Well, after working for ten years, I feel as though I graduated again when I left my job in June, I've had a bit of a summer break while working some, and now I'm about to head into the real world.
Instead of repaying tuition loans like the first time around, now I've got some travel and excitement debt to contend with, but I feel like I'm starting fresh again, only with an opportunity to really pursue one of my passions.
I'm staying with Sid to work at the Lodge through hunting season at the end of October, then I've been invited to hunt Huns, Chuckar, and Quail with Little Ricky from Little Rock (glad to hear you're doing well, Cindy), at which point I'll head east to see my parents in Chicago for a few days, and then down to Islamorada in the beautiful Florida Keys to start my new job as a mate on the Cloud Nine with Capt. Greg Eklund. I'm pretty excited to say the least.
Sailfish in the winter, Cobia, Snapper and bottom fish in the spring, and then April and May fishing out of the Bahamas. Fishing fishing June back in Islamorada mostly for Dolphin, and then back out to Idaho to work at the Lodge with Sid again for the summer. I don't know if I could write it up any better.
I feel as though I'm getting a second chance, and my goal is not to waste it. Hopefully I'll get to stop and see some friends as I drive across country, and though I don't think I'll be able to keep Whiskey and Snoopy along with me on my journey, there's a chance that I've already found a perfect home for them, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Oh, and I fished today with a wonderful family, the Jennings. They caught a bunch of fish and had a blast, and then I actually left them a bit early to go with the hunters and watch for a bit. I'd planned to go with Sid and watch Craig's stand since today will be his last day before he heads east to try to beat Hanna to Ponte Vedra Beach, but I was then recruited by Greg to watch a second stand in the canyon he'd been hunting.
If you'd have told me 5 years ago that one day I'd be sitting suspended 18 feet up in a pine tree in Idaho just watching squirrels and birds go by I'd have thought you were crazy, but there I was for about 4 hours, just keeping an ear and eye out for anything the slightest noise or movement.
Pretty neat. All of it. With the exception of a little heartache along the way, this has been a very fortunate summer for me.
Mom's hoping that she'll be out of her rehab facility by the weekend, as she can almost fully transfer herself from her bed to her scooter, and she's been standing during therapy as well. We hear from Little Ricky that Cindy's recovering well, too.
Hope everyone else that I haven't been able to speak to is doing well also.