Gone fishing

It was a good day to THINK and walk and talk. Cloudy, cool yet just warm enough all day through the sixties. Slept well and my legs really felt good stepping out of the tent. I did do three walks today, yet the morning wasn’t quite as motivated as yesterday.

On the second walk I went all the way out on the dock when I passed it, on the way there, I met a man. Robert has been lived in South Texas his entire life and has been fishing here at the State Park since his grandfather taught him how. Today, he was here with his son and grandson (pictured above) and more family too- his son and his family were fishing down on the shoreline still as he was cleaning the catch.

How are the fish biting? Getting any thing good? I can’t recall my exactly question, yet I did throw out a bit of fishing bait. He bit and before long we were sharing stories, from fishing, to some of the good fishing spots around, and even the importance of conservation and leaving a spot cleaner than you found it.

There were an abundance of youngsters around the park today, Robert explained the park was having a kids fishing tournament where every child won a free fishing pole! Before too long, his grandson ran up to see him. He had a fish story too. He was quick to tell me how big of fish he caught (with his arms nearly wide open.)

I told him I could see the fish his grandfather cleaned on the table behind him and asked him to show me which one was his. Also- after asking his grandfather for permission to photograph, I was able to take that shot. A boy and a fish story. As I walked away, Robert’s son, down on the shore shouted for this father. Dad look, they’re getting one. He went look and saw he was pointing to another group across the lake. It’s even easy to get excited watching someone else catch a fish.

I do miss fishing for fish.  My grandfather taught me too.  Yet that is lot of sitting and whether I’m searching for gold or fishing for conversations I need hobbies that keep me moving on my feet.  No fishing poles for me.  Yet..

Good progress done on my car.. have two hundred amp master shutoff switch wired on the main starter battery, and APO unit (automatic power off) driving a set of forty amp relays connected to an inverter which powers the lithium batteries one hundred ten volt chargers.  All together, this part of the system is now complete.  Every time I start my car, it automatically turns on the inverter and begins charger with no interaction from me. For an inquisitive reader, the relay is positioned on the inverters dc power input, so when it’s off there is no phantom draw.  With the master shutoff switch I can shut the car down cold- no door dings, no dome light, no draw on the battery whatsoever.

As I worked I thought.

I do not want to talk about people, yet people are in my story and what I see exposes more about me than anything, which is what needs to happen, so.. she was angry.

I don’t like angry, it scares me.  Angry people can do a lot of different things, and I’ve seen angry people do a lot not very good things.  Worse, and I’ve done this too, she felt okay, or maybe she was trying to feel okay, about being angry.  Her (my) anger was justified damn it.  I am handicapped it’s obvious with a walker (limp/cane/chair.) Can you believe that woman raced ahead of me with her child no less. A child that should be in school don’t you know.  It is Friday isn’t it.  They have school here don’t they?

Her anger was coming from somewhere and I knew and I saw it or felt it and I knew that Angry Demon was near.  I kept my distance from the woman.  I had stood up out of my car to begin the conversation when she beckoned to me from the road, yet around my door, I didn’t go past my own front bumper.

She raced ahead of me into the only handicapped stall in there, pointing over her shoulder at the restrooms.

And I’M the one that got in trouble?

I fed as little into this conversation as possible, just enough to not be rude.

“I told her what she did too.”

The lady went on that she had shouted in the bathroom loud enough for the mother and child to hear her, how hard it was to use a normal stall with a walker.  And she couldn’t hold it either (God knows I have been there) or she would have waited patiently.

“Not that it would have mattered” she kept going, unassisted by me, other than my unwillingness to back down from the conversation.  These things have to been seen through to the end.  The lady was carrying a burden too big for any human being.

I’m not much strong yet, yet.. here we were and I was ready to take it from her shoulders with my smile.

And I kept smiling at her.  And she kept speaking the words heard from the Angry Demon.

“Once I was done it there, and washed, and dried my hands, she was still in there.  She was hiding from me.”

I smiled and kept smiling, I thought of Mary and how many prayers it took me to not feel angry all the time.  I had it easy, I prayed a little, and my city, my City prayed a lot for me; I was lifted again in prayer.  I fought off a lot of demons in two thousand and twenty two. I had a lot of help.  Being Catholic, I feel free to call upon all my family in prayer.  Mary, Joseph, St. John, I can call down a litany of saints that I know by name.

I found a lot of people don’t like being prayed for, especially when they most need it, so if I see the opportunity I’ll just do it quietly under my breathe while smile and talk with them.  Sometimes that is the only way I can help.

“I told her too.  Are you hiding in there? Are you ashamed of the example you’ve shown your child”.

If I had ever finished that psychology class, I’d like to say this was a bit of projection already, the lady knew someone should feel shame. Something like that… saw the shame she thought the mother should feel.. yet, the shame in the situation was her own- and she new that too.. yet couldn’t say that.

“People don’t know what it’s like to have to use a walker.”

It was time to make my move.  Something inside stood up.  I know what it’s like I said.  I know what it’s like in a walker. I know what it’s like in chair.  I know what it’s like in a bed.  I kept smiling at her.  I could feel a blush in my cheeks and parted my lips to widen my smile and show teeth.  I know was it’s like ma’am.  I understand.

“And I’m the one that got in trouble.  They stopped at my site to talk to me- said they heard there was an argument”.

I shrugged my shoulders and smiled, and I added in a little head nod attitude move I learned the other day. I didn’t say a thing.

“Can you hear that generator? It’s been going all day – they have laws about this in EVERY other state except Texas.”

And that was the beginning of round two with the Angry Demon.  They do not give up easy.  Yet, I know a few tricks too.

On my next walk I went to find the generator and smile at it.  Ends up it belongs to Mathew and his wife, the ones I helped with a jump.

That silly demon lead me into a conversation with my friend.  We talked a while that day, and this morning he stopped down to my site to chat before he went to work.  This and that, and all of a sudden he started asking about my solar panels and batteries.  I may have made a comment yesterday that running batteries with a generator would save money and let him turn off the generator while watching TV.  A little bit of bait.  It was slow.. yet he bit.

It is hard to have real problems that every one sees AND have real problems that not everyone sees.

Was it rude to race a handicapped woman to a stall, maybe- if that is even what happened.  Are handicapped stalls only for handicapped people, no.  they are for everyone, big people, people with kids, people with space issue, people who always use left stalls..

Was it rude to shout a one-sided argument through a stall?  OMG yes, can you imagine?

I would have been terrified, and Angry Demon shouting about.. going on and on, when you’re not replying at all.

OMG, can you imagine the effect this might have had on this child?  Might they be afraid of the handicapped or elderly?

It made me sad to have that conversation and to keep having it and to stick in it for round two.  Yet I am here to recover my strenght for the fight.

I was able to speak several more times with the woman today, each time I did my walk.  The second time, I told I was trying to see how many laps I could do in a day (whole cove laps now, not just my block.). Later on I could hear her doing a lap too.

I spoke with Chris the other day, caught up with him at the ranger station as I was getting packages or something.  Fishing came up then too.. kind of a natural hobby.  I mean, I am at a campground with a lake.

Okay.. so what does all this have to do with me?  What is my story here? Well, I like to help.  Yet, not to go someplace intentionally to go help.. like volunteer work, not my style.  Yet, just walking around, enjoying my day- taking this trail because I saw a pretty bird, or that trail because I was following a path of ants.

Then you meet this person instead of that one. And then I smile and see what happens.

A conversation and a shared story or two.  An apology to refute predestinaion. A few tips on energy conservation and storage.

Maybe just a polite head nod and a “good day sir” (lots of “Sir” around here, such polite people in Texas.)

It’s kind of like fishing.  A fisherman enjoys fishing.  Also, a fisherman enjoys catching fish.

I enjoying smiling and I am trying to create a world where nothing will keep me from it.

And sometimes I can catch.. people? conversations? photographs? opportunities? gold?

Not sure, yet this is my live action adventure… hmm, what might happen tomorrow?

Time to rest.

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