[I'm telling an 'old' story today....enjoy]
It was a special honor to get *picked* by Grandma to go fishing. It didn't happen very often. To go with Grandma you had to be...
We were up before dawn and hiked down the little trail through the woods to where the old wooden boat was chained to an old oak tree on the banks of Little Balsam Lake.
There was an old coffee can in the bottom of the boat. This was to bail out the accumulated rain water and any lake water that happened to seep in while we were fishing. Quietly we'd load the boat ~ Grandma wasn't a talker so she'd give me one word commands and point.
Grandma's gnarled hands would grasp the oars as I pushed off from the shore.
The world was predawn gray. The surrounding forest was still without color, soon to erupt into green and blues as the sun rose.
The birds on shore and in the sky would begin to sing. their morning songs as the oars dipped into the Lake water. We'd glide slowly across the water.
Grandma would look around peering at the lake as she rowed.
*Look for the 'X' I left out here last time,* she'd say.
I peered at the waters, desperately trying to find the 'X'.
She'd keep rowing, the cane fishing poles would rattle gently with each stroke.
*I know I left it here somewhere,* she'd say.
*I can't see it Grandma,* I finally admitted.
Grandma stopped rowing and leaned slightly ... dipping her finger into the water.
*But I drew it just like this,* she said and demonstrated by making an X with her finger on the surface of the Lake.
I wanted to tell her that an X like that wouldn't stay, that she was silly...but I remained quiet.
She rowed a bit more and finally proclaimed, *Here we are.*
We'd set anchor and commence to fishing. The sun would rise and the air would turn warm, and the fish would bite [sometimes].
It took me a while to learn that the 'X's' were not real, but favorite spots that Grandma had around the lake.
This summer while fishing with my husband and not getting a single bite...he said to me, *I thought you said this was a good spot!*
I shrugged and dipped forward, dragging my finger through the water.
*Hmmm, someone must have moved my 'X'.*