"Fishing. Sort of."
I've always enjoyed fishing. It's relaxing. It's simple. It can be sociable. It can be lone wolf. You can think about other things while doing it. It's outside. You can get really dirty and it's okay. And sometimes...if the sand in the glass is right...you actually reel in something with a couple fins and some gills.
Growing up in Norman presented many fishing opportunities. My neighborhood in particular, with its three local ponds only a lure's cast from my house.
And so often we'd "go to the pond." My friend Daniel and I. We've been friends since we were five. He lived 256 steps from my house, give or take a shoe size.
The best days were the tube fishing days. We were about 15 probably.
We'd strap on our rubber flotation rounds and plod to the water. We'd see other tubers out there some days. Seriously casting with an air of professionalism. They would catch fish. We had no such pretensions. No stringers of fish. No loaves of bread.
But Mother Nature knows we didn't do it for the scaly, slimy booty. On a steamy summer day there's no better place to be than in a coolish, mirky pond, no? Eventually we'd get bored and drop the poles on shore along with the tubes and just swim around. Algae, reeds, frogs, snakes, turtles, non-catchable fish and all. Those were high times. Simple pleasures. I'd do it again today for sure.
And if you didn't know, nothing stains clothing quite like pond water tinted with hearty, red Oklahoma mud. Just ask my mom.