Fishing and Sunrise

The Wegner farm had a total of 120 acres.  Of those acres, about 40 were lake and woods.  My dad liked the wooded area for hunting squirrel and trapping.  I had many meals of fried squirrel in my childhood.  Dad cut wood to heat the house in the winter and usually took his rifle with him.  Mom said that when she heard shots, she knew we would have squirrel for supper.

We lived with my paternal grandfather.  The land was homesteaded by him and his brother homesteaded an adjoining 100 acres.  Grandpa raised geese and ducks that swam on the lake.  We ate them too.  My mom learned how to bake with duck and goose eggs from Grandpa. Of course, he kept ganders and drakes so that new ducklings and goslings hatched out in the spring.  One of the highlights of my girlish days was to board our rowboat in the evening and fish with Grandpa.  It seemed that we almost always had a few fish for eating swimming in the stock tank.  That’s where we kept our catch.

All those were reminders of what someone posted on Facebook yesterday.  The writer spoke of a time when he was seven years old.  I quote him:

“Went to the mailbox this morning and seen the sun rising over the horizon, triggered a memory from 50 years ago, I was 7, Randy E. took me fishing and he brought donuts and chocolate milk and we went before sunrise and seen the daybreak, it is still indelible in my memory, we went two or three times in the family pond, take a child fishing this summer.  PS and I was doing the teaching.” 

Take a child fishing.  I don’t know why Grandpa bothered to take me fishing.  He had to bait the hook, and he carefully took the fish off the hook.  I did help him dig worms.  My grandfather was never hurried.  I have no idea what conversations we had.  Grandpa and I, we were quite a pair.  Psalm 8:2 says, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength. . .”  I don’t know what I taught Grandpa, but we sure did love each other.  Maybe it was the quiet love we shared that encouraged him in his aging days.  He didn’t do the difficult work anymore.  Grandpa and I took care of each other when we went fishing.  Men, take a child fishing.


Thanks to my Facebook friend who allowed me to use his post.



  1. Glenda

    Such a lovely memory, both from you and your friend! My grandfather did not go fishing, but I used to beg my dad to wake me up on Saturday mornings, when he would go fishing with the grandfather of my best friend. One particular Saturday morning, when I was five years old, I just HAD to sample one of the grape jelly and butter sandwiches that “Uncle Dan’l” brought. His wife, “Aunt Tishie,” made wonderful jams and jellies, and I think they might have churned their own butter. Anyway, I picked up that sandwich and bit into it. It was SO STRONG with the taste of the jelly that I couldn’t eat any more of it!! That jelly was SO THICK that it would have made two sandwiches for my tender taste buds! Now, the problem was how to dispose of the rest of it without hurting anyone’s feelings. I nonchalantly took a little walk across the bridge, to a point where I could not see my dad and his friend any longer, and quietly dropped the sandwich into the river. As far as I know, it never drifted back to them, and when I was asked whether I’d like another sandwich, I politely declined and waited till later on, when my dad opened the cans of pork and beans that he had brought. My fishing days were over!!! When I hear preachers or teachers admonishing us to be fishers of men, that memory comes back to me, and I have to wonder whether grape jelly is really the best bait!

  2. How amusing that you remember that from age five. There will be other tales and lessons I will be weaving from my time spent with Grandpa. One I have written down on my quarter sheet reminders is “Picking potato bugs.” I realize now after all these years that my mom took advantage of him and his willingness to take me everywhere on the farm with him. I must have been a trial some times, but if that is so, he never let me know.

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