The Big Fishing Party

I won’t lie.

On Sunday afternoon, I had more loads of laundry to do than the family of sixteen with the broken-down washing machine.

Not that I actually know a family of sixteen people whose Maytag has given up the ghost, but… if I did… even their load-total wouldn’t have held a candle to  mine on Sunday.  I feel like I am a genuine disappointment to my mother in this area, who has always encouraged me to just do a single load every day… or even a single load every OTHER day… because that’s the way of organized people.  And the truth is, I WANT to be organized, but then other things get in my way instead of laundry, and heaps of dirty clothes are just kicked to the curb.

Or even just kicked further back into the walk-in closet, because OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND.

On Sunday afternoon, the game Word Chums on my phone got in front of the laundry, and I couldn’t see any of the dirty jeans or filthy T-shirts, because LOOK!!!  I just tossed the word JOURNEY down, hit the Triple Word tile, annnnnnddd I managed to smack the J down on the QUADRUPLE-THIS-LETTER’S-POINT-VALUE tile.

It was a moment of sheer magic, and now I feel like I should just go ahead and admit that YES!  I have some nerd tendencies, because I clapped over those 134 points against my opponent.

Eventually I was able to pull myself away from reworking letters to create high-dollar words, so that we could go visit our friends, Mike and Stacy.  They have ponds on their property, which are well-stocked with rainbow trout, and they were hosting a bit of a fishing party.  I’ve never been much for fishing, because it involves being terribly quiet and sitting still.  I can do the sitting still part, but eventually my brain gets very tired of not talking to anyone, while I stare at my unmoving fishing line.  It’s about then that I go in search of Hubs and ruin his fishing hole by disturbing the trout with ALL THE WORDS.  Thankfully, Stacy’s idea of a good fishing party is, “Let’s let the kids fish, and we can chat a lot on the banks, because who cares if we frighten the fish away with a lot of talking?!”

She’s exactly my kind of fishing companion.

Of course I took my camera, and here’s the first catch of the evening, which Thing 2 was fascinated with:

IMG_3060 IMG_3062After that, the kids reeled fish in pretty much as quickly as they could get a line thrown out into the water, because BITING, BITING, BITING!  I don’t consider myself a professional judge of fishing statistics, but had someone said, “Let down your net,” I’m rather certain that they would have pulled up the harvest of a lifetime on Sunday evening.

IMG_3066 IMG_3070 IMG_3071 IMG_3079 IMG_3089 IMG_3082 IMG_3085 IMG_3086 IMG_3088 IMG_3091 IMG_3101 IMG_3095 IMG_3096 IMG_3104 IMG_3106I spent most of the evening trying to keep our toddler from FALLING INTO the water; Hubs and I took turns running interference on him, because he was determined to swim.

IMG_3067And then, because Stacy has nine (Yes!  Nine!!  And less laundry than I have!!) children of her own, she knows when distractions are needed.  She and her husband are smack in the middle of some big construction, so she simply said, “Come.  Follow me.”  And that’s exactly when Thing 2 and I gave up pretending to fish, and went to see all the tractors and heavy machinery that Stacy had to show us.  The lure of the water was no longer even on our younger son’s horizon, because JOHN DEERES EVERYWHERE!!  And also, DIRT!!!

IMG_3116 IMG_3122 IMG_3118 IMG_3120 IMG_3124 IMG_3125 IMG_3128 IMG_3129I’m honestly not sure that Thing 2 had ever been happier than he was exploring all of the heavy machinery Sunday night.

Afterward, we went back to the fishing party, which was still in full swing, as kids were quickly filling up coolers for dinner.

IMG_3110 IMG_3111 IMG_3114I have absolutely no idea how I managed to capture a picture that makes it look like everyone was attending a sad funeral.  The kids had a blast… everyone laughed all night long… but look at this shot:

IMG_3107I promise, there was laughter.  These girls may have been mourning the rainbow trout who were on ice in that red cooler.

IMG_3132 IMG_3134And THIS girl!  I will confess my sin of coveting her glorious mane of curls!  Honestly, I think she fears me now, because I’m constantly asking her, “Can I please just touch those soft curls once more?”  If I could pick my own head of hair, I would want this one.

IMG_3147 IMG_3149I don’t think she’s ever had a bad hair day in her life, and her curls are nothing short of PLUM DADGUM AMAZING.

Thing 2 spent a substantial amount of time throwing rocks into the pond, but even his baseball-style pitches didn’t prevent the others from continuing to reel in an abundance of trout to grill for dinner.

IMG_3137 IMG_3141IMG_3153 IMG_3159 IMG_3157 IMG_3161This is exactly where the photos end.  The fishing party didn’t end here, because it kept going strong until the rainstorm moved in and made everyone run for cover, but — exactly as we had predicted would happen — Thing 2 fell into the pond.

And he was soaked clear through…

… which is why I stripped him down to a diaper, only to have him sob, “I so cold!  I so cold!”  Thank goodness someone invented You Tube, so we were able to watch Donald Duck and Chip and Dale on my iPhone in the car, out of the cool breeze.

Yes.  I should have been a fully-prepared mom who packed extra clothes for the toddler, but listen:  I didn’t.  I didn’t even think about them.

And?  If I had?  All of our extra clothes were probably lying on my closet floor, waiting to be washed, anyway.

So Monday morning rolled around, as it usually does after a good weekend, and I knuckled down.  I was very determined to wash forty-six loads of dirty clothes, until I reached into the boy’s bathroom closet… into his hamper… and pulled out the pair of jeans he wore on Sunday.

Those would be his very best pair of American Eagle jeans.

The jeans he fished in.

The jeans he gutted fish in, people.

The jeans that were apparently coated in bits of fish guts.

There are no words to explain it, y’all.  I yanked those jeans out of the boy’s bathroom hamper, and I dry-heaved like I’d been to a fraternity party and stayed all night.  I gagged and heaved, heaved and gagged, until my stomach muscles ached.

Thing 2 kept yelling, “You okay, Mommy?  You okay?”

NO!  NO, I WASN’T OKAY, BECAUSE FISH GUTS!!!  FISH GUTS THAT HAVE BEEN ON THE JEANS OVERNIGHT!!!!!  FISH GUTS OVERNIGHT!!!

I dry-heaved all the way downstairs to the laundry room with those pants.

I gagged so hard while I was adding Tide to the washing machine, I had to go out into the family room and suck in great big gulps of fresh air.  I had to give myself a pep talk about, “You can do this!  You can get those jeans into the Whirlpool!  You’ve totally got this, Girl.”

I went back into the laundry room, where I heaved so hard, I have no idea how I didn’t throw up.  This caused me to run back into the family room.

BREATHE THE FRESH AIR.  BREATHE THE FRESH AIR.

I did another pep talk to myself, and then nearly bawled.  I wanted to call Hubs and say, “I can’t get the boy’s jeans into the washing machine!  Please come home and help me!  PLEASE COME HOME!  IT’S AN EMERGENCY, HUBS!!”

Somehow, I gathered enough courage to go back into the laundry room.  I held my breath so long, I thought I’d pass out, but I got the detergent into the washing machine.  I shoved those jeans inside and slammed the lid shut, before I ran back into the family room to breathe again.

And that’s when I started to laugh, because Y’ALL!  I had conquered that pair of American Eagle jeans, exactly like a warrior!!  I had come out a winner!!

The ending of this story is that I didn’t accomplish any other loads of laundry yesterday, either, because?  When that pair of jeans had finished washing?  I threw the lid open, added MORE Tide, and washed them again… JUST… BECAUSE.

And then I washed them a third time.

So sue me.

I wasn’t about to pull them out of the washer, until they’d gone through three entire cycles of WASH THE GUTS OUT OF THIS LOAD.

Literally.

Hubs and the boy grilled the boy’s catch last night for dinner.  Normally, I love fish.  I could eat fish every day and be a happy girl, but I couldn’t even look at those trout fillets on the platter yesterday, without wanting to dry-heave again.

I just had cauliflower for supper, right after I gave the boy a lecture about NEVER, EVER PUT JEANS WITH FISH GUTS ON THEM IN YOUR HAMPER AGAIN, BECAUSE IT WILL KILL ME DEAD, AND YOU WILL BE A MOTHERLESS CHILD.

Other than the jeans, though, it was one fun fishing party.

1 thought on “The Big Fishing Party

  1. just for the record, I removed my first fish from a hook at that party … And wiped fish guts – well, fish body slime and dirt – on my very own jeans… Just sayin…

    Thanks for s FABULOUS time Mike and Stacey! And I wish I could paste a pic of Meg’s 19 inch trout right here!!!

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