alcova lake

Our world has changed so much over the past few weeks that it is almost unrecognizable to us…not the landscape itself, but rather our view of it, and everything in it. Most of us figured it would be an election, or a recession that would change things for us, but we could never have expected the change a global pandemic could produce. We’ve learned new words, like social distancing; and words we knew that didn’t seem so daunting before, like essential worker and mandatory shelter-in-place orders, suddenly bring an unwanted wave of emotions. Businesses are closed, as are schools, and suddenly we find ourselves spending an inordinate amount of time at home. The kids might like their new free time, but most adults just want things to be back to normal…and very soon!!

My husband. Bob and I are both retired, and we are used to spending quite a bit of time together, but lately I have noticed that we might be going a little bit stir crazy. It isn’t that we don’t want to be together, but rather that we are feeling cooped up. As yesterday morning progressed, we seemed to be picking at each other more and more. It was then that it hit me. We had to get out of the house for a while. Still, while Wyoming is not under a mandatory shelter-in-place order, we are supposed to be practicing social distancing. I thought about it, and decided that I had a way to get out and obey the social distancing guidelines, because they slow the spread of the disease.

So we jumped in the pickup, and took a drive to Alcova Lake southwest of Casper. We were still social distancing, because we were in the pickup, but part way to the lake, we both breathed a sigh of relief. Suddenly we felt free from all of the stresses of COVID-19 and the locked down feeling it brought with it. The world around us seemed normal. A drive through the countryside showed us that the Earth really took no notice of the “Viral War” raging around it. Earth’s beauty, though currently still mostly hidden under Winter’s brown and white coat, was just beginning to show the green blades of Spring grass peeking out toward the sun. We stopped at a picnic area at Fremont Canyon bridge and got out to have a look. There was no one there, but us. The wind was calm, and the place was so peaceful. We walked to the viewing site, and looked at the rocks below, the white high water lines visible in Winter’s low water season. The sun sparkled on the water of the river. We stood and looked at the peaceful sight, feeling renewed…feeling one with each other again. Then, all too soon, we got back in the pickup for the drive home, and the workout we had delayed, because while exercise is very important, this was important too. We needed this, and we will do it again. We hope that no mandatory shelter-in-place order comes, because a drive would not be possible then, but we are very thankful to have had this drive, and the renewal it brought to us.

imageWe all get frustrated at times, thinking that things will never go our way. We have tried and tried, and nothing seems to fix the current situation. At some point we start thinking we might as well give up, but in reality, the only sure way to fail is to quit. That is exactly what my first cousin twice removed, Nicholas Young, who is my first cousin once removed, Jim Young, and his wife, Alina’s youngest child, found out over the weekend, when he was about to give up fishing for the day. He stuck it out a little longer, and was rewarded with this nice catch which someone managed to get a great shot of. He was pretty excited, and I can relate to that, because one of the reasons I don’t like to go fishing, is those long waits in between the time you drop your line in imagethe water and the time some fish decides to finally bite!! I know that my pro-fishing friends and family probably think I’m crazy on that point, but I get way too bored.

Nick, who just turned 9 years old on June 8th, is used to going fishing though. His family goes to Alcova Lake and Pathfinder Reservoir quite a bit in the summer. So he knows what fishing is all about, but sometimes even seasoned fishermen get frustrated. When it’s a good day to fish, a guy should be catch some fish. Still, as every fisherman knows, the fish don’t always agree with this kind of thinking, and so they sometimes just refuse to bite for a while. Finally, if you wait long enough, some unsuspecting fish comes along, and voilà…you have a bite. In my opinion, all we need now is a stupid fish finder, so we don’t waste so much time fishing among the smart fish.

imageIn reality though, the best thing we can do when we are trying to accomplish something, is to never give up. Oh, I know that sometimes, the day ends, and you still may not have accomplished your goal, but there is always tomorrow…as long as you never give up. As for Nick, I’m really glad that he didn’t have to wait for another day to catch a fish, because when you are 9 years old, waiting until next weekend can seem like waiting until next summer…and with the summer break from school, you always know that your fishing time is short anyway. So congratulations on your catch Nick!! I hope the rest of the summer finds you catching a lot more fish, and having a great time doing it.

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