Thursday, November 24, 2011

7 Things to be Thankful For This Year

For the Fifth consecutive year--2007's Missive is Here, 2008's Follow Up is Here, 2009's is here, and 2010 is here.

7 Things tot be Thankful For Today (Part V)

1) Endurance. Last year my number one thankful thing was patience; this year it is endurance, as in the human ability to endure difficult times and difficult circumstances. The past sixteen months brought a termendous amount of stress into the Larson household, including one very, very frightening cancer scare. It has reminded me that the phrase, "This, too, shall pass" is meaningful on multiple levels.

2) Loyalty. In times of stress, you find out who your friends really are. In 2011, it was never made more apparent to me that loyalty is perhaps the single most prized character trait of all. There are many who will stand by you in good times, but those who offer friendship, advice, and amity in hard times are those worth spending time with.

3) Daughters. You could easily substitute sons for daughters here, or children if you have multiple kids. My daughter is turning 12 and she is a downright blast to be around. Funny, inquisitive, smart, sensitive, and caring, she is a wonder and a joy in my life. When I look at her I think only of how proud she makes me every day.

4) Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines. I recently had the great honor of completing a book about a gentleman named Lt. Commander Joel Stewart, who went to Iraq in 2005 and founded the Baghdad School of Fly Fishing and Angler's Club. Delving into the book, it continually reminded me of the many freedoms we have here -- freedoms that are protected by American men and women (all volunteers) against implacable enemies who seek to undo everything the nation stands for. Some, like local Cincinnati area Soldier Matt Maupin, gave their lives. We shouldn't wait until Memorial Day to remember their sacrifices.

5) Terminal Tackle. The older I get, the more that "bottom of the tackle box" items intrigue me. Sure, certain items of terminal tackle like bobbers, line spools and fish hooks are widely popular, but a whole host of other items--sinkers, swivels, scalers, stringers, tackle boxes, priests, nets, etc.--are fascinating and a virtually virgin world for collectors and researchers. So much fun!

6) Historically Important Fishing Ephemera. I've really gotten into historically important fishing ephemera lately. It's one of the finest sources of information on the many companies that made and sold tackle. It's been great watching fishing ephemera become more and more popular of late. For a long time, it was only catalogs that got interest, but with some letterheads going for $200 or more, it's really attracted a lot of attention to the whole ephemera field.

7) The Readers of this Blog. I can't thank you -- YES YOU, who's reading this right now -- enough for stopping by every now and then and reading what we have to say on the subject of fishing and fishing history. We take that obligation seriously. Now, I can't say that it's easy to provide content every day -- some days its downright brutal -- but with the help of Bill Sonnett and the occasional guest writer, we've managed to provide ORIGINAL content for over 1000 consecutive days without a break. That's pretty impressive. We've also turned down several hundred (unsolicited) opportunities for advertising. Not that we're against making money, but the fact is I never saw this as a way to make money, but rather wanted it to be a place where we could share information without being bombarded by pop-up ads and links to spam sites.

So, for our fifth Thanksgiving, we are thankful for many things, but above all else, for the readers of our humble blog.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and as always, be good to each other -- and most of all, be good to yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

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