Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Man from Swift Current Chapter Forty - The Fishing Trip

Chapter Forty – The Fishing Trip

The next morning I awoke in Rick’s arms.   The last thing I remember is Rick pulling me close to him and feeling so safe and warm next to his bare chest.   I am still getting used to sleeping with someone.   And that someone is this wonderful man who is my sweetheart.   I love waking up every morning to his scent in my nostrils and hearing the beat of his heart.  

I didn’t move since I didn’t want to wake Rick.   As I listened to the steady beat of Rick’s heart, I reviewed the events of the last few months that had led up to this moment.   I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the love Rick feels for me.   The enormity of it all is more than I can comprehend.   How someone could still love me and remain faithful to me after everything Rick had been through with his family?   I feel extremely fortunate but at the same time it makes me feel very insignificant next to Rick.   If I were required to do the same thing, could I do it?  Would I be able to make the same sacrifice for Rick?   Did I love him so unconditionally I would be willing to lose my family in order to be with him?   The pain and suffering Rick had endured on my behalf humbled me.    Never, in my wildest imagination, did I think someone would love me like Rick does!   Thinking about everything Rick meant to me helped me to strengthen my resolve to make every effort to make Rick happy; to be the life partner he deserved to have by his side.      

I felt a hand on my shoulder  “Glenn, it’s time to get up,” my Dad said.   Then I remembered we were supposed to go fishing today.

“Okay, Dad.   We’ll be down in a few minutes,” I said groggily.   I buried my face in Rick’s chest taking a deep breath.   After a moment, I turned my face towards Rick’s and gently kissed his lips.   “Hey, lover boy, it’s time to wake up.”

At first, Rick didn’t respond.   So I kept kissing Rick while I ran my hands over his chest, tweaking his nipples before running my hands over his six-pack abs.

“I love waking up to your kisses, Babe,” Rick said sleepily.   “It’s still dark so why are we getting up so early?”

“We are going fishing, remember?” I asked.   “Let’s get up.   Dad is waiting for us downstairs.”

Rick yawned and stretched and then he rolled over on top of me with his morning woody making its presence known.   Rick looked me in the eyes, “Do we have time for some morning exercises?”   Rick grinned as he put his hands on either side of my head and leaned down to kiss me.

I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him down so I took his entire weight on me and we melded into one as we kissed each other.   When we came up for air, I said, “I want you so badly right now but I know that Dad will be waiting for us.”

Rick reluctantly released me.  “I thought you might say that.”   He got up, then helped me up off of the bed.   “At least we can enjoy each other in the shower,” Rick said.   We pulled on our briefs and walked down the hall to the bathroom.   Rick adjusted the water temperature and we both got into the shower.  

Following our shower, we quickly got dressed and went downstairs to find Dad, Eric and Uncle Ben sitting down to a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.   As we came in, Dad poured Rick a cup of coffee while I retrieved the milk from the refrigerator.   I love the smell of coffee but don’t like how it tastes!   Dad indicated we should take a seat at the table.   Dad poured a couple more cups of coffee as Randy and Shawn joined us.    I looked around the room and saw we weren’t the only ones who looked like they could’ve used a few more hours of sleep.

The only one who looked like he’d had enough sleep was Dad.   His cheerfulness was almost insulting!   “Okay, guys!  Now we're all here we can discuss our plans for the day.   I've hooked up the two boats to my truck and Eric’s.   Gary should be here with Jack in a few minutes.   Eric and Gary will drive Eric’s truck.   Ben and I will take mine.   Shawn do you mind driving?”

Shawn nodded his head in the affirmative.   “Good.   Jack asked if he could ride down to the lake with Rick and Glenn.   I believe there should be enough room for him to ride with you guys.”

Shawn said, “There’s plenty of room for Jack.   He’s a great kid!”

Dad poured another cup of coffee when he heard the front door open.   Gary appeared in the kitchen doorway holding a very sleepy Jack.    I stood up and took Jack from Gary’s arms and sat down with him on my lap.   Jack cuddled up next to my chest and went back to sleep.

Dad handed Gary his cup of coffee, “Thanks Dad.   This reminds me of when we would go fishing with you when we were little.   Only you would fix us hot chocolate instead of coffee!”

“I have many fond memories of those days as well.  Gary, you’ll be driving down with Eric and Jack will be going with Glenn and Rick in Shawn’s car.   Is that okay with you?” Dad asked.

“It’s okay with me.   Jack will be thrilled to be with his uncles,” Gary smiled at the four of us.   “I’m glad we are getting to have some male bonding time.   I always loved going out with Dad and the boys to go camping, fishing or hiking.   Like the time we went to Banff.”

Eric and I looked at each other and both broke out laughing.   Dad asked, “What is so funny guys?”

Eric said, “I was just thinking of how Glenn and I got you with the shaving cream on that trip, Gary.”

“It was the pretty funny,” Gary said, smiling at us.   “But what was even better was getting even with you two.”

“Yeah, you did do a good job of getting even with us,” I said, laughing at the memory.   “You put some water snakes in our sleeping bags and scared the living daylights out of us.   I remember how mad Dad got because we were running around the camp screaming and waking everyone up.”

Dad joined in our laughter at the memory.   “Yes, I remember that as well.   I wasn’t really mad but I was a bit put out about you boys waking up the neighboring campers with your carrying on.”

Gary smiled, “We had a lot of good times together.”

Dad finished his coffee and put his cup in the sink, “Come along when you’re done with your coffee.”  He and Uncle Ben left the kitchen and went out the front door.

The rest of us finished our coffee and followed them outside.   We climbed into our assigned vehicles and were soon on our way.   We arrived at Lac Pelletier a while later just as the sky was starting to brighten.   First, Dad backed his boat down the boat ramp and into the water.   We all helped ease the boat into the water and free of the trailer.   Dad pulled the truck into a parking spot while Eric took his place on the boat ramp.   We soon had the second boat floating in the water.   Eric parked his truck next to Dad’s as we unloaded the fishing gear and stowed it in the two boats.

We all donned life jackets and I helped Jack with his and lifted him into the boat where Rick was waiting.   I stepped into the boat and sat on the other side of Jack in the bow of the boat.   Shawn and Randy were sitting in the stern where Randy had the control of the tiller and put the motor in reverse and backed us away from the shore.

Uncle Ben, Dad and Gary followed in short order in the other boat.   Dad shouted over to us, “Follow me out to my favorite fishing hole along the shore.”

He took the lead and we followed.   We traveled for a ways out into the lake, then headed closer in towards shore.   Soon Dad stopped his motor and indicated we should do the same.   We drifted for a bit and then came to a stop behind them.

“Okay, guys, put your lines out on either side of the boat and sit back and relax until you feel a fish hit your line,” Dad directed.  

It wasn’t long before all of us had our lines set.   Rick and I helped Jack get his line set as well.   I had just let out Jack’s fishing line when I felt a tug on Jack’s line.   I held onto the fishing pole as I said, “Jack, it looks like you will be the first one to catch a fish today.”

Jack’s face lit up with excitement as I handed him the fishing pole and helped him reel in the fish.   It didn’t take us very long before we saw the fish break the surface.   Rick was ready with the net and scooped the fish out of the water.   It was a nice size walleye.

“Wow!  That’s a big fish!” Jack exclaimed, as Rick removed the hook and placed the fish in our ice cooler we had brought for storing the fish we caught.

“Congratulations Jack!” Rick said.   “You are going to be a great fisherman!”  

“Way to go Jack!” Randy exclaimed, putting his hand up to high five with Jack.

Shawn did the same and slapped hands with Jack.  “You’re the best!”

Just as we finished congratulating Jack on his catch, Rick and Randy’s lines went taut and fishing line started whirring off their reels.   Both guys worked hard to reel in their catches.   It took quite some time to tire the fish out enough to bring them close enough to the boat so Shawn and I could scoop the fish out of the water with our nets.   As we brought the fish out of the water, we could see they were good sized Northern Pike.

“Randy’s caught the bigger fish Rick,” I said, looking over at Rick.

“Yeah, he did but mine has more fight in him!” Rick said, grinning from ear to ear.

Shawn and I unhooked the fish and they joined Jack’s in the cooler.   I looked over at the other boat and saw they were seeing just as much action as we were.   It looked like we would have a great fish fry tonight!

As the sun came up over the lake, the fish kept biting.   It wasn’t long before we had all caught our limit for the day.   We motored around the lake for a while before Dad headed back towards the boat ramp.    It was just after 10 AM, so we pulled the boats out of the water and got them settled on their trailers and decided we would go swimming.    The sun was hot and the water temperature was just right.   Rick and I had worn our swim trunks under our clothes so we peeled off our jeans and t-shirts and then helped Jack with his swim suit.

We played in the water with Jack and splashed each other.   Randy and Shawn joined us as did Gary.   Dad and Uncle Ben watched from the shore as we played in the water.   Pretty soon Jack said, “I’m tired.   Can I go sit with Grandpa?”

Gary took Jack and wrapped him in towel and carried him over to sit by his Grandpa.  “Stay right here with Grandpa, Okay Jack?”

Jack nodded and Gary returned to where we were trying to dunk each other.   Rick lifted me up on his shoulders and Shawn got up on Randy’s and we had quite a battle going to see who could topple the other.   Gary cheered us both on.   Rick stumbled as his foot went in a hole and Shawn saw his opportunity and knocked me off into the water!

I came up sputtering, “I demand a rematch!”

“Why?   We won fair and square!” Shawn exclaimed, smiling down at me from his perch on Randy's shoulders.

“Because I want another go at you!” I retorted, laughing.

“You’re on, Bro.!” Randy exclaimed, smiling broadly.

Rick helped me get back up on his shoulders and we started again.   This time Shawn went down!   Just then, Gary gave me a shove and I landed in the water not far from Shawn!

We continued trash talking each other and enjoying being in the water for a couple more hours.   Dad called us in at noon.   “Boys, it’s time for some lunch.”

As we came ashore, we saw Dad had set up the camp stove and had been busy cooking.

“Wow! Dad!  It looks like a real feast,” Gary said.   “Jack, did you help Grandpa do the cooking?”

“Yes Dad!   I helped crack the eggs and Grandpa let me help cook them,” Jack said proudly, grinning from ear to ear.

“Jack was a great little helper,” Dad said, giving Jack a big hug.

Rick said, “Thanks Dad for cooking for us.”

“No problem, son,” Dad replied.   “Let’s say grace.   I’ll say it.”  Dad reached out and took Jack’s hand and reached over to take mine as I took Rick’s until we all were holding hands around the table.

“We thank you God for this bounty and for our family.   Bless us each and every one with the desires of our hearts and bless the food for our nourishment. Amen”

We all said, “Amen.”

Dad helped Jack to a plate of pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausages.   “Thanks Grandpa.   Can you cut the pancakes for me?”

“Sure, Jack,” Dad said as he cut the pancakes into small pieces for Jack.

The rest of us loaded our plates with food and dug in.   Breakfast for lunch never tasted so good!   There was silence around the table as everyone was busy ingesting the tasty feast Dad had prepared.

I looked at Dad and said, “Thank you for making this a special time for us, Dad.”

“You’re welcome, Glenn,” Dad replied.   “I’m glad we were all able to be together this morning.”

Rick put his arm around me as he stole a sausage from my plate.  “Thanks for the breakfast, Dad.”

“You’re welcome, Rick,” Dad said.   “There are a few more sausages left if you want more.”

“It’s more fun to steal them from Glenn,” Rick responded, laughing at my attempts to keep my sausages from him.

Dad laughed as well and passed over the last few sausages to me and I dumped them on my plate.   “I get at least one more, Rick.   You can have the rest!” I said, batting away his hand before he made off with my sausages, again.

I managed to get one off the plate before Rick scooted my plate away from me.   “Dad, do you see what I have to put up with?” I said between bites.  

Rick leaned over and whispered in my ear.  “I love you, Glenn.”

Randy teased, “Okay, you guys get a room.”

Rick looked over at Randy with a wicked grin.  “You haven’t seen anything, yet.”

Shawn quickly broke in, “Randy, don’t encourage him!   He’s a wild man, remember!”

Rick just grinned even wider as he started rubbing my back.    Randy acknowledged Shawn’s statement, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.   We don’t want to corrupt our nephew, Jack.”

Jack heard his name and asked, “What does corrupt mean?”

“It means your Uncle Rick will have to explain it to you when you’re older,” I responded, “since he’s the one doing the corrupting around here.”  Rick started tickling me as I tried to squirm out of his grasp.   Before I knew it, I was laughing uncontrollably begging Rick to stop.

Rick finally stopped and held me in his arms.   I was exhausted and just melted into his embrace.   Uncle Ben said, “It looks like you have met your match, Glenn.   I think Rick has you figured out just like Shawn has Randy.”    Uncle Ben got up from the picnic table and slapped Rick on the back.   “Just keep Glenn in line and you won’t have any problems, Rick!”

We all got up and helped clean up.   It didn’t take us long to reload the trucks and start back to the farm.   All Jack could talk about the entire trip home was how many fish we had caught and especially the big ones he had helped us reel in.   Rick had his arm around my shoulders and I was so tired I leaned my head on Rick’s chest and went to sleep.

Jack shook my hand, “Wake up, Uncle Glenn.   We’re at Grandpa’s house.”

“Hey, Jack,” I said.   “I’m awake now.”   I sat up as Rick released me from his embrace.

“You slept most of the trip home,” Rick said.   “Jack and I got better acquainted while you were asleep.   Let’s help the guys take the fish inside.   Jack, are you going to tell Grandma about our fish?”

“Yes.   I’m going to tell everyone about how many fish we caught,” Jack said.

Rick opened the door and climbed out and came around to help Jack out of his booster seat and picked him up and took him inside.   Rick returned for me a couple of minutes later.   I hadn’t moved from where I was sitting.  

“Come with me, Babe,” Rick said, “Let’s get you upstairs to your bed.”

I let him lead me upstairs where he undressed me and put me in bed.   “I’m going back downstairs to help with putting the gear away.   I’ll be back up in a little bit,” Rick said.

It wasn’t long before I was out, again.    I woke up a while later with Rick’s arm’s holding me close to him.   I could hear his soft breathing as he napped next to me.   He must have joined me after helping Dad and Uncle Ben finish unhitching the boats and putting away all the gear.   I felt guilty about not helping them but I had been so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

It was then that I heard the engine of Uncle Dave’s plane as he landed in the field next to the house.   I had almost forgotten that he was coming down today.   I turned over in Rick’s arms so I was facing Rick.   My movement woke him up because he stared into my eyes as I looked into his face. 

“I love you Glenn,” Rick said as he gently kissed me.  

“I love you, too, Rick,” I responded, returning his kiss.   “Uncle Dave just landed in the field next to the house.   We should get up so we can go up in the plane with him.”

“I’m looking forward to that,” Rick said, smiling at me.   “But I need another kiss from you before I will let you go.”

As always, Rick got me pretty horned up!   “Rick, you can’t just leave me in this state,” I whined.

“I can and I will,” Rick said laughing at my obvious state of arousal.   “It will be good for you to learn some self control.”

“You know I will get even with you, Mr. Lernier,” I threatened, trying to keep a straight face.   I only half succeeded before I burst out laughing as well.

“Let’s go down and greet your Uncle Dave,” Rick said, pulling me up off of the bed and leading me back downstairs.

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