veggies was making the fish soggy. The fish was battered, though not a beer batter. It was fair but again soggy. The fries were as okay as can be. I had to ask for extra tarter sauce and waiter came out in a huge cup of the stuff, so much so that it was wasted. This will be the last time we eat at the Grotto.

Saturday morning we were up and at ‘em. We decided to hit the festival early at the suggestion of Uncle Steve. He said the crowds got large and rowdy around noon. We meet his lovely adorable girlfriend at the festival and headed off to the first tent. The festival is held at the Arcata Plaza. I have always loved this little college town. There are shops and restaurants built around a square quaint park. The festival is held around the park. The center of the park had a stage and music. There must have been over a hundred vendors. Mostly food and about four local microbrew and wine tents. The first Oyster we tried was barbequed with a light cucumber salsa. I must admit the salsa was great; the Oyster was just ok for me. Off to the next tent. Fried Oysters with hot sauce. I tried just one and decided that was enough Oyster tasting for me. Hubby, Uncle and his girlfriend loved them. I could tell they were in heaven. Next we tried the taco tent. The three had Oyster tacos. I had a steak taco. This was delish! Grilled steak topped with a spicy coleslaw mixture, salsa and lime in a corn tortilla. Next hubby got three barbequed Oysters with garlic, sherry and herbs topped with salmon tartar. As I watched the three devour those, I noticed a couple people with ears of barbequed corn. OH YEAH! That’s more my speed. This was our next stop…but wait, Uncle Steve found a booth that had Oyster Pierogi’s. These came with sautéed onions. While they ate those I ordered Cheese Pierogi’s. Also with sautéed onions and a side of sour cream. These were very nice. Whilst I was eating those, hubby found a stand that sold kabobs. Are we EVER getting to that corn? He got a chicken kabob that we all tried and agreed was very good and thought to come back for more. Off to find that corn. Yea! We ordered three ears. Boy was that corn good. White corn barbequed in the husks and slathered with butter, salt and pepper. I was in heaven.

As we meandered around the plaza more Oysters were consumed and the square was filling up fast. I lost track of all the Oysters they tried. Somewhere along the way they all tried an Oyster Shooter with roe. Double yuck. I heard moans of joy from the three. We found one of the stands we were looking for that sold Fish Tacos. Oh my, these were good. Nicely battered pieces of white fish, cabbage, salsa, a spicy sour cream sauce, cilantro and lime. Delectable! At this point we decided to find a spot in the park and watch the Oyster calling contest. This was divided into ages from three up. There were some pretty adorable kids and some very drunk and funny adults. The kids pretty much yelled out remarks such as “HELLO OYSTERS!” The adults had poems and songs and even a rap or two. One song was titled “Oysters over troubled Waters” and one was “We don’t Shuck our Oysters in Arcata”. All in all, pretty hilarious. Full of Oysters and wall to wall people we decided to head for home. Sadly no pictures were taken by any of us. Hard to hold a camera, a drink and a plate of Oysters at a crowded festival.

Winners of this years best of Oysters;

Best Oyster according to the judges:
-1st Tomo’s Oyster Sushi
-2nd Tomo’s Oyster Shooter
-3rd Folie Douce Japanese grilled oysters
The people’s choice:
Curly’s Grill

Shuck and Chuck 2008 champions:
Shucker: Aidan Semingson
Sucker: Conor Eckholm

Back at the house the three were barely awake. I was in the mood for more fun and I was actually a bit hungry as I hadn’t consumed as much as they had. After a rest we decided a walk on the beach would perk them up. We drove up the coast to Triniad. The beach was beautiful but extremely windy and chilly, so much so we didn’t walk very far. Trinidad is a beautiful little fishing town. Most of it sits on a bluff above a gorgeous inlet were the water is blue green. There are fishing boats moored in the inlet that are only accessible by smaller boats or dingies. The pier has cranes attached that lower and raise boats from the water for repair. This is a must stop place for any traveler.

Wind blown and hungry, we headed off to dinner. We decided more barbeque was in order. We headed off to Porter Street Barbeque. Porter’s is nothing fancy, but has some of the best bbq I have had in the Pacific Northwest. There is a large bbq pit outside that they load with meat every morning. The menu is small and no nonsense. BBQ chicken, pork or beef. Homemade sides and the BEST clam chowder I have ever eaten. Made with red potatoes, tender clams and seasoned perfectly.
Three of us had the BBQ chicken sandwich. This came shredded in big chunks, smothered with bbq sauce on toasted garlic bread. They have a fixins’ bar for your sandwiches. Hot peppers, horseradish, salsas, peperoncinis and more. Also a big bucket of warmed barbeque sauce in case you needed more on your meat which of course I did. That was one fine sauce, slightly spicy, thick and dark red. Hubby had beef ribs. They looked good but messy. His came with a side of slaw and chili. That chili was great! Lots of beef to beans and spiced just right.

Porter Street Barbeque
665 Samoa Blvd
Arcata, CA 95521

We decided to continue our gluttonous journey and head for Bon Boniere. An ice cream and bakery establishment located back at the Arcata Square. Homemade ice cream is pretty hard to pass up. I had a scoop of chocolate orange chip and a scoop of mint cookie. Very creamy and refreshing. I think that did it. I was done and ready to fall into a coma of happiness.

Bon Boniere
791 8th Street
Arcata, CA 95521

Sunday, Uncle Steve suggested that he and his sweetheart follow us back to Crescent City, about an hours drive north to have lunch at the Chart Room. What a great idea. I would have my fish and chip fix after all. The Chart Room is nothing fancy but boy is it good. The clam chowder was excellent. We had the Samll order of a Seafood combo with fish, scallops and prawns beer battered with lots of tarter and cocktail sauce, crispy fries, coleslaw and garlic toast for $9.95. The fish was hot and crispy good and a great ending to a wonderful happy weekend!

Chart Room Marina & Restaurant
130 Anchor Way
Crescent City, CA 95531

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Crazy Jobs ~ Stable Hand

Growing up, as with most young girls I loved horses. I still do, but the passion was much stronger back in the day. At age of 16, I was able to land a job as a stable hand at a horse ranch near Rogue River, Oregon for the summer. I was in sheer heaven. The owners raised all sorts of horses. From jumping to show. Their daughter was in charge of the stables. Sassy, that’s what I always thought of her. Sometimes when the family went out of town, I got to stay in the daughter’s apartment. A barn converted into living quarters. Oh I felt so grown up.

My daily routine was to feed, water, walk, clean horse stalls, inspect and generally care for the horses. I grew to love them all. The most disgusting job was not cleaning the horse stalls, but feeding the horses flakes of alfalfa. The alfalfa was stored in the huge barn with the horses. Shrews would make nests in the bales. Being that I tended to be a bit forgetful about these bald little creepy creatures, I often, accidentally, stab them with the pitchfork. It was disgusting. Sometimes I would grab a flake with my hands and see from the corner of my eye, squirming movements. I always screamed and jumped sky high. They were horrid little things. We also had to watch for mice. Double disgusting. Never a barn cat around when you needed one.

I really wanted to mimic everything the daughter did. I wanted to be just like her. One thing that always impressed me was that she could drive the farm tractor like it was a compact car. She could turn it on a dime. Back it up into the smallest spaces. AND, most importantly, dump loads of fresh saw dust into the stalls. The stalls were of rather large size however the opening to get a tractors bucket in to the stalls between the large beams that were attached to the ceiling seemed impossible. There was about a foot space between the tractor bucket and the beams to the right and left of it. Simple!

One day while alone, seems like the daughter was always off having fun whilst I was slaving away and doing both my jobs AND hers, I decided it was time for me to use that tractor. Being that she was gallivanting around town this day, I was about 2 hours behind. My normal routine of using shovel and wheel burrow to refresh the stalls with saw dust was not working for me. I hoped onto the tractor. Started it up. OH BABY! What a powerful machine that was. I was overjoyed. I would get all my work done and be home in time for dinner.

I practiced for several minutes out side of the barn. Piece of cake. Although I had butterflies, I felt confident that using this tractor would make my life better. More time to spend with the horses and all. I was ready. I loaded the bucket with sawdust. Pulled the tractor ever so slowly into the barn. I lined up the bucket with the stall beams. Slowly, painfully slowly, I inched towards the stall opening. Everything was going swell. Over the roar of the tractor I heard a very high pitched screeching sound. Like metal on metal. Or metal on wood? Hmm, I thought, this did not sound good. I stopped the tractor and listened. Nothing. I started her up again moved the tractor a milla-inch at a time. Again that blasted noise. At this time I realized I did not seem to be making much progress. I should have cleared the beams by now. For some reason I looked up. OMG! I hadn’t lined up the bucket well at all. I saw instantly where the noise was coming from. The tractor bucket was just barley touching the beam on the right. So much so that the bucket was pushing the beam from its place. The sounds I heard were the gigantic nails being pulled from their connection to the beam of the ceiling. There was about a three inch gap where the stall beam had separated from the ceiling beam. You could see the nails metallic bent forms in the gap. Freak out time. I shoved that tractor in reverse and hauled it out of there.

I seriously did not know what to do. I knew there was no way in heck the stall or barn would fall over. This was only one beam out of hundreds. And the beam did not completely separate from the ceiling. I fretted about it for hours. I went about my business and finished the stalls in record time. The adrenaline kept me going full speed. I paused every now and again to look at the mess I had made. I pushed and tried to jiggle the beam to see how loose it was. It did not move at all. It was still very very secure. With that I decided to hang my head in shame and not tell a soul.

I worked there the rest of the summer until school started back up. No one noticed a thing. The owners of the ranch loved my hard work and even gave me a letter of recommendation. I never used it though. I still feel ashamed that I never fessed up.

I do drive by on occasion to make sure that barn is still standing after all these years and it is. Thank the horse Gods!

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My Aunt Karen

My first memory of Karen was in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She was dating my Uncle Steve and they would come to visit my mom and grandparents at the Lake. Karen was the first woman to ever teach me how to put on makeup. I loved sitting at her side watching her put on face while I touched her brushes and compacts. She seemed so glamorous to me. One of my most vivid memories was when my Uncle Steve showed me the wedding ring he was going to give her. I was only about 4 or 5, but I remember it well.

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Aunt Karen on her wedding day
Her sister Peggy on her right
My mom on her left

Karen was born in 1946 in Santa Cruz, California. She met and married my Uncle Steve and joined our crazy family. She fit right in. My Aunt and Uncle had one child. Kerri Rae. I thought she was just neato. I got to say at my Aunt’s house one summer to help take care of this little girl. Karen taught me a lot about the care of babies. I loved that summer. Spending time with my favorite Aunt and Uncle and my new cousin, what more could I ask for.

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Aunt Karen with Kerri

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Aunt Karen, next to my grandpa
with myself and my brother.
Camping on the Carson River

Through the years we tried to visit often. My family ended up in Grants Pass, Oregon and hers in Orleans, McKinleyville and finally Fieldbrook. Aunt Karen and I shared a special passion. We both believed in Santa Claus. Every Christmas she went with my brother and I to search for Rudolph in the sky. We always spotted him. I remember often pointing him out to her or her to I. I would look at her face and see tears of joy in her eyes. No matter what age we were, we always believed.

In my cousin’s junior year of high school, around 1995-96, Aunt Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer. She prevailed. Around four years later, just one year shy of complete remission, she had a second bout. The second time was worse then the first. Her and her doctors tried everything. They decided on one last treatment, a three week immunization program. Week one was hard. Week two was the best week she had felt since this second bout of cancer started. She loved to use the term “we nipped it in the bud!” Then week three there was a downhill spiral and her body couldn’t take it anymore. She passed away May 16, 2006.

I think of Aunt Karen often and wonder if her life was full. Her daughter is doing well. I know she struggles and misses her mom. Kerri has a great job at a college up north of us in Washington. Karen would be proud very proud of her. My Uncle too, is well. He travels often, especially to visit Kerri. My heart breaks for them but they are strong.

Every year I decorate a luminary back in her honor for our cities Relay for Life event. I think she would have liked this. I miss her and I am better for having known her.

In Aunt Karen’s honor I will be sharing her recipes on my blog. She was also wonderful cook.

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Crazy Jobs ~ Patient Attendant

Over the years I have had some crazy jobs. Some I’ve liked and most I have not. I’m pretty easy going when it comes to work as long as I have been given a clear guideline of my duties and I receive a decent check. I am a hard worker and always respectful of my superiors. I have never been fired or reprimanded. I just do my job and try to keep my sense of humor in tact to help me through the rough times. Easier said than done. Through the years I have tried many different sorts of employment. I’ve been a horse stall cleaner, hostess, house keeper, sales woman in a children’s dress shop, pizza maker, sous chef, medical receptionist, pharmacy tech and more. One of the jobs I have hated the most was as a Patient Attendant.

As a Patient Attendant at the old Josephine Memorial Hospital in Grants Pass, Oregon, my job was to sit in a room with mentally ill or elderly patients to make sure they stayed in bed, ate or stayed calm. If anything got out of hand and a patient became abusive, out of control or was in danger of harming anyone or anything, I was to yell out at the top of my lungs “Dr. Armstrong, calling Dr. Armstrong”. Or if I had time use the intercom system to page Dr. Armstrong over head. This would cause a herd of hospital employees to come crashing through the door and make everything better. Also usually meant more meds to the patient.

One night I had to watch 2 mentally ill patients. One was quite and reserved, obviously on meds, the other wired and anxious. He was about 6ft and 250 pounds. This patient was in a bed next to the window of the second story of the hospital. He would climb out of bed and try and open the blinds to see out. My job was to keep him in bed and keep him as calm as possible.

As the morning flew by, I must have put this guy back in his bed at least 20 times. As the sun came around to our side of the building, the guy became more and more agitated. His attempts to open the blinds became aggressive. No one told me his condition or gave me an other rules to go by other then keeping him in bed. After much thought I decided to open the dang blinds. I figured at least it would calm him down a bit. WRONG! As I pulled up the blinds and turned to sit back down, he flew out of bed, tore off his gown, pressed his body to the window and screamed something inaudible about the sun.

I screamed DR. ARMSTRONG at the top of my lungs. Three large dudes came flying in and settled the guy down. We tucked him back into bed. Of course no one thought to close the blinds.

About 15 minutes later the guy starts getting agitated again. He flew out of bed, tore off his second gown and this time ran past me faster than lightning. I yelled Dr. Armstrong again and picked up the intercom to do the same hoping for more backup. As I hung up the phone I saw the guy out of the corner of my eye, stop in the middle of the hall. He turned around and faced me nakeder then a jay bird and started running for the window. Stupid me, I stepped in front of the window with my hands out to stop him. He crashed full force into me and we both flew into the window. My head smacked glass and I became instantly dizzy and petrified. The guy pushed me aside and started out the door into the hall way again for a second attempt. Fortunately, the half the hospital staff came flying down the hallway. This startled the poor guy. He panicked and ran smack onto another person who suffered more injuries than I. A broken arm. The hospital staff finally got him pinned down, medicated and back to bed. The staff looked me over, and as they were walking out the door I realized that the second guy I was watching, the quite reserved guy, snuck out of the room and took off while all this was going on. The hospital staff found him safe and sound.

I quit my job that night.

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Not everyone’s a teacher OR A wife should never teach a husband how to fish!

My family are all fisherman and have had a long tradition of teaching each generation to fish. The older generations used bait and tackle the easy way to fish. The young ones fly fish, the more difficult way to fish. My uncle was the first fly fisherman of the family. He taught my aunt to fly fish and my aunt taught my brother and me to fly fish. In keeping with tradition, I thought it was time for me to teach someone in my family. I figured it couldn’t be that hard. I caught on fast myself. For my first pupil, I chose Dimples, my indoor only, Star Wars loving, extremely logical, computer geek of a husband. This should have been my first clue that not everyone can be a teacher no matter what the subject.

Once I convinced Dimples that fly fishing would be a blast and I assured him there would be plenty of sun screen for his pale skin. I set out to plan our trip. I decided the Umpqua River would fruitful. The Umpqua can be tricky and the wading can be dangerous but Dimples has always told me he’s as nimble as a Billy Goat. I packed snacks, gear and I bought fishing licenses. Being that is was steel head season I also purchased salmon and steel head tags at an additional cost. This should have been clue number two.

We arrived at the river. It was beautiful! We came to an area that I thought would be a good start. The river pooled nicely, with a riffle above and below. There was a steep trail down to the bank of the river but this was something I was very comfortable with however, I was a little worried about Dimples. So worried in fact that I decided to go first, carry ALL the gear down and have Dimps follow my trail. I guided him all the way down warning him of loose rocks and stumps. Before I knew it, I was down. Down with one knee bent behind me, one leg in front and sliding fast towards the bank. Thankfully I was stopped by a stump. Dimples came flying down the hill towards me to see if I was okay. I was a bit hurt, but more humiliated. I decided that it would be best for Dimples to start out with a bait and tackle. At this point I was in no shape to discuss the intricacies of fly fishing. I let my humiliation sink in and waded in the cold water up to my aching swollen knee. Not a good start to our trip.

After an unsuccessful hour, I decide we should move elsewhere. About two miles down the road we spotted a great site to check out. Very private with a small deep pool ending in a riffle leading to a huge rapid. This was it. I could hear the fish calling. This is where our teaching would begin.

Being that Dimples is a very logical person, I used the most logical and visual descriptions and presentations I could come up with to teach him to fly fish.

However, I am not a logical person. By the time I was done demonstrating Dimples looked more confused then ever. By now I should have thrown in the towel and headed home but I ignored my instincts and decided he just needed to give it a shot and I would try guiding him from there. I handed him my favorite fly rod. He slowly got the gist of it and at some point stopped listening to me. He waded into the water up to his ankles. I stressed with urgency the danger of the Umpqua’s extremely slippery rocks. Did I mention he stopped listening to me???? Farther and farther he went. He was about 150 yards above that very powerful rapid. Not a place you should even attempt fishing but again, he was not listening to me. He was up to his knees. Then his hips. At this point I had to yell at him to get him to hear me over the roar of the rapids. The water was lapping his stomach; his fly line was wrapped around the reel. I was getting very nervous, shouting instructions to him and begging him to come back to the shore. Before I knew it, he slipped. Up to this chin. His eyes were huge orbs. I screamed at him that he better not let go of my rod. He was getting closer to the rapid. Now I was crying. He was scrambling to get a foot hold. I knew he was a goner and so was my rod. Suddenly his Billy Goat senses kicked in and he found ground. Dimples slowly dragged himself out of the water with me screaming at him the whole time. He was safe… my rod was safe. All was well, almost. Dimples was drenched. He peeled off his shorts and shirt. His wallet survived but was soaking; his cell phone was completely water logged and forever unusable and his expensive fishing license and tags LOST to the rapids.

This was our FIRST and last fishing trip. Some people were born to teach and others are not. If I can ever convince Dimples to fish again, I’ll leave it to my aunt to teach him.

Not only did I fail to teach him the art of fly fishing, I failed to teach him what poison oak looked like. That hill I slipped all the way down……….yep, it was loaded with poison oak. I fell…. I hurt my self….almost lose my husband AND my favorite fly rod… I came home with the worst case of poison oak I have ever had!

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