Thursday, November 25, 2010

7 Things to Be Thankful For Today (Part IV)

7 Things to Be Thankful For Today (Part IV)

For the Fourth consecutive year--2007's Missive is Here, 2008's Follow Up is Here, and 2009's is here
--I present to you the 7 Things to be Thankful For Today.

1) Patience. It has been a trying time around the Larson household of late. Surgery on my mouth, three operations on my foot, a wife in the hospital with pneumonia, a family with the flu all at's been as rough of a four month span as I can ever remember from a health standpoint. But I've rediscovered the lost art of patience. I am behind on virtually everything in my life, from grading term papers to books, but rather than stress out over this and produce less than adequate work, I've come to the realization that all things will come with time. I can't make up for eight lost weeks of work in one day, or one week, or one month. But it will be made up for, with patience.

2) Books. I love books. That goes without saying, considering I spend virtually all my non-teaching time editing, laying out, preflighting, stocking, shipping, and promoting books for the Whitefish Press. But I do this because of my deep and unabiding love of books themselves. Every week I seem to discover hidden gems, from the writings of Irish novelist Maurice Walsh to the wonderfully hand-written work of John Betts. So many books, so little time. But without an hour snatched here or there to read, I would go insane.

3) Kindness. I was overwhelmed with the number of people who wrote me after my little missive about my father was published. I was so happy that other people enjoyed it, and took time write me about their own experiences with their own fathers. Many of these people I did not know, but were kind enough to take time to tell me their stores. Kindness, the most underrated of all human actions.

4) ORCA. I've been a member of ORCA about a decade, but in that time it has grown to become a part of my life. I love the NFLCC (as those who've read my previous missives know) but I also love ORCA and fishing reels. I am not one who believes you have to have allegiance to one or the other. They both, in their own way, promote our hobby and heritage in the same way. But ORCA's primary focus is fishing reels, and there is no other place quite like it. So many intelligent, analytical minds, it is a great organization and one that I recommend highly to anyone who has even a passing interest in reels and fishing history.

5) Vintage Rods. I love old rods of all kinds. I started collecting 19th century non-bamboo wooden rods a long time ago, then naturally moved into the realm of the split cane rod, which has become a passion. I enjoy researching the history of metal rods, too. Lately I've taken a deep interest in something I fished my whole life, which is fiberglass fly rods. Maybe some day I'll be interested in graphite and composite rods, too. But regardless, I encourage everyone to take an old rod fishing. It was what it was built for...which brings me to my next point.

6) Fishing with Vintage Tackle. I've become more and more interested in fishing with vintage tackle, something I've done since my childhood. In fact, I rarely fish any other way any more. I encourage everyone in 2011 to rig up an inexpensive vintage rod and reel, tie on a beater plug, and give it a shot. You'd be surprised how gratifying your first fish on vintage gear can be!

7) Family. Although I cannot be with all my family this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for having a mother, father, and five brothers and sisters and their families in my life. Family is the rock upon which we build our lives, and I could not be more thankful for my own family, as I hope you are for yours, too.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

-- Dr. Todd

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