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2010-09-07 17:48:23
The Parable of the 'Potgut'

The boys and I camping As the summer drew to a close this past weekend, I thought of all the fun I've had with my boys the past couple of months camping, fishing and hiking in the great outdoors.

What ended up being one of our favorite outings, came about very unexpectedly and started out, ...well, let's just say, 'not the greatest.' 

We camped out the night before at Mutual Dell and arose early to go to Tibble Fork Reservoir for a little weekend fishing.  ...I said fishing -- not catching, right? 

Unfortunately we didn't get there early enough to get our favorite spot which is almost always fruitful (even for a poor fisherman like me).  So we went to the other side of the lake, set up our chairs, rigged our poles, cast our lines in and waited....and waited....and waited... 

Fishing...and waitingDid I mention that my 8 and 9 year-old boys are 'not the greatest' at waiting.  In fact, my seventeen year-old son is 'not the greatest' at waiting either.  Okay, I admit it, so maybe even I'm 'not the greatest' at waiting.

So after what seemed like an eternity of not catching any fish, and the activity of watching our bobbers had become somewhat less than enthralling, we became more aware of our surroundings and noticed that the hillside behind us had come alive; well maybe not alive, but it appeared to be crawling with literally hundreds of Uinta Ground Squirrels, or as we Utahans affectionately call them, “potguts.”Family of potguts

Now every father wants to create positive vs. negative memories of fishing with Dad, right?  Well, the day hadn’t been too positive up to that point, so I got this hair-brained idea that since the fish obviously didn’t like “power-bait” that morning, maybe the potguts would!  And so after rigging some bait on the end of my line making it so I couldn’t actually “hook” a potgut, I turned around and started casting my line towards a potgut hole to see if they wanted to come out and have some breakfast. 

Fishing for potgutsWell...my idea worked!  It turns out that potguts love powerbait!  No sooner would I cast out my line than a potgut would run to see what it was, smell it and then begin nibbling on it.  As I would reel in my line, the potguts would hang onto the bait with their paws for dear life, not wanting to let go of the tasty treat.  They would enjoy the ride all the way until they were almost to the end of the pole before they would scamper away.  Now obviously, my boys saw what I was doing and followed suit.  We had a blast the rest of that morning “feeding” the potguts.  We laughed and laughed at how much fun we were having. 

Interestingly enough, we all got really accurate at casting,Potgut fishing ...and found  out that besides powerbait, potguts like beef jerky and licorice as well!

Although our weekend didn’t start out that way, by the time we were ready to pack up and go home we all agreed, that was the most fun we have had fishing - ever!
Disclaimer: No animals were injured or killed through our fishing activities. :-)

My point in relating this story is:

In life, as in fishing, sometimes we wait, and wait ...and wait, wondering, Where have all the fish gone?  Why aren’t they biting? 

These past couple of years have been difficult for most people and their businesses.  This economy has created a very wide wake - leaving few unaffected. 

Sometimes doing the same thing we’ve always done in the same way we’ve always done it may not reap the same rewards as it always has. 

We may need to look in places we’ve never thought of to see what’s in store for us next.  Maybe we will find a whole new dimension waiting for us; an opportunity to do things in a way that we’ve never even considered.  Chances are, if we are open to new possibilities ...and embrace them, we will be enriched in ways that we’ve never imagined.


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