Rockin’ the Boat

Grampa Jim was a loving and kind man who did anything he could for us.  He was slim and short, only five foot two inches tall.  His hair was grey and thin.  He sported a neatly trimmed mustache.  On the left side of his face, right in front of his ear, he had a lump nearly the size of a golf ball.   He never worried about the lump even though he looked funny with it.  It never hurt him or bothered him in any way.

My wish to go fishing got through to him, and he agreed to take me to Little Paw-Paw Lake to fish from a boat.  Dad dropped us off.  Grampa never owned a car nor did he know how to drive, but he always got to where he wanted to go by walking, and asking for rides.

The lake comes up to the front door of the house next to the road. The owner rented row boats.  Little Paw-Paw is unique in that power boats are forbidden. The result is that there are no water skiers or speed boats tearing up the lake.   The lake is small, serene, and quiet.  There are houses on the lake, but much of the shoreline is still wild and undeveloped.  Gramps and I rented a boat, and I rowed out into the lake with my gear and a can full of worms.  The water was smooth as glass. Only the wake of our boat and paddles disturbed it.  Occasionally, a fish jumped nearby with a huge splash; making my adrenalin flow.

A third of the way across the lake we stopped and set the anchor.  I baited my hooks and swung out the bobber.  I used the bamboo pole that Grampa Jim bought for me. I waited patiently for the bobber to dip.  Here I was, fishing in the middle of the lake, in deep water.  Oh how I had dreamed of this moment.  I envisioned pulling in lots of fish when out in the deep waters.  With all the fish jumping around us, I thought we’d see non-stop action; nothing happened.  After awhile, I pulled up anchor and rowed to the lily pads near the shore.  I read that fish lurked in lily pads.  This time, we anchored about 30 feet from shore at the edge of the lily pads.  We’re going to fill the boat with fish at this spot, I thought.  Again, there were no bites; not a single one.  Gramps started to get antsy.  I was not a swimmer, so sitting in a boat was exciting enough for me.  The least little bobble of the boat terrified me.

Gramps couldn’t take it any longer, his bladder was aching.  Suddenly the boat began rocking and rolling as Grampa Jim stood up.  I hung on for dear life with visions of drowning.  I hollered at him to sit down, but nature called him.  He stood up straight, turned away from me, and took a whiz.  I sat there holding on for dear life. He rocked the boat again when he sat down. I was frozen with terror.

It turned out that Grampa Jim’s whiz was the most excitement I had that day.  I didn’t get a single bite during four hours of fishing. Dad came to pick us up, and asked how we did.

“There are no fish in this lake,” I responded. Grampa Jim didn’t say a word.

Tough Old Bird

Grampa Jim’s daily ritual to Fish Corners often left him coming home after dark.  He socialized with anyone who came in and sat down with him.  He sat at a favorite table, and everyone in the area knew him.  It was almost as though he was the township Godfather.

Most of the time, he got a home, but one summer night Gramps had to walk.  His house was a long quarter mile away along a desolate road.  There are only two houses between the tavern, and the farm; both of them are immediately behind Fish Corners.  After that, the woods grew out to the road.  The side opposite the woods is farm field void of any buildings.

Gramps walked with traffic in the dark.  On this night a car came up behind him, and hit him. It dragged him for three hundred feet before the driver stopped. Fortunately, the driver sought help. An ambulance took him to the closest hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan; a hundred and fifty miles away.

I was eight years old, and I remember mom getting a call at our home in Chicago. It was the hospital; her father was critical, and not expected to survive.

Mom talked it over with dad, and left for Ann Arbor, by train, the next day.  She stayed as long as she could and came home after a week.  She expected to receive a call that he passed away.  Mom was very upset, and cried allot.

A week later I came home from school, and who was sitting there, but my seventy-two year old grandfather.  He had a lot of abrasions on his arms, legs, and head. Otherwise, he looked good.

Gramps told us that the doctors were planning to experiment on him, and he had to get out of there.  He kept repeating over, and over that they were planning to kill him.

He survived for many more years, but did have a skin problem after that. We often saw him applying hot wet cloths soaked in boric acid solution to his arms and legs.  He always blamed his itching skin on that accident.

Fish Story

Grampa Jim finally relented and agreed to take sis and me fishing.  He bought each of us a bamboo pole with heavy green line, hooks, and a bobber.  I filled a tin can with loose soil and dug worms from the ditch. We were set.

The day finally arrived to go fishing. Dad dropped us off  at the boat launch on Paw-Paw Lake.  The DNR had carved a channel from the lake to a point near the road where they created a sand-ramp and parking lot.  The channel formed an island, and the water circulated from the lake back into the lake.

We set up on the bank to catch our supper.  The big adventure soon became a big bore.  We caught a few small blue gills and kept them on a stringer.  By late afternoon Gramps must have gotten more bored than we were and he went tramping off into the bush.  He came back a little while later with a long stick that he cut from a willow bush.  He made a pole so he could show us how to fish. Instead of sliding a worm on his hook, he cut up a bluegill.  He said, “ if you want to catch a big fish, you have to use some real bait.”  I did the same with my pole and Sis’ too.

We were tired of holding the poles by hand, and Gramps showed us how to prop them on a rock so we could sit by the pole and watch the bobber. Just then, Dad came to pick us up.

We were telling him all about the day when my bobber went under, and the line started moving.  I grabbed the pole just as the line went tight, and the pole bent over.  Whatever was on the end was huge.  Dad got so excited that he ran up behind me, and put his arms around me to help.  He was afraid that the “fish” would pull me in.  I was pulling on the pole with all my might.  The pole was bent 180º and the fish was pulling hard to get off.  Then, in a flash, there was a huge splash. The line snapped and sent me and dad over backwards.  We didn’t even hit the ground when the second pole went down with the bobber out of sight.  Dad ran over to help Sis.  This time there was no splash.  Dad just reached around Sis and pulled hard on the pole; the line snapped. They fell over backwards.  In the meantime, Grampa Jim watched the whole thing. He told us that the splash was a huge fish jumping to shake the hook.  Instead he broke the line.  None of us saw what hit the second pole.

Needless to say, the boredom turned into an adrenalin rush.  I think dad and gramps were more excited than Sis or I.   My excitement turned into anger for letting the fish of my life get away.  Grampa told the story many times over, and each time the fish got bigger, and bigger, and bigger.

Jackin Up The “A”

One of Grampa Jim’s closest friends was Mr Toth, a Hungarian farmer from down the road. His friend worked in the pickle canning factory in Coloma, and he farmed too. Mr. Toth was a character who excited easily, and cursed incessantly in Hungarian. I never understood what he was saying, but I knew he was swearing. He ranted and raved and called people names.  The crowd at Fish Corners knew him well. They often played tricks on him just to see him get excited.

I remember watching a prank played on him.  Grampa Jim and his buddy arrived at Fish Corners in Mr. Toth’s Model A: a daily ritual for the two of them.  He pulled up next to the gas pump, ran a gallon of gas into the tank, and went in the store to pay. Of course they had to have a beer too.

Fish Corners was a 1950’s version of today’s Gas City.  This family run business consisted of a small grocery store, an auto service station, and a tavern. Grampa walked through the store into the tavern, and sat at his favorite table on the edge of the dance floor. They nursed a beer, and cajoled with friends.

While they talked, the pranksters went to work. Two older boys put a jack under the rear axle of the Model-A. They lifted it  just enough so the wheels would spin without grabbing. Everyone, at the store, saw what was happening, and many of them waited around to see the outcome.

They came out and got into car; started it up, put it in gear, and let out the clutch.  The car didn’t move. Mr. Toth got out swearing to himself. He looked around. Everything seemed okay so he tried again. The swearing got stronger. The motor was running, but the car didn’t move.  Mr. Toth sent Grampa Jim  to watch the wheels. He put the car in gear again. Gramps bent over to watch. He saw the wheels turning. The swearing got really loud. A very red-faced, Mr. Toth jumped out of the car ranting, and kicking the gravel.  I picked out Hungarian words like Jesus, God, mother, saint, and heaven. All were mixed with words I heard often, but didn’t understand. This time, he found the jack. He raised his arm and shook his fist as he ran toward the store. All the while he ranted in Hungarian. His face was purple, and the veins in his jugular stuck out; boy was he mad. Everyone at Fish Corners laughed hysterically. Grampa Jim stood back and laughed too.

Words of Wisdom

“I don’t like it”, I said, when Mom put something on the table.  Most of the time, if I didn’t like the way a dish looked, I hated it immediately.  When Grampa Jim over heard my complaint, he said,

“If you were hungry, you would eat rusty nails.”

I don’t think I have to interpret that one. Grampa Jim, Mom, and Dad too, all came from very poor families. They often went hungry for lack of food.

Mom served potatoes often, but Dad would not eat them.  We asked him why?  His reply was “I ate enough potatoes in the old country.”

He was sixteen when he left Hungary to come to America. That means his diet must have been all potatoes for siixteen years. What else could kill his appetite for more?

Grampa Jim’s Advice

Grampa Jim  didn’t have a formal education, but he was wise.  His favorite advice to us, spoken in Hungarian was this:

“If someone hands you money, accept it graciously.

If someone approaches you with a stick in his hand,

run like hell!”

Orchid Care

My Earthly Connection to Barb

Grumpa Joe has entrusted you with the almost impossible task of caring for a phaleanopsis  orchid plant. Here are the rules:

  1. Remember, the total dollar value of this plant is zero. I paid less than twenty dollars for it, and I received more than that in enjoyment while it bloomed in our house. Your mom’s orchid is another matter. I have taken care of it for nine years, and it has bloomed every year. As long as the plant lives, she is closer to me. That plant is priceless.
  2. It is very hard to kill an orchid, but you can do it if you are too diligent, and over water it.
  3. Orchids are air plants. Their roots do not like to be immersed in water. That is why there are holes in the pot. The roots need oxygen to survive.
  4. The roots don’t always grow in the pot. Often they grow out of the main stem into the air and look like green worms looking for a meal.  That is normal.
  5. The dangling roots will become desiccated on the ends. If so, don’t worry. They all do in an indoor environment in the winter. Mom’s orchid has survived since 2001 in a dry house.
  6. Orchids like lots of daylight, but don’t like a burning sunshine and heat. Any window in your house during the winter is fine. They survive cool nights, and moderate days (60-80 F).
  7. If the plant is too slow to bloom, it may need more light. Don’t sweat it, move it to a new spot with more light if you can. If it’s in the best place you have, be patient.
  8. The orchid you are taking care of is near blooming. If it does bloom, you will have blossoms for at least three months. Enjoy the bloom.
  9. Here are the secrets:
    1. Keep water in the pebbles. The pebbles make a mini-eco-system of humidity.
    2. Give the plant a cup of water weekly.
    3. Every week or two, place the plant in the kitchen sink, and run a spray of tepid (warm) water over the entire thing for five minutes. This re-dampens the media in the pot, and the orchid thinks it is back in the rain forest where its relatives grew up. The sink thing is watery mess, and requires some floor mopping .
    4. Before you take it out of the sink, pour water with fertilizer over the entire plant. Cover the leaves, the roots, and the potting media. Let it drain for a minute then put it back on its pebble base. Fill the pebbles with water.

To make fertilizer use this formula:

  1. In a gallon jug, place 1/8 teaspoon of the mix I have provided. (30-10-10) into the jug.
  2. Fill the jug with warm (not hot) water.
  3. Pour over the plant.
  4. One jug of mix makes two uses. If not, so be it.

Take time to smell the flowers

(These orchids don’t have an aroma.)

Success Inspirers World

Land of opportunity where everyone is given an opportunity to grow

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others

Remember The 14 Words

We Must Secure The Existence Of Our People And A Future For White Children

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Henry Game

The Next Testament

Reclaim Our Republic

Knowledge Is Power

Grumpa Joe's Place

My Flag Flies Everyday

Gamintraveler

Love, Travel Lifestyle and Destinations

summershaffer

A topnotch WordPress.com site

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

blogsense-by-barb

at the Re-Birth of America!

The Honking Goose

something to honk about

The Dangers of Allah

Confused about Islam, Muslims, Taqiyya, Kitman, The Islamic State, and Sharia? I've spent 14 years studying these confused beings.  They are not at all what they want us to believe, especially those who are ruled by al Qaeda , ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as those who commit overt and covert Jihad while practicing Sharia tortures upon women

dancingczars.wordpress.com/

“ The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility. ” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

THE WAKING GIANT

United States Second Amendment Pitbull

Caustic Synergy

United and alone in the world

ELLIOT LAKE News

Road To Political INcorrect Constructs & Forbidden Knowledge -- Yours To Discover

tutorials4view

Watch free tutorials in Full HD (1080p) quality video tutorials, sorted by subjects, like: Photoshop, Gimp, Facebook, Torrents, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Viruses and malware removal ( like ask,com, vqo6, Babylon ) and more and more.. If you like our tutorials and guided, please SUBSCRIBE to out channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ShaiSoft - tutorials4view.

Aspiring Conservative

Conservative blog with articles about today's politics!

Conservative Kentucky

Reality From my Perspective

Creeping Sharia

Documenting the Islamization of America

Hearing Aid News

HEAR it HERE first! The latest on developments in hearing aids and the hearing industry.

Socialism is not the Answer

Limited Government Is

John SterVens' Tales

Thee Life, Thee Heart, Thee Tears