The past few years have been quite a bit of fun, with a little not so much fun mixed in. First off let me tell you about Sam. Sam and I grew up together and are practically brothers, the only major difference is our blood relation. After a few years of Sam living in New York, and me still here in Michigan, Sam got tired of the city and moved back. Sam and I started spending most of our time together again after we were both married and lived in close proximity to one another. At first it was the occasional fishing trip out on the lake in my canoe going after Northern Pike. Soon after that, we began working together, and I was able to buy a descent aluminum boat with a motor. The first year we used it about every other day it seemed like, bringing home fish dinners at least once a week. But eventually the work dwindled and I was forced to sell the boat. During the same few years we were also spending a lot of time in the woods. The fun times we had are unnumbered, like the time we were "turned around" coming out of the same swamp...twice. Eventually Sam and his wife moved again and, of course, they moved almost a two hour drive away. So ended our short run of steady good times together.
I however did have other friends in the area that I spent some time with, like Mark, who was always willing to drop anything he was doing to either help someone else out or just spend some time with me looking for squirrels or bunnies to make a dinner out of. The good times spent with him though are now only a memory. Mark died this past November just before deer season. Sometimes work can kill you.
The friend that I have been spending time with more frequently in the past couple years is the older brother of Sam. I can vaguely remember him from when I was a child 20 some years ago. I mostly remember the feeling of knowing he was someone to look up to then, and he is now. Jason, although he is imperfect as we all are, is the type to take a person along and make them feel welcome in any atmosphere or crowd. This being the case, I asked Jason a year ago or maybe a little longer to take me out and show me how to fly fish. He hung his head in disgust and said: "Well, I suppose if you are going to make me." Not even a negative word actually came out of his mouth. He not only has taught me most of what he knows about fly fishing in general, but also is still coaching me along on tying flies.
It is nice to know that as short as life is, you can have a full and rewarding one if you can learn to relax, forgive others errors and laugh at yourself along with others. Learn as much as you can whenever you can, and about things that not only interest and benefit you alone, but others around you as well. In my personal opinion, if you can do this little bit, it is at least a good start to having friendships worth cherishing and that will last a lifetime.