Failed Fishing at the Family Hunting Cabin

I’ve never seen an animated character so impressed with my shoes before.

With the Texas outdoor temperatures finally dropping out of Fahrenheit ranges typically only used to melt industrial steel, I decided to get back to nature by spending the weekend with my brother out at our old family hunting cabin situated in the Texas Hill Country near the Pedernales* River.

Despite being an old hunting cabin it boasts many modern conveniences such as a 43-year-old microwave and a 60-year-old refrigerator that had been given to my grandparents as a wedding present sometime during the Mesozoic period and has, this is true, only ever broken down once. You don’t find that level of reliability in household appliances these days. These days, many household appliances collapse into a heap of screws and grommets the moment you plug them in.

That 1950’s refrigerator is both younger and more productive than many US senators.

One convenience the cabin doesn’t have, however, is running water or plumbing, which of course means there is no toilet. Instead of a toilet, the cabin has a hole in the ground. This is why our wives refuse to spend any time out at the cabin. Our wives are what you might call “high maintenance” in that they are averse to the idea of pooping in a hole in the ground, never mind the fact that the hole is in an outhouse well outside of stinking distance from the actual cabin itself provided the outdoor temperature stays below 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saturday afternoon my brother and I went down to the river so he could try out his new fly-fishing rod. The primary benefit to using a fly-fishing rod I’ve learned is that it takes something that as simple as fishing and turns it into a frustrating, unproductive nightmare. For almost one full hour my brother would cast, or in this case clumsily fling, the lure out into the water only for it to be ignored, or sometimes actually laughed at, by fish. At one point, I saw a fish swim off to get a few more of his fish buddies to come watch. The surface of the water churned with bubbles of fish laughter.

My brother entertaining fish.

While I do love spending time at the hunting cabin, I’m not much of a hunter. In fact, I’m not a hunter at all, which is interesting since every other male in my family is a hunter. They routinely regale me with tales of hunting adventures wherein they sit in the freezing cold for hours on end after having voluntarily woken up at — get this — 5 am on a weekend only to “bag” a single deer. You know what I’m doing at 5am in the morning on a weekend? No? Well, me either, because I’m unconscious.**

*“Pedernales” is a Native American word meaning “green river that is full of filthy bottom-feeding carp and sometimes livestock poop”.

**According to my wife, I’m also snoring and/or farting.

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