Sunday, February 1, 2015


This is the first of a series of guest posts from my buddy Chad. He is a great writer, fisherman and father. I hope you enjoy his work and style as much as I do. 

at my worst times, i'm a poor father. impatient, over tired, ill prepared, overwhelmed. deep down, there is that creeping voice that asks you what you'd be doing if you stayed single.  

say its a saturday and the kids are crying in their car seats and you're driving the long way home to hopefully put them to sleep. all of the long ways inevitably lead down country roads that cross the small new england streams that drain my area. iced over for the most part this harsh winter, but all the more appealing for their inaccessibility.  doubly inaccessible here, from the ice and position in life.  

when the children finally fall quiet, you pause on an old bridge to look on the waters. as if you could see a small trout holding in the blue black ink ribbon of water that cuts through the ice shelf on either side. as if that would be enough.  so you sigh and open the window to the rush of the cold air. the wild, free air. letting all that great space into the car and into you. and there, you take that deep sweet breath.

a guy a couple weeks ago was talking about parenting and being a fisherman and all....he says, i mean, i would rather be hanging out with the kids, you know?

and i do know.  yeah, for sure. i agree, 9 out of 10 times.  its that one time man, you need that too.  and deep down, you know it will come again.  and deep down, the patience of a mountain to be learned.  you need that too.


i had too many beers saturday night. stayed up too late. sunday was one of those days i needed the wild air and the free water and couldn't get it. its been a long winter, and my son at two and a half years old has the energy of an animal. he goes hard when i'm feeling soft. he wants to go outside. its 19 degrees when we gear up and get in the front yard. 

he says he wants to throw snowballs. at kids. i smile and feel a little less pooped out. 

how about at trees, can you hit that tree over there?

yeh. i ken. lets do this! i ken hit it. comeondaddy.

i realize of course as he throws ice chunks at the tree that he is having imaginative target practice. that tree is a kid. he is athletic and raw and i wonder when i can have him legitimately throwing a fly line. this summer?

we play trucks. he likes it when one truck gets stuck in the snow and the other truck has to come get it. i like trucks since i can play them laying down in the snow. i'm always stuck and he always comes to get me. he makes the standard child sound of the truck engine, heavy diesel. i like watching his mind turn and work at everything he does. 

we have hydrangea bushes in front of our house and he picks a brown withered bloom. 

hewe. smell it daddy. 

i do.

mmmmmm. that smells so good! you smell it!

now i am forgetting that i am tired. as he leans over and smells the dried head of the flower. 

it smells  he tells me.

what does it smell like, buddy?  i don't understand.

its like. its like...parijima! he repeats. a bit flustered since he can't get his point across. its deep down there in him and i watch him look for the word.  his eyes down, his body slumped slightly, the frustrated pose.

what? i ask again. trying to read between the lines, around them. 

parijima!  he says again. with a letter m.

i then see it. and stop and smell it too. perfume. 

then the parijima blooms so freely that its in thick enough to mow down and haul out in your unstuck dump truck.  from that good work that we do to gather it, we feel our hearts swell.  and i am not at all tired anymore.