That double trip on Friday did it in. I've been concerned about the engine, which has been overheating without warning, and badly worn tires and no spare (I'm already driving on it), either of which could have stranded me in the dark in the middle of nowhere with the bears and cougars and Bigfoot.
Friday night on the way home the engine started to labor and I realized it was way overheated. I was almost home, so pushed on. I had just turned onto my road when the engine quit. But I was able to coast almost a quarter of a mile right up to my back door. Saturday morning I went out and the left rear tire was flat.
Depending on your belief system, either angels sent by a God of Grace saw this poor idiot safely home, or I'm just one lucky son of a gun.
So I borrowed another spare and in the morning I'll drive up to a friend who has tires for me. And a mechanic I know will look at the engine whenever I drive it over to his house. But I didn't think I'd oughta drive it tonight.
So tonight it was the minivan.
There was something missing. The ride was way too quiet, so quiet I could hear the radio, which I don't have in the truck but which I couldn't hear even if I did. I didn't have anything to worry about: the engine is in good repair and the tires are new. I didn't have a door I had to prop open with my knee while I sat on a too high seat to put my waders on. And my flashlight was useless with all those dome and convenience lights.
I'd best be careful lest I get soft and citified.
It was a hot, beautiful, still, smoky evening. I had about three hours to fish so thought I'd troll again, but there were so many fish--some big ones, too--working on top that I succumbed and cast various dries to rises. That's my idea of fun.
Just as it was getting hard to see the fly I hooked a decent fish on a little caddis. I stripped him in to the float tube planning to release him in the water, but as he was thrashing there I decided to try for a picture and reached to untangle the net from the line, and that was long enough for him to thrash off the hook.
So then I trolled, as the world turned from orange to pink to rose to purple to midnight blue.
There were no fish in the net tonight. But I was content, ready to head for home. That's when it's good. That's when, when all is said and done, there's nothing missing at all.