Saturday, December 26, 2009
A Christmas Morning Message
Many said that we didn't have an official white Christmas because it didn't snow on Christmas day here on the prairie ocean. However it seemed quite close enough for us to qualify as a white Christmas.
As the snow blew in on Thursday covering everything here on our spread, Miss Carol and I made plans for how we would spend Christmas morning and the rest of the day.
On Christmas morning, being the early risers we are, we both found ourselves awake and sharing coffee at 4 a.m. We simply wanted to lounge around with one another, open our gifts to each other, and then wait for our scattered chicks to arrive as their schedules would allow.
But shortly before six a phone call would come from the local sheriff's department. The dispatcher would report that the alarm at my workplace was blaring and deputies had found footprints in the snow on the roof. For a minute I thought about telling the dispatcher that the footprints were easily explained - Santa Claus left them...but sensing the urgency I knew my levity wouldn't be likely appreciated.
I dug the prairie schooner out from the drifts and made it to the workplace about fifteen minutes later where an officer awaited. He instructed me to open the door and lock it behind him. It was gun drawn, shouted instructions, and then a chase. It seems three young men had made their way into the store through a rooftop hatch that hadn't been secured. Two of then got out of the store with one being caught in the alley. One made a clean break and was still missing when all was said and done. The third was still in the store and cornered. The officer had been joined by fellow officers and they came running back to the door telling me to let them out and then came back to get back in. This time I stayed in the store also. A short time later they brought the young man that was cornered to the front of the store, handcuffed, roughed up some, and placed him on the ground in front of me.
I couldn't help from notice how young he was - probably a little over twenty. He was a good looking kid, clean cut, and here he was about to go to jail on Christmas day and most likely a lot longer. He and his two accomplices had in their possession around $60,000.00 worth of Loratabs stolen from our pharmacy.
Three hours later it was all said and done but I couldn't get the image of that kid out of my mind. I kept wondering what would bring him to such a choice? Was it environment, circumstance, or just plain mischief and no matter what the reason...what was the root cause?
Some may call me just a silly old man...but I still question. I ask myself what if that kid would have been introduced, taught, and encouraged to learn the art of fly-fishing, would he be in the predicament he is today? I truly believe that time on the water, and time in the outdoors in general, is a wonderful alternative to time idly spent which can lead to poor choices in friends, boredom, and seeking a thrill. Fly-fishing can be that thrill in itself.
I know we can't save the world through fly-fishing, but on this Christmas morning there seemed to be a message, at least for me, to try and teach and share this wonderful gift of fly-fishing that so many of us have come to love and use in creating positive lives.