We spent the long holiday weekend as most Indiana residents who don’t go to the Speedway did: sitting near a body of water, listening to the Indy 500 on the radio1 while drinking beer with friends and waiting for some food that was slowly roasting on the grill to be ready. The weather was not ideal; it was unseasonably cool Saturday, overcast most of Sunday, and didn’t warm up until Monday afternoon. So there was no swimming or floating. But it was warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, light a fire early in the afternoon, and enjoy the pleasantness, knowing the oppressiveness of the Midwestern summer isn’t too far off.

And you can cast a line into the water, which we did. Each of the girls caught fish, and M. caught two. L. got her first-ever fish while M. and C. had each caught one last summer. Hell, I even caught a fish, only the third of my life and first since 1981 if I remember correctly. Lest any of my old-school friends think I’ve become some kind of outdoorsman, the girls only fish when we have an expert around to help them get their gear in proper shape and then can help when they land a fish. I’m cool with getting bait on the hook, helping to cast, reeling the catch in, etc. But I don’t know how to tie a knot, attach sinkers and bobbers in the proper way, or how to get a hook out of a fish. I suppose I should learn so the girls can always fish even if one of our resident experts isn’t around.

We all caught bluegill, which are plentiful and breeding right now. L. caught a pretty solid looking one which shot its fins out in defiance when I pulled him in. “He’s an angry one, L.!” I told her. Turned out he damn near swallowed the hook, and we had some issues getting him unhooked. When we tossed him back, he just floated for awhile. L.’s a smart kid and despite our attempts to deflect her attention, she decided that Jake II2 was dead. Moments later, he either shook it off, popped up, and swam away, or something bigger from the deeper water came up and claimed him. I just heard a splash and thought I saw the shadow of something bigger swimming away. But if I insisted that was true, I’d start to sound like a real fisherman, wouldn’t I?

When she was telling S. about her first catch later, L. kept it simple. “He was big and he was angry. He was bleeding and then he died.”

Well ok then.

I’d love to add that I was super-pumped about the Pacers after their big Game 2 win in the Eastern Conference Finals and spent Sunday evening in rapt attention in front of the TV, but that would only be partially correct. I was indeed pumped after the Pacers stole Game 2 Thursday. But I knew one win didn’t change the math and it was still LeBron’s series. And our get-away spot has no TV, so I couldn’t watch if I wanted to. I did sit by the fire and keep track of the score on my iPhone. But since Miami seemed in control the entire night, I only did that occasionally.

Anyway, that was the bulk of our Memorial Day weekend. We hung with friends, wished for warmer weather, but had a good time all around anyway. It’s the first weekend of what we hope is a great summer.

And now L. and I get four days of limbo. She ended school last week, but M. and C. had four more days of school: three scheduled and one to make up the first day after Spring Break when we were digging out of the biggest snowstorm of the year.

  1. Annual reminder to folks not from Indiana: the race is not on live TV in the Hoosier state. So to follow the race live you can either attend it or listen on the radio. Fortunately roughly 75% of the radio stations in Indiana carry the race, so it’s easy to tune-in. 
  2. The girls were all naming the fish they caught after their Bettas at home.