When Steve and I go fishing, I read and he fishes. It’s an accommodation we’ve reached over the years.
Back when he and our friend Dave were trying to get me to fish with them, Dave urged me: “Lanita, you have to keep casting your line into the water. You’ll never catch anything just standing there.”
My reply: “That’s the idea.” Soon after that, I quit even pretending and just let them fish while I read.
Friday was a beautiful day, cool and sunny. We were ready for an adventure. We knew we’d had a lot of rain earlier in the week, but we hoped the creek would not be too high or too muddy for him to fish. Our hopes were dashed the minute we saw the rushing, muddy creek.
We’d stopped at the farmhouse where Steve and Christine Wilson lived, dropping off the usual pack of Bud Lite in payment for using his lane to get to the creek. My Steve spoke briefly to Christine, who said it would be fine for us to drive to the creek.
Steve parked on a little rise above the creek and we got out our folding chairs and our packed lunches. We had stopped at the Monterey Market on our way in to get cold drinks. We gave up some time ago packing a cooler and ice; these drinks would stay cool enough until we were ready for lunch.
What a gorgeous day! We were surrounded by tall trees, birdsong, wild flowers, and the constantly moving creek. It was perfect for me; Steve was sorry not to fish, but he enjoyed gazing and pondering and reading. We waved and called to kayakers and canoers going down the swift creek. About two o’clock we packed up to leave.
Or so we thought. Steve turned around easily and started up the slight incline back to the field we drove through to get to the creek. About half way up, the tires started spinning, he took his foot off the gas, and we slid back down the hill.
As it happened, that “slight incline” looked larger and taller as we kept trying to drive up it. We put large rocks in the tracks. The wheels only scattered them. We wanted to drive over into the grass on either side, but one side had a tree too close to the edge and the other side was a high bank. We were going to make one last effort to climb what had become a gigantic hill, so Steve backed up farther to get a running start.
So far, in fact, that he got stuck balanced on a mound of rocks and weeds. We got out, looked at it and each other, and both spoke at once. Lanita: “I’ll call AAA.” Steve: “I’ll call Steve Wilson.”
Steve left a message for Steve W, but his not answering his phone was not encouraging. He decided to walk the half mile to the road so he could flag down the AAA guy.
Meanwhile, I was with my third person at AAA. Finally I’d gotten someone in Frankfort at least familiar with the area. I told him we’d come from Monterey and turned left, possibly on state highway 900. He said there was no such state highway. I apologized, reminding him that I had not paid close attention because I’d had no idea I’d need to give someone directions to get there.
He was amazingly patient and kind. He found Kentucky 1900 and we figured out that it was the correct road. Then came the hardest part. We had no idea what the Wilsons’ address was. We just got there by landmarks. He kept saying, “It’s okay. We’ll figure this out.”
He suggested I go to Google Maps on my iPhone and it would give him my location. All I could get was “No internet available.” He started looking elsewhere and asking me questions about what we’d passed on that road. All I could recall was lots of stone walls—not unusual in that part of Kentucky.
Then wonder of wonders! Here come the two Steves in a banged-up old vehicle. To me it looked like a Jeep, but it was a 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser with an open top like a Jeep. I told the AAA guy help had arrived and he seemed truly happy that we were getting help. (And probably truly happy not to deal with me any longer.)
In no time at all, Steve Wilson had hooked our car to his Toyota and pulled us up the hill and into the lane that goes through his field.
Once we were safely on level and non-muddy ground, he stopped and unhooked us. We kept thanking him and Steve tried to pay him. Of course he wouldn’t take it because, as he said, “No problem! It’s just what we do.”
They chatted a little and Steve W encouraged us to come back any time. He told us the website for getting information on the creek conditions. In the course of the conversation, he laughed and said, “Yeah! Come back any time. And I’ve changed to Modelo.”
“Modelo?” Steve Boyd inquired.
“Yep! It’s okay—I’ll drink the Bud Lite. But I’ve gotten to like this Mexican beer called Modelo. And you know, the craziest thing—the US quit accepting shipments from Mexico and now they make it in Belgium.” He laughed his contagious laugh. “So here in Kentucky I like to drink a Mexican beer made in Belgium.”
We assured him we’d remember the next time. And we will. We’ll remember many things from that particular “fishing” adventure.
As we left, we stopped to take a picture of a special sign. It used to be on the side of a barn, but when the barn finally collapsed, evidently someone saved that wall and the neon connection: “CHRIST IS THE ANSWER.” Always a good reminder.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1