BAYLEY: In my 11 years with Scott (we started dating when I was 18 and he was 21) I have caught trout, bream, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, red eye bass, catfish, gar, red fish, blue fish, pinfish, lady fish, sheep head, black tip shark, blue runners, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel & pompano … Just to name a few. ALL made possible by my ever-faithful all knowing fishing teacher and guide, Scott.
Before meeting Scott I was no fisherwoman, however I learned right away that if I wanted to keep him around I better learn fast. It wasn’t long before I started taking my own fish off the hook and had my first experience with ‘bass thumb’—I think this is what did it for Scott—he was hooked (on me)!! Picking up fishing was easy; I absolutely love, am crazy about, come alive beyond what I can put into words, just being outside. Fishing gives me this outlet (football on the other hand, Scott’s other love, I can do without). I often joke about being a squirrel in another life simply because I feel so at home being in the outdoors… wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a tree!? While I don’t believe it possible for me to ever feel as deeply about fishing as Scott, I am thankful that it has given us a wonderful thing to do together. We’ve spent COUNTLESS hours on various lakes, ponds, rivers and seas – for this I am grateful.
Scott and I are very much in a transitional phase of life right now, or hell, all off life is probably a transitional phase, but I am finally coming to terms with this being okay and learning to be content with the transitions and the unknowns. I am so far from really settling into this but I try – really really hard – and when I can’t seem to make peace with it (which is often) I get to the park as quickly as I can to get in a good run. This is my happy place. Watching my husband navigate though this season has been a struggle but an honor. Typically, I believe that we humans are a hardheaded, prideful, stubborn group, so getting to observe someone so willing to grow and accept the “crap” in life is an absolutely beautiful thing. Of course there’s been plenty of tearful days filled with frustration but ultimately I am thankful the “ups” that always seem the follow the “downs.”
We’re not quite sure where this whole blog thing is going to lead us, but for now it’s giving us an excuse to fish more …
For a long time it was my escape and at times it still is. Growing up it was my medication. I feel God gave me this as a gift. I am lucky to have something that at times frees me from myself. I still am a mess in those childlike moments but things tend to make a little more sense. I am sure you have heard people say “God moments;” moments where you truely try to explain them but you can not. They are yours and yours alone. You try so hard to invite people in, with big words, excitement, over the top hand gestures and maybe even a raised tone. But those moments are yours and sometimes someone relates or feels a small twinge but its not the same. Thats what I partially am fishing for… Those few fleeting moments that drop you to your knees, chill your spine, or maybe bring you a tear. Those few times are what get me through a lot of the “ho-hummness” of life.
There are certain days the wind will carry the smell of trout fishing as a kid in Boone, North Carolina from across the yard I am working in in the form of a plant or grassy weed. To this day I can not figure out what plant or weedy growth produces these memories but its there, and its alive in my mind.
I wanted to do a blog for a number of reasons: spending time with my wife, sharing my passion while giving me an outlet, and mainly giving me permission to fish more. I enjoy stories and the bridges they create. I love hearing about peoples lives and what gets them out of bed on those hard days. I truely feel lucky to have something I can still get excited about. The older I get the more real that becomes. At this point in my life I am trying to get back to the things that make me tick. I think of it like an old stuffed animal that has been pushed into the back corner of the closet. One eye is missing, half the stuffing is gone, maybe has a smell to it you are not sure you like. Accepting the way I was made has never been easy for me but I am in the beginning stages of it. I heard someone say once, something about being perfectly imperfect, makes sense I guess. Fish, nature, water and all the aromas, I will take it any way I can get it. I need it.