Over the past month, my husband and I have been working like busy bees trying to move out of our rental home near UW to a much smaller apartment in West Seattle. If it weren’t for all of our camping and fly-fishing gear, we would have a much easier time trying to stuff all of our belongings into three small closets. Alas, we love our darn fly-fishing and camping gear, so other things end up suffering for their well-being. Who needs 8 more Lenox glass tumblers when you can easily use the space they take up for reels? Okay, so we didn’t take it THAT far, but it got close…
Now, we find ourselves amongst all of our things inside our bloated apartment, and are quickly finding places to put everything to alleviate the pressure inside the 700 sq ft walls. It’s amazing how unpacking speeds up, after you find a place to put up shelves and areas to put things on the walls.
Last Friday, Andrew finished his last final exam of his medical school classroom years, and we celebrated the end of these first two years of UWSOM (University of Washington School of Medicine) with a traditional “White Coat ceremony” with the rest of his weary-eyed classmates, as it was only hours post-exam that approximately 220 students had to file into the Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle to receive their white coats in front of hundreds of friends, family, faculty and physicians. The next two years are composed of clinical rotations, and the classroom work is left behind forever. This is the part of med school that Andrew has been waiting for. Sitting in the classroom and being lectured at, followed by grueling exams to test you on all that you learned, is the part he has always anticipated getting over with, so he could get into the “wards” and actually work with patients.
Despite his overall distaste with the classroom work of med school, he far succeeded passing his classes, and we celebrated the big transition he will experience starting this July, by taking a 3-day trip to my family’s cabin in the San Juan Islands with my parents, along with my aunt and uncle who were visiting from Eastern Washington, as well as Doc and our friend’s dog, Thompson, who we have been dog-sitting for the past few weeks.
On Monday morning, we all met up in Anacortes, and our short, but sweet vacation began…
Andrew and my dad spent the greater part of the afternoon on the boat attempting to bottom fish for ling cod. My dad used to fish with his father when he was a young boy, but he has no experience fishing beyond that. Andrew is an avid fly-fisherman, but just recently got into trolling for salmon and mooching off of a boat. Neither of them have any ling cod experience. So, together they made a valiant effort, but alas, no ingredients for fish ‘n chips was derived from their attempts. They have a great relationship, so I know they enjoyed spending time together and catching anything would have just been a bonus.
While the guys were out fishing, I took out the single-hand rod and practiced my casting on the beach. It was reminiscent of one of the first times I cast a fly rod, because it was on that same beach in front of the cabin, but four years ago…
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I basically cast a single-hand rod for about 6 months, before I picked up a spey rod and never looked back. There would be occasional times when I would single-hand cast for trout, but I became so addicted to swinging flies for steelhead right away, that I found my single-hander getting pushed further and further to the back of the closet behind the double-handers.
So, I decided it was time to get my skills back up and improve on the classic (some would say, “purist”) way of fly-fishing. After about an hour, I got the double-haul timing down and was really feeling confident in my casts. About two hours later, I couldn’t cast anymore, because my arms and shoulders were aching from using muscles and making movements that my body wasn’t used to. I wanted to keep casting! Just when I was starting to feel confident… Ultimately, it felt great to cast again, and I know the next time I practice this revisited technique, I won’t be as sore afterwards. I was also able to kill another bird with the same stone, as I was able to do some field testing for Redington that was overdue, so it was a productive afternoon to say the least.
That evening, Andrew and I teamed up and cooked the family steamed manilla clams, grilled t-bone steaks, corn on the cob and an arugula, kale and gorgonzola salad. (“Team Schweitzer” takes pride in cooking, so making a good meal is always something we look forward to. Anyone who follows my social media pages is well aware of this.)
After a nice meal, the fun part began of figuring out how to get the boat from the water into the boat house… Anyone who knows my dad, is well aware of his inability to let a vehicle go with less than a scratch. In this case, he has found a way to keep my first car (an ’89 Jeep Cherokee) alive and has since brought it up to the cabin to purely act as a towing/beach vehicle. The unfortunate thing is, a tree fell on it not long after it made it there, and now there is no windshield and a nice dent remains down the middle of the roof as a reminder. (Apparently my dad doesn’t believe in signs.) Did I mention you have to charge the battery before you can turn it on? So, after charging the battery and getting it attached to the boat trailer, my uncle, father and husband attempted to pull the boat up the beach and into the boat house. The semi-convertible jeep made it a few feet before it started digging a track into the beach. Long story short, in order to get the boat out of the water and the jeep out of the sand, Andrew’s Toyota Tacoma had to be tied up in front of this obscure train of vehicles to ultimately get the boat out of the water. It was more than an amusing picture for the “peanut gallery” that watched from the cabin (i.e. my mom, aunt and myself).
|Before any of them knew of the excitement that was to come…|
Tuesday morning, my parents and relatives had to head back to their respective homes, and Andrew and I stayed for one more night with Doc and Thompson. The weather wasn’t the greatest, and since the boat was already put away and washed off (definitely a task we discovered wasn’t something easy to do between less than three people), we decided to head back Wednesday morning and continue unpacking our still partially disheveled apartment.
Now, as I sit amongst a little less than what was mere chaos of boxes and bags two days ago, I am feeling more at ease in the new surroundings. (The only thing missing, is an impending fly-fishing trip….)
Until next time~