May 8, 2009
Mother's Day Mutt
It may surprise some of you to know that the person who is responsible for Mother's Day was never a mother, but simply a woman who had a lot of determination and loved her mother very much.
Anna M. Jarvis was a school teacher who never married, and when her mother became ill she took care of her for fifteen years. After her mother died in 1905, Anna wanted to find a way to honor her mother's memory and came up with the idea of the holiday.
Anna obtained a copyright for the name "Mother's Day" from the U.S. Patent Office, and after years of letter writing and speeches, President Woodrow Wilson signed the holiday into effect in 1914.
I, like Anna, have never had children, but I am mom to a spoiled Maltese male dog named Shoebe.
Shoebe Dawg came in to my life when he was only two hours old.
It was the day after Christmas at 9 a.m. in 2001. Being one of nine puppies, only seven of which lived, his mom Suzie obviously didn't have enough milk for the entire litter, hence the phone call to me.
My friend called me to come over and see the many new miracles that had just arrived at her house.
I knew better.
I should never have gone.
But I did.
I put my hand in the box.
He weakly crawled onto my palm, and the rest is eight years of doggie tales that would surely make you roll your eyes if I got started.
He made the moves from Arkansas to Alabama to Florida with me when I took the job with BASS.
He lay right beside the couch in fingertip's reach all four days I thought I would die from the flu.
He is my best friend and has taught me a lot about patience and acceptance.
Waiting on me all day to get home is really no different than trying for hours to catch that big bass off the bed. It takes lots of patience.
Acceptance in the fact that when my suitcase rolls into the living room I will be leaving for at least a week, is not much different from me watching the storms roll in over tournament waters knowing full well there is nothing I can do to change it.
Patience and acceptance, my mom taught me those things, too, but my furry little friend has helped to remind me how important they are in everyday life.
Here's wishing each one of you a wonderful Mother's Day however you may spend it.
Patiently awaiting the next tournament....
Accepting the fact that the Arkansas River is currently not cooperating....
(Happy Mother's Day, Mom)
April 14, 2009
Smoothing Out the Wrinkles
When I was growing up in the in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, I never really realized at the time just how lucky I was to be doing so next door to both sets of grandparents.
I was privy to years of first hand knowledge from people who had actually lived through the history we read about today.
One grandmother told me about her adventures as a school teacher in a one room school house. She shared her account of the excitement that swept through the county when Lindbergh flew the Atlantic in 1927 and the wonder she felt when she watched Halley's Comet for the first time in 1910, and again when we watched it together in 1986.
The other spun yarns about her trip to Oklahoma in a covered wagon, and how she drew a picture of a cat over her front door in the 1930s to let hobos know they were welcome to stop for a hot meal if any food was left.
Though both were wonderful storytellers, I have to say of the two, my grandmother Addie, the hobo sympathizer, was the best. Most of her stories she told while doing her daily chores like rolling out a pie crust, or washing dishes, but her favorite chore of all was ironing.
She would hum, sprinkle starch, and press for hours on end, all the while telling wonderful stories about her youth.
I asked her one day why she enjoyed the seemingly laborious mundane task of ironing so much. She just smiled and said, "Laundry is like life, it can have a lot of wrinkles. Some are deep rooted and serious which take a lot more effort to smooth out, while others fade like a whisper. Smoothing out the wrinkles reminds me that regardless of how deep a problem may seem, with the proper effort, there is no problem that cannot be solved."
In my job as Tournament Director, I smooth out a lot of wrinkles. It may be as simple as listening to an angler with regard to something personal going on in her life at the time, to disqualifying one for whatever rules infraction may have occurred.
It is my hope that each of you know, regardless of the depth of the crease in your wrinkle, together we will find a way to smooth it out.
Next week April 23, we will be on the Ouachita River, which in Choctaw means "hunt big." I hope that river holds true to its name.
Here's wishing you big fish, deep waters and shallow wrinkles.
'Til then, I've got some more ironing to do.