There are two words that in my vocabulary do not go together. Wintertime and fun. I look out my window at the January -3 degree day beginning to take shape and I do not feel the fun. I no longer have that urge to run out, make a snow angel and freeze my backside off. I do not appreciate the exhilaration of breathing in subzero air until my lungs begin to crystalize. I do however feel we all need to get out in the winter just enough to really appreciate indoor activities. One particular winter activity I know is on the horizon for our household.
Apart from waiting until the temperatures rise enough to pry the ice off the inside of the windows to get them open just a few inches to let in some fresh air, or putting together a jig saw puzzle picturing some far off land that I will never see in person, (I am a realist), the next best winter time activity I enjoy watching is my husband cleaning his tackle box. It is quite an entertaining production. I have tried to figure out just what the attraction is for this endeavor. After he is finished and all is said and done it looks exactly the same as when he started. Oh there may be a few scraps of cellophane packaging to be thrown away that were covering snelled hooks. Whatever snelled hooks are! But I am getting way ahead of myself. Here is my story and I’m of course sticking to it.
Sometimes it begins like this. He will ask if we have plans for the evening. Then I come back with, “Well other than the queen stopping by for tea and crumpets, no, and by the way could you pick up that hair ball in front of the couch?” In other words no special events are on our calendar, so here it comes… He then proceeds with his pre-cleaning activities. Beginning with the major event of going out to the shed, garage, RV, truck and spare room to gather up all the fishing do dads that he has purchased in the last who knows how long, just because you can never have enough red and black feathered hooks and rainbow Power Bait, with and without glitter. Now please know that I love my husband. There, it’s out there for all to see. If I did not would I allow the fish scale covered box in to the living room? The green monster spattered with old dried fish blood and filled to overfull with hooks and sinkers and pliers and knives and line and on and on and on. Of course not.
Okay, so the box has made its entrance to our living space. Swell. Now his whole cleaning procedure is very methodical. You can’t just dump it upside down and start at the bottom, like I do with my purse about once in a blue moon. No the tackle box is revered, I sometime feel as though I should bow as it comes in the house as passes by me. But I do not pay homage to idle idols. Steering my boat back into the main channel…
He strips old line off the reels, his and mine. I do not know how to do this even after over thirty years of watching. I am given the task of holding the pencil onto which the new reel of line is perched while he reels and reels new line onto, you guessed it, the reels. I am one fine pencil holding, line unreeling woman!
He checks the quantity of sinkers hooks, lures, eggs, crickets, plastic worms, flies, (these only come out when there is no wind). Lines up jars of bait; a rainbow of colors and a culinary delightful array of smells and choices. Sharpens the guttin’ knife, (now that’s a knife), and straightens the hooks on the stringer; that wonderful chain thing with hooks that you put up through the fish gills and out through their mouth so that they will not get away, uh float away since they have already been clonged on their little fishy heads.
We really use our house. I have had guns repaired on the dining room table, car parts examined in the kitchen and washed in the dishwasher, plants planted and treated for a fungus among us problem, had cats, once 6 at a time, neutered in the kitchen, (what a great vet) and even raised lambs in the living room, oh, in a waterproof enclosure of course. All these things and the tackle box cleaning affair make our house a home.
As you are sitting there reading, look around, what all has happened in your home? Lots I’m betting.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.