It’s a Shore Thing
by William D. Trego
It occurred sometime in early February. It was when the weather turned, briefly, with the temperature rising to almost 60 degrees up from the winter’s deep freeze. It was then that I began to think again of pleasant warm days and balmy cool nights by the ocean in
There always seems to be such a brief thaw in mid-winter, a thaw which is always quite welcome and a thaw which provides an encouraging glimpse of what surely is to come. Perhaps it is Nature’s way of leading us ahead, providing us with hope — hope and belief in the prescience and veracity of the natural clues and markers we see all around us. Mother Nature has never let us down, has she? And why would she? So, with the knowledge that warmer weather is inevitably approaching, the mind begins to wander and thoughts of expeditions and adventure begin to infuse our daydreams. I’ve covered a lot of ground over the years, from mountains, to farms, to lakes and to the deep woods, but inexplicably, I seem always to return to the coast by the
In those years, my summer life centered on a small cottage in
And “small” accurately describes the size of our lone bathroom. Hinny Youngman’s, “The room was so small I had to go out to the hall to change my mind,” gurgles up in my thoughts. But the little cottage had a disproportionately large fireplace, and just as in our home in Merion, my job along with my brothers was to split wood, and to start and tend to the spring and fall daily fires making sure there were no lapses or mishaps. We took this job very seriously; and my father was no fool — he knew how to employ his sons. The smell of wood smoke mixing with the heavy salt air of the sea was intoxicating, and while smoking a cigar sitting by the fire contemplating his beloved Philadelphia Phillies, my father understood the reasons he had sons: to ease his days and to think about all the hard work his father had him perform a generation before, the symmetry of paternal command. We were happy and energetic conscripted labor, and had absolutely no complaints.
But these days I spend my time in
William D. Trego is a writer and the publisher of fly-fishing books at Meadow Run Press in Far Hills.