Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN (04/13/17)
- TITLE: The Glory Hole Report
By Francie Snell
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“The Glory Hole Report says the Crappie are biting,” my husband had announced the previous day. I could hear the boyish excitement in his voice. “Wanna go? We can use the pontoons!”
I paused to envision floating on my own personal pontoon boat. Cautiously I’d maneuver around various rocks and sharp tree branches in hopes of finding a promising place to fish. I’d arrive at what I believed to be the perfect spot. My heart would race as I dropped in my line, with a live worm or minnow impaled on a sharp hook, down into the murky water. And then I’d wait and think about rattlesnakes. Minutes would pass before boredom set in. Then after hours in the hot sun, I’d come to the conclusion that it had all just been a lengthy exercise in futility, ending the day in fishless disappointment.
“No, that’s okay. I’ll go with you and help you get your boat in the water, but I think I’ll just sit on the shore and read a book.”
He frowned. “You sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
As we prepared for his voyage the next day, I eyed the inflatable plastic tube secured around his waist. “Is your life preserver still good? Has it ever been checked?”
He shrugged. “I don’t remember. Should be fine though.”
“How often should they be checked?”
He appeared pensive as he hesitated. “Oh, probably once a year.”
“Really, how long have we had em?”
“About three years.”
As he lifted the heavy battery from the back of the truck, I asked, “Fully charged, right?”
“Yep.” He carried it and attached it to the back of the boat along with the trolling motor.
I pictured him bobbing helplessly in the waves hundreds of feet from shore.
“You remembered the walkie-talkies?”
“OK, well, good. Make sure to watch out for sharp branches,” I insisted with a delicate lilt in my voice.
“Yes dear, I’ll keep my eyes out for snags.” His tone hinted his annoyance.
I nodded with pretend assurance while imagining the faint hiss of air rapidly escaping from the ruptured pontoon.
My attention turned to the squiggly minnow dangling on a hook. My husband’s eyes shined with childlike gladness as he held it up in front of his face. “The Crappie should LOVE this.”
After placing his rods in their appointed holders on the side of the raft, he climbed into his seat as I pushed him away from shore. “Just call me on the walkie talkie if you need anything okay?”
My voice grew louder as he began to float away. “Hey hon, you still have one of those red flags you can hold up in case you're in trouble? You know, the ones ski boats use when they have a skier down in the water? “
He seemed to ignore my question. Perhaps his thoughts were already far away, arriving at that tranquil destination where teeming fish were eagerly waiting for him to drop in his line.
“Did you hear me?" I hollered.
He mumbled something I couldn’t quite make out.
As he disappeared around the curving shoreline, I plopped down on my lawn chair. Then I remembered, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
With that comforting thought, I gazed out across the lake and prayed. Not far from shore were two mud hens busily gathering their morning meals. They dove down under the calm surface of the water, then popped up like rubber beach balls. Surrounding the lake were climbing hills of velvety green grass and sprawling oak among clusters of bright orange poppies.
Relaxing in the warm sunshine, I considered,Maybe I will throw in a line. I can just fish from shore with a worm and a bobber while I read my book and enjoy a peaceful day. But I’ll keep the walkie talkie nearby… just in case. Accidents can happen, but God willing, not today.
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