Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ma Donna

Ma Donna

Last Saturday we said our goodbyes to my friend Kevin's mother, Donna Aiona.  Having graduated high school with my dad, she was a fixture in Eleva, living right across the street from the church.  We grew up just a couple of houses away and with Kevin and I's love for fishing, all of us friends simply called her Ma Donna.  Growing up in a small town meant that you really had to mind your P's and Q's and with Donna, it was no exception!  If you were goofing off or slightly out of line, she'd let you know it right now.  Having a house full of kids which included Brent, Michelle, Eddy, Kevin, Warren, Camille, and Valerie as a visitor you simply became one of them.  It was actually pretty nice as you never had to worry about where you stood with her.  At the funeral Pastor Kermit Solem said it well, with Donna nothing went to waste.  Kevin and I spent most every weekend hunting or fishing and those activities were appreciated in the Aiona household.  Whether it was suckers that we caught out of the river in March, trout in May, Sunnies and Bass in the summer, squirrels in October, nothing went to waste.  She was a pretty good cook as I always look forward to seeing Kevin as she would with out fail have something for us kids.  My fondest memory of all came on Thanksgiving Day as a teenager.  I suppose Kevin and I were going deer hunting in the afternoon so arriving at the house just before dinner, Donna was putting the finishing touches on her Thanksgiving pie.  She asked if I would like a piece of homemade squash pie.  Now as a teenager, squash wasn't necessarily in my list of preferred foods but what the heck.  Well, it looked just like a pumpkin pie anyway.  It was delicious!  You see pumpkin is nothing but a big squash anyway and like Donna, she used what had come out of the garden a month before.  She finally got to use those cooking talents and became a cook out at the high school....the perfect job and I am sure she had the opportunity to straighten out a few of the boys while she was at it.

April 20th???

So winter's grip this year doesn't seem like it would ever end.  Last week I was in Colorado while we were having a blizzard back home.  To be quite honest, last weekend looked more like the middle of January then it does the third week in April.   I snapped this picture in the morning before we had a chance to head to Eleva for the funeral.  Sort of depressing isn't it!  The good news is that we do need the moisture and these record April snows are just what we need to alleviate the drought conditions of last fall.  Never the less it's getting pretty frustrating.  I guess from one extreme to another, last year the apple trees were in full blossom, the ice had been gone off Mille Lacs for a month now to this, a solemn winter scene as the ice on Mille Lacs is still over 30 inches thick with 12 inches of snow on top.  It's suppose to be 70 this weekend and as I write, most of this snow is gone already.  It will be an interesting Minnesota Fishing Opener in 2 weeks.  I did call up to Brindley's Harbor, the resort we stay on at Leech Lake and Greg confirmed that the ice isn't even out of the harbor yet with 36 inches of ice on the bay in front of the resort.  I wanted to check to see if they'd even be open for our annual trip.  Having moved us to the new log cabin which is available year around, it's not a problem.  As for fishing, Team Walleye will just take it as it comes as whatever Mother Nature dishes out to us, it will become another story to remember with my friends on opener.

Lowrance Point 1

Time is running out to get the boat ready.  The cold weather has put on hold pretty much everything from getting it cleaned out to re-spooling line on the reels.  I decided to get a new external GPS receiver for my boat and got that hooked up this week.  Finally figuring out the where to mount it, I'm pretty impressed as it locked into every satellite it could receive as the boat was in my pole shed with a steel roof.  Normally I cannot get a very good reading inside the shed.  This should really enhance my tracking abilities in the boat as the built in GPS only updates once per second while the external receiver updates 10 times a second.  This might seem trivial however I do notice a difference between the performance of my old Garmin GPS and the one built into my HDS10 unit.  Last Saturday I had the chance to join my brothers and sister in taking my mom out for her 79th birthday.  She's looking pretty good for having put up with us all these years.  It did give me a chance to stop at Scheels and buy a new rod for opener.  They have a great guarantee, break it for whatever reason, bring it back and we'll give you a new one.  I guess you can't beat that!  Coupled with a nice Shimano CI4, it's very light and sensitive, perfect for opener...........if we can get out.

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