Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Archive for June, 2008

Free Fishing Weekend 2008

Posted by todblog on June 9, 2008

June 8, 2008

This weekend was Oregon’s Free Fishing Weekend. It’s an annual spring event to kick-off the fishing season and a great way to introduce folks to fishing without having to buy a license. I took Jessica to a local reservoir that was stocked with rainbow trout for just this special occasion. The day before, was the big event with lots of prizes for biggest and smallest fish of the hour. A few years ago, Jacob won a rod and reel for a big trout he caught. Last year at a promotional day for Free Fishing Day, Jessica won a tackle box at a local Bi-Mart store just for walking by and spinning the fishing Wheel of Fortune. It was a dandy and I promised to hold on to it for her until she was ready to use it.

We headed over to Cooper Creek Reservoir at 4pm and saw about 100 folks scattered around the reservoir bank and a few boats out too. It was a pretty mid 70’s day with the sun out and people out lighting up barbeques for a nice evening of fishing. A red-tailed hawk circled above us showing-off her prize catch, a snake hanging from her talons as she screeched with pride.

We stayed for a couple of hours and only saw a couple of fish caught. The bite was definitely off at the time but, we had fun just being out together on a nice day. Next time, we’ll bring the boat. We never came close to catching a limit of trout but, one thing’s for sure… my daughter is a keeper!

Jessica fishing on the banks of Cooper Creek Reservoir in Sutherlin, Oregon

Posted in 2008, fishing, Stories | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

2008 UVC Baseball Season

Posted by todblog on June 1, 2008

June 1, 2008

the bus

The team takes one last ride on the UVC bus to the state championship game at Keizer Stadium.

It’s been a great year for the Umpqua Valley Christian Schools Baseball Team and especially for Jacob. He has never had the opportunity to work with such a great staff of coaches who worked on growing young men on and off the field. It was very much a winning season as the team continued to improve with each game. The boys finished the year second in the state losing to Portland Christian Academy 4-5 in extra innings. The Portland team was a good opponent but everyone felt that they were very beatable. (There’s a good chance our paths will cross again next year as our team is young and will only be losing one senior from the roster.)

At the end of the championship game, Jacob and his teammates were still submersed in a sea of shock and disappointment. Jacob was beating himself up for an error he committed when he bobbled a ground ball that allowed a tying runner on base. It was something he kept playing over and over again in his mind and the long drive home found him repeatedly saying, “I can’t believe we lost, we could have won this game, if only…”

When we pulled into our driveway I told Jacob I wanted to go for a walk with him. We headed across the street into Ray Lehne’s walnut orchard, just the three of us. Jacob with his glove and baseball, Mele (our German shorthaired-pointer) and me. It was a quiet time in the woods where we could clear our hearts and minds and talk about what mattered most while listening to Mele coursing through the area. Some of my best quiet time has been in the field watching a hard working bird dog zigging and zagging searching for answers. As the rays of sunlight faded in the orchard I proceeded to tell Jacob of his successes as a person and as parents we are very proud of him and his accomplishments. He shared with me how much he loved his coaches and teammates and that this should not have happened. As mourning doves flushed from the walnut tree roost sites above us, there was a sense of guilt and heaviness in the air. As a parent and friend, I just wanted to take away his pain and cry for him and his teammates. Telling him that 2nd out of 55 teams is nothing to be ashamed of and that a lot of other teams would trade places with yours in a heartbeat had little impact on him. However, I knew it would take time for things to get better and until then it was a grieving process of sorts that he and his teammates would be going through.

If there was one thing we could focus on it was turning this into something positive, learn from it and move forward. Experience is such a valuable teacher (both good and bad) and the more of it you get the better you become, in things on and off the field.

By now the daylight was almost totally consumed by the night and the bats were out flying erratically hunting bugs in the sky. I gave Jacob a big hug and told him not to give up but, to keep working at his game and improving himself. After all, if today were perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow. Now it’s on to summer baseball…

Coach Dave York talks with Jacob on 3rd base before scoring the first run of the Championship game.

Posted in 2008, Sports, Stories | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »