Spiders and Pickle Jars

I have known for some time that a guy’s real value is at times….much less than he thinks it is.  I am a realist and truly believe that almost everyone has a higher opinion of themselves than is actuality.  I see this often in the education wing and for sure the fish that I don’t land are always bigger than the ones I do land….I think that is just the nature of a fisherman.  Now, here is the part where I tell you how much I love my wife Vickie; I truly do.  She is one of the all-time greats.  She and I are now at 7 years together and I can honestly say that it has been a special time in my life.  We often have conversations about women….for you see, she is in women’s ministry and I am a teacher and frankly much of my day is spent trying to break the code; you know, the one that leaves a guy scratching his head and asking, “What just happened”?

The bottom line is that I (and I believe this goes for all men) don’t have much of a clue as to how the X chromosome functions.  I have truly tried to delve into what makes the entire gender tick…and no matter how hard I try, I just don’t get it!  Now before you set off for your pitchforks and torches let me say this, I love the women in my life and the ones I work with…I accept them for their differences and know for sure that without them our school would be a mess.

When I first met Vickie I couldn’t have imagined that she and I would spend as much time in the outdoors as we do; if you know her…you know she is one feminine little gal and frankly that was one of those things that I was absolutely attracted to.  I was in hopes that we could do things together and that she might actually understand all those slobbering dogs that line up in my garage looking for a pat on the head and wondering when their next meal would be.  I still remember our first trip to Nebraska; dad, Harrison, Jonas, me…and Vickie…oh, and my 5 Shorthairs and guns and the smells and….well, you get the picture.  We were gone about 6 days and I am still proud of the fact that one glorious November afternoon I talked her into taking my 28 gauge shotgun and walking a fencerow in search of a pheasant.  We walked about a half mile in total; the dogs pointed  6 roosters, Vickie shot at each one of them…and then it happened, the last bird took one lone pellet in the head and wobbled down where it was quickly retrieved by Cedar.  I had to carry the gun and the bird (but not Vickie) the half mile back to the truck and it was and will be, the only time I ever held hands in a pheasant field.

The two of us have spent countless hours in our camper and we both love…absolutely love, our time together in our little Rockwood Roo.  Our most hallowed times have been in Missouri where I get up early, make a pot of coffee for her, fish until noon, make my way back to the camper, have a little lunch and settle in to watch the Walton’s.  We have watched the first 5 season’s together while in our camper and we both have come to agree that these Walton’s are like comfort food in the winter…they relax both of us and I find myself going back, many years to when I followed my grandparents around our farm in Stanford.  No one can tell a story like John Boy!

Water has always had a strange effect on me and still I am the most comfortable when I am on or in water…and only feel better about the fly-fishing when I have Vickie along in her kayak.  I must admit that at first she tried and maybe even liked to fish a little herself but in the past few years her days fishing have dwindled down to zero.  She jumps in her kayak and paddles around; usually into the wind whereby she will float down wind while reading a book or maybe even painting her nails.  She doesn’t know it but I like to keep an eye on her most of the time…I am not worried, just like to keep an eye on her.

The Outdoors has become a place of serenity for both of us and having someone to share the camping, water and nature with is special.  Now comes the most honest and bitter truth that I have figured out in the last year; while I know she loves me, there are two things that matter the most and these two things have made me a very useful man in our household, yep, you  guessed it…I am around to kill spiders and open pickle jars!  I am OK knowing that this is my skillset; you see it makes me worthy of the great love and affection that I get. So…guys, the next time your ego starts to swell and you contemplate how great you are, just remember that without insects and glass jars we would be worth far less.  I hope that you too have a great partner in your life that you can share the amazing moments with…all while Enjoying the Great Outdoors.

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