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"Put the Bait Bucket Down"

June 20, 2011

So, I was talking to my Granny, as it goes– gosh I love talking to her. She is a born story teller with true wit and she just has this capacity to say what is on her mind and step out when no one else will. Maybe some people call her controlling or overbearing at times, but to me, she’s just Granny. She’s a woman who makes things happen. She has a mind of her own. Creativity is always at her finger tips and a love for life always fills the room when she is there. She’s the woman who taught me about being outside and getting dirty. She taught me the important things in life, like peeing in the ocean, how to laugh at myself, how to wash up in the front yard (shampoo and all), to throw back the hermit crabs so they can be free, how to enjoy a sunrise with coffee and good company.

And she taught me how to “put the bait bucket down.”

She’s a counselor, you know. Naturally, she is good at asking questions, listening. She is a coach, so she always encourages you and challenges you. She is a teacher, so she loves to teach you even if she is “BSing it all.” She is my Granny, so I am hers and the ocean is ours.

Today I called her and we chatted about life. As usual. She laughed because we were in the same time zone which meant one of us was not waking up to talk. She told me that I could borrow her car for a bit, “but don’t be surprised if it drives you to the Coast because that’s the only place it knows to go. It’s not quite Ol’ Blue (the tackle box on wheels), but she’ll do.” Smiling through her teeth she told me I could even make a sand castle in the front seat because there is so much sand!

This summer I am straddling family and friend time with grad school. I told her that I will be laying aside all obligations and responsibilities to take a week trip to Yellowstone National Park with some friends. Granny agreed, “Oh how wonderful! You’re putting the bait bucket down. My ol’ philosophy… you’ve been fishing too long carrying that bait bucket and your fingers are frozen and curled up. It’s time to put that bait bucket down for a while. Then you’ll fill ‘er back up and start fresh, ready to fish again.”

I never would have come up with that analogy on my own, but you know, it makes a lot of sense, at least to a fisherman. Being the granddaughter of a fisherwoman, I can say that I understand. And really, she has been teaching me this my whole life. There is a time and place for work and there is a time and place for play. I suppose we can’t have one without the other.

So, this summer I’ll be carrying that bait bucket, treading through grad work, but you can guarantee that I’ll be putting that bucket down every now and then~ and most certainly when I find myself surrounded by the rugged mountains of Yellowstone.

Don’t forget to put your bait bucket down, lest your hands cramp and your soul grow weary. Stop and rest a little while, have some fun and play! Or at least, that’s what my Granny always says.

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