I celebrated Christmas dinner at Mom's house today. I like the years when my family opts-out of the competing pressures of holiday schedules by holding our celebration a week or so early. It's difficult to find a day when we can all eat a meal together and not worry about jumping in the car to make it to the in-law's house in time for pie.
It's only December 17th, and I've wrapped up my extended familial commitments. I'm looking forward to personal time, just me and Jasper the black lab. I'm also excited about a big razor clam dig coming up on the 22nd and 23rd of this month. I bought a shiny clam-gun to celebrate the season. I ought to call it my glam-gun. Its really that spectacular.
Unfortunately, I was the one in the kitchen today preparing the holiday feast. I do love to cook, but I'm itching to get out and target practice with my new bow. I promised myself a day of shooting tomorrow, and I intend to make good on that promise.
Seafood for Christmas is a family tradition started at least 30 years ago by my late Grandpa Wettlaufer. He was sick to death of turkey and ham. He decided ham was for Easter and Turkey ought to be served just once a year on Thanksgiving. We were happy to oblige.
Grandpa's tradition worked well for me and my wild ideas. For the main course, we ate fresh caught Dungeness crab, Pacific Coast mussels, Olympic oysters, but I did cook a ham for my landlubbing daughter-in-law. I regret that I didn't catch the seafood we ate, but I know that by this time next year, I'll bring home the wild instead of shelling out $120 at the market.
Something cool happened this evening. But first a little backstory. I emailed a guy a few days ago advertising guided steelhead fishing near Kalama, Washington. I told him a little about my project and gave him my blog site. At first he wrote back and quoted $59 for 5 hours of steelhead lessons. I thought this was a great price. But earlier this evening, he wrote back and said that he was thinking about my project and really wanted to be a part of it. He offered the guided lessons for free if we could align schedules. I need to check everything out, figure out what gear I need, and take steps to ensure safety (safety is paramount in this whole adventure). And while its too early to tell if I'll be able to take him up on his offer, I'm touched by his interest, encouragement, and generosity.
Its a funny thing, I started this adventure with the hopes of reconnecting with nature, but one of the biggest perks so far is the connecting and reconnecting with such supportive people. Pretty cool project, so far.