Merwin: Are Your Chores Done Yet?

Happiness is a full woodshed. Thanks to some unseasonable warmth in March and April, I finished it last week. Ash … Continued

Happiness is a full woodshed. Thanks to some unseasonable warmth in March and April, I finished it last week. Ash and cherry and maple all cut, split and stacked under cover where it will dry over the summer. Next winter’s heat is accounted for, and when I stacked the last piece I stuck a Jitterbug on the front row as if to say, “So there!”

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Unlike some years when I procrastinated to the point of peril, this all makes it a lot easier to go fishing. Chores are done. Time to play.

And for once, the timing is perfect. Both trout and bass fishing here in the North Country usually don’t amount to much until early May, when river levels start to drop and lakes start to warm. The Hendrickson mayflies are hatching on my local trout stream. Landlocked salmon are chasing spring smelt in a nearby lake. And up on the big water, largemouths and smallmouths are starting to stage along the edges of points and channels preparatory to spawning in 3 or 4 weeks.

I am not usually given “Honey-Do” lists by my wife simply because she would rather go fishing with me than work at something else. But if I were, I’d ask for them in March, or when I wasn’t fishing. And I’d work through the list in a frenzy before the list itself started to compete with rising trout. In which case the trout would win.

And I would thereby have accumulated an extensive list of credits on the household scoreboard–credits to be spent on fishing hours later, when the fishing itself is compelling. Most people work through such trade-offs, although some more successfully than others.

So for now anyway, my wood is done and I’m going fishing, finally. See you later….