Kittie Howard


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Look at the Pecan Tree Ahead

When I was growing up in South Louisiana and lived with my parents on my grandparents' farm, I loved opportunities to ride with my grandfather in his green Ford truck when he went to the back pastures. Even though the layout of the pastures was as familiar as the sun rising in the morning, trips rippled with excitement. I couldn't wait to see how much calves had grown, if the green casings on pecans had begun to turn or how many cows were at the watering hole.

Actually, the watering hole was a dynamite hole about the size of a respectable pond that did double duty as a fishing hole. Sometimes, after we'd checked to see how the cows were doing on their rather sloped side (perhaps a calf had ventured too far), my grandfather would drive to the opposite far side of the watering hole, where he'd stop, get out of the truck and remove a knife from the tool box in the truck's bed.

When this happened, I could barely sit still. We were going fishing!

Later on, I'd learn to select my own bamboo pole from the thicket not far from where we'd stop and run the line, then add the stopper and hook. On this particular day with no day or month, with just a warm sun and a gentle breeze to anchor the time, I focused on threading a worm on the hook that was high enough to entice a fish but not so low as to feed a turtle.

My grandfather didn't know how catfish and turtles had taken up residence in the watering hole, what had once been flat land. But many years later -- more years than I could imagine at the time -- my grandfather and I sat on the bank with our fishing poles. Since the cows sullied the water, we both knew we wouldn't keep any fish we caught. But that didn't matter. It was the sheer joy of being there.

However, on this particular day with no name, I caught my first "eating-size" catfish that we wouldn't eat, barely able to contain my excitement as I focused on getting the fish to shore. That done, I jumped up and down -- whee! -- and couldn't wait to tell my sister Sarah what had happened, pins and needles Sarah wouldn't be home when we got home -- as if a three-year-old had Wall Street appointments beyond her afternoon nap -- and fidgeted in the green Ford truck that wouldn't go fast enough.

And, so, this was how I learned to work toward a goal. My grandfather told me to look into the distance, where I knew my house was, and then focus only on the pecan tree in front of me. Since the truck was moving, the tree ahead would become another tree ahead, and I would reach my house, my goal, faster than if stared into the distance, wanting it to be.

Fast forward the day-with-no-name to today and the goal is that my husband and I will list our place for sale the first week in May. Now that the first load of stuff is in a North Carolina storage unit, we need to focus on the expected work one does before listing a dwelling.

Dog work that, like the tree ahead, moves steadily forward each day.

We hope to be settled in our NC house by June, even if this one hasn't sold. Many, many thanks for your very helpful paint/decorating suggestions. True confession time: Instead of devoting time to my blog, free moments have been consumed by paint palettes too easily Googled. However, that did lead to one decision being made: beige walls in the great room. Now, which beige remains to be determined. . . that next tree ahead.

My apologies for being so slow in visiting you. Obviously, my old routine of visiting blogs in the evening fell apart -- something about being too tired to think and/or nodding off with my hands at the keyboard while flopped on the sofa -- so I'm switching out evening for morning visits. I think I'll still be as slow as a turtle -- one can only do so much -- but will plod along, from one tree to the next.

Have a great day, everyone!







  

23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you are one step closer. We can get anxious, wanting to get to the end that is so far away, but if we focus on short jumps to get there, it makes the journey easier.

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

what a great analogy "focus on the pecan tree ahead...." wishing you the best in your move...we did that finally fully in 2005 and after living in one place 40+ years, it was a big transition. Yes who ever knew there were are so many shades of beige!

Out on the prairie said...

I like a touch of grey in beige tones.

Janie Junebug said...

That's a wonderful story. I wish I'd had someone to take me fishing. I prefer taupe over beige.

Love,
Janie

William Kendall said...

A splendid analogy!

I can see turtles getting across land to a pond... but catfish?

Leandra Wallace said...

I have great memories of fishing with my grandfather, too. And I miss the feeling of fighting a fish to get it ashore. They always felt much bigger than really were! =)

Munir said...

As much as fishing hurts fish, I think it is a great bounding experience.

Norma Beishir said...

I'm with William. From what I remember of catfish...no, wait. When I was a little girl, I wanted to put one on a leash....

'Lara said...

Wonderful story.

Kittie Howard said...

Love your comments. Many thanks! Hmm, like the idea of a touch of gray in beige. My grandfather thought a bird had dropped a pregnant fish or some such from a nearby body of water (so many in LA), all of which occurred about 30 years prior to me and my fishing pole. Ah, the passage of time . . .

Inger said...

It is a precious gift to have a grandparent teach us things.

Tina said...

I flipping HATE moving. Best of luck to you!
LOVED the fishing story, and the life advice of your wise Grandfather. I love fishing - grew up spending summer weekends at my Grandmother's summer place on the waterfront in one of the creeks leading into the Chesapeake.
All the best to you in your new adventures!
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

Liza said...

Love the fishing story. Good luck with the moving chores.

Amy Jarecki said...

I have to admit, I'm not as good about visiting blogs anymore. It's difficult to keep up with all the social media. I still try to post a couple blogs a week, but I no longer have time to make the circuit and comment on other posts. *sighs*

Carol Kilgore said...

Like Anne Lamont says ... bird by bird :)

You'll get there. Our last move was five years ago. It's fun but lots of hard work at the same time.

Sherry Ellis said...

Great advice! Focus on the pecan tree. I'll have to remember to do that.

Maalaimalar said...

Thanks for the information... I really love your blog posts... specially those on Local Tamil News

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kittie .. love the story line and the tale of your grandfather and his rounds, then the fishing with his granddaughter ...

Focus on your pecan tree ... sounds you need to do that so you can get happily settled .. I'm sure we'll still be here ..

Good luck - beige is good! Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love your stories, Kittie. Your life sounds so wonderful and so full. They should make a movie about you! Me and a few million others would go.

Lynda R Young said...

Moving steadily forward with a goal in mind. That's definitely the trick.

Denise Covey said...

Love the fishing with Gramps story ...great analogy. I feel that you will be struggling to find time for a lot of things with the demands of moving, but I must say, you are so dashed organised. How many shades of beige...? Such a First World problem...I'm struggling with how many shades of white...

Jennifer Chandler said...

Hi Kittie,

Congratulations on a new move, new house, new place. Sorry I haven't been around in a while: had to regroup and breathe :)

Glad to see things are moving along for you!

All the best,
Jen (formerly of Boots and Bluestockings and jenchandlerwashere :))

debi o'neille said...

I really enjoyed this story, and I'm glad to be your newest blog follower.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com