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Scheduling a day to do nothing

If a person is going to have a day when they are going to accomplish nothing constructive, it has to be planned. Usually, we have the "to do" list that contains everything from building fence or cutting firewood to mowing the lawn.

My wife suggested we have a day of just doing what we wanted to do rather than what needed to be done. A person has to love a woman like that. She suggested we put some hot dogs and the bare necessities in a cooler, load up the dogs and go fishing. Who could argue with such a good plan.

The weather has been too warm to go deer hunting or need firewood. The cows have not gotten out recently, so obviously the fence does not need to be fixed. The lawn is growing, but a person would hate to cut it too short just before winter. Fishing it was.

When the dogs saw the cooler go into the back of the truck, they jumped in and were ready to go. If they see us load the cooler, they are sure the truck is going to the farm. They are usually right. There are things to smell and places to explore as well as having a swim whenever they choose. They like the farm at least as well as we do.

My wife grabbed the fishing gear while I launched the boat and brought it around to the dock. The unusually warm autumn day with a light breeze blowing made for a perfect afternoon on the lake. The fish were not biting too well, but we were having a good time trying.

When Duke started barking, we looked up to see Damon, Amanda and the grandsons coming down the hill. We went in for a quick hot dog and the boys were ready to go fishing. The ladies stayed at the cabin while the four guys went out. We caught a few fish, but not enough to keep us excited about fishing.

The most remarkable fish was caught by Trevor. A tiny, little bass, perhaps two inches long, hit his lure that was also almost two inches long. He felt it hit and thought he had lost a fish until he reeled it in. That is one very aggressive little fish. His eyes were not only bigger than his stomach, his potential meal was as big as he was.

Since the fish were not biting enough to keep his interest, Zane suggested we go back to the truck and get his rifle. We could go frog hunting. He has what is called a Cricket 22 caliber. At seven years old, he is accurate enough, I would not compete with him for money. We had seen several big bullfrogs along the shore so Damon and I decided it might not be a bad plan.

Zane sat in the front of the boat cross-legged, watching and ready. Damon, with the rifle, sat in the middle seat with Trevor. I was in the back, running the motor. Whenever someone spotted a frog, the alarm was given, and I attempted to bring the boat to a complete stop. We made sure the angle of the shot was down and toward the bank when the rifle was handed to Zane. He popped off one frog after another. The rest of us had to ask nicely to get to shoot a frog. Zane was afraid we might miss. He might be right, but it is still fun to try. I only missed once.

We were close to our limit and decided to call it an evening. We went back to Damon's house, cleaned frogs, and fried them up. They were delicious.

My wife and I were glad we had finally chosen a day doing nothing except what we wanted to do. We decided it is good for a person to relax in the outdoors and end the day enjoying food we had harvested from nature.

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.