Thursday, November 26, 2009

7 Things to be Thankful For Today (Once Again)

7 Things to be Thankful For Today (Once Again)

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

1) Health. It's been a really terrible couple of months around here, which reinforces a salient fact about life: nothing else matters if you do not have your health. Seriously. I was once told by a theologian that the one thing in the world we cannot truly comprehend is our own mortality. In our minds, we are all going to live forever. Well, no one lives forever, but while you're here on earth, you better start taking care of yourself or you'll be checking out sooner rather than later. As men, we are accustomed to living through aches and pains, but there are some things (lumps, for examples), that need to be checked out immediately by a qualified physician. Putting this off may very well mean the difference between living and dying. Without your health, you have nothing...

2) Vintage Magazines. I've developed an unhealthy obsession with old sporting magazines. I just can't get enough of them. The layout, the writing, the ads, the photos--all of it is fuel for my addiction. Problem is, they take up a ton of room. But every time I've been stressed out this year, I was able to lose myself (and my cares) inside the pages of great magazines. So I continue buying them, and I continue to get lost in their pages.

3) Wild Bill Sonnett.. There have been many people who've helped out with the blog over the years, but no one has contributed as much or as high a quality of stuff as our own Wild Bill Sonnett. My God folks. I hope you realize every one of the "Deconstructing Old Ads" that Bill does is like sitting in on a graduate lecture on old tackle. Bill didn't learn this stuff staring at eBay photos. He built up his knowledge over decades of research and writing -- he was writing articles about Heddon before anyone knew what the internet was. So when you see Bill, give him a big thank you for taking the time to educate the rest of us from his seemingly limitless font of information (and ads).

4) Fishing With Daughters. I can't speak to having sons, but I do know about having daughters. And very little on earth beats fishing with your daughter. In fact, almost nothing at all. It is one of the joys of my year when I can get out on the lake with my nine-year old daughter and share with her my love of the outdoors.

5) Dogs. This year we welcomed a dog into our humble abode for the first time--a rescue dog at that. He's half long-haired dachsund and half Australian cattle dog, which basically makes him a cartoon character come to life. He's ridiculous, in a good way. He was basically bred to be abused in a pit bull fighting ring, and when we got him, he was emaciated and incredibly skeptical of humans in general. He has slowly come to trust us, and now I can't believe I lived so long without a dog. We named him "Gandhi" because he simply would not hurt a fly. He has enriched all of our lives.

6) Collector Friends. I've made friends in many areas of life -- school, church, work, etc. But the best people I know are anglers, and the best anglers I know study and appreciate old tackle. Through my 25+ years of collecting tackle and writing about fishing, I've been blessed to meet some of the greatest people on earth. I've also met a few jackasses, but that goes without saying. They are, after all, just about everywhere. The vast majority of anglers and collectors are salt of the earth.

7) A REALLY, REALLY Patient Wife. It is not easy to be married to an angler (there's a reason why the term "Weekend Widow" became popular), but when an angler becomes a collector...well, I probably don't have to tell you about that. Try explaining a $500 (or more) antique fishing tackle purchase to someone who isn't married to a collector and they will look at you like you sprouted horns. It isn't reasonable, or even sane, to the rest of the world. But my wife is patient beyond words with me, and for that, I am now and forever grateful. You see, like all angler's (and collector's) wives, she gets me. She understands why I can get so excited just by seeing something on the internet I have to call 10 people. She doesn't blink an eye when the mailman has to make special stops to drop off all the packages. She doesn't even get that angry when I leave empty boxes and packaging material lying on the floor. Strike that. She does get angry when I do that. But you get the point. Patient, forgiving partners--I wish one for all of you.

This is what I'm thankful for. How about you?

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

-- Dr. Todd

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