One thing I had to learn to ‘let go’ when I became a Fisherman’s Wife was the notion of having anything at all that was not in some way ‘fishy’. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not complaining nearly as much as it probably comes across in writing. There might be a smidgen of fussiness deep down ~ but seriously, 99.9999% of me realizes that this is just a fact of our lives and it just is what it is, and it almost completely doesn’t even phase me.
There is one area that is really wish could remain ‘fish free’ and that is my laundry room. But since that is probably the fishiest fishy place at our house…and since it’s not logistically possible to have that remain a fish free zone, I’ve given that whole issue up in my heart and I just remind myself repeatedly that the smell and the flecks of fish and the scales in my dryer vent are little signs of a paycheck coming that I am most assuredly very, very grateful for.
So just for a little perspective: We pay, each and every month, for 2 slips to keep our 2 boats, and 2 different storage facilities to house all of the myriad of fishing related gear and random items for the boats. We also have 2 garages at our house. Guess what is in them? Now, for honesty’s sake I do have to admit to having much of the garage space for my homeschooling stuff ~ but there is a chest freezer in one that is soley for fish and a good amount of the ‘big garage’ stores all kinds of gear and rope and hooks and lights and other fishy stuff. The side of our house also holds random fishing items (my apologies to my neighbors, I really will move it all eventually).
Of course, the entire house has fishing pictures, fish paperwork, shark’s teeth, fish related sculptures and art and fishing memorabilia. That part I am OK with… but when I am on a roll I like to throw in anything I can come up with.
Why the complaining today you ask? On Monday, we are going to load up my big ol’ SUV with all of us and all of our stuff and go on a little family road trip. I drive in that car everyday with more stuff crammed in it than you can even imagine. I drives me nuts, but I am too distracted/busy/tired to do much about it. So we run errands surrounded by baby wipes, half filled coffee cups, lots of kids books and papers and pens, random toys and Legos (lots and lots and lots of Legos) goldfish crackers (both in a package and ground into my carpet) about 6 zillion tons of dog hair, leashes, bags of random items like sweatshirts and ‘extra’ shoes and shirts, water bottles, junk mail …. yeah, you get the picture.It’s crazy on wheels. BUT…. driving with all 5 of us, on a loooonnnng trip with it that way? NOT. HAPPENING. I will lose my ever lovin’ mind. So, today my to do list included like 10 minutes to run out and remove all the debris from my car so I could go get it washed, then pack it all up with more ‘organized crap’ for our trip. EXCEPT that when I opened the back of my car this morning I found it full of fishing stuff!!! Heavy Fishing Stuff.
I’m deep breathing. I’m reminding myself of how every single fish and fish thing in my life means food on our table. More deep breathing.
Then, I see my Big Guy. Actually I hear him (that super deep voice always comes first) singing some random song and laughing with Anna about something. This is the first morning in many, many, many mornings I haven’t listened as his truck door slams and he pulls out of the driveway well before the sun is up and most of us are still snug in our beds. He’s home for a few hours today. He will still work, of course. He really doesn’t stop, ever. But for a few hours this morning he’s here. And his big voice puts a smile on my face. I shut the back of the car and as I re-adjust the hours in my day, I re-adjust my heart. All this stuff that is all over the place… it is just the remnants of all of his incredibly hard work, and of all of the things he does to take care of us.
I will clean the car out. Late tonight probably. But this morning I will quietly listen to my Big Guy sing and laugh and talk with our kids. We’ll eat some breakfast together. We’ll solve the world’s problems over coffee. We’ll negotiate about who gets the noise cancelling head phones during the road trip. We’ll start to talk about the upcoming Swordfish Season. All of the fishy fish stuff will still be here. But, we won’t really notice.