What did you do during Christmas break when you were a kid? It is a question my grandkids ask me, wondering how my brothers and I could keep busy with no TV, no computers, no electronic gadgets to listen to, watch, or, in the case of the newer ones, interact with, no cell phones to call friends.
I explained that after the chores were done, we skied, ice skated, went sledding and ice fished. We ice fished a lot, nearly every day between Christmas and New Years. We sat around a smoky campfire built on shore and watched our tip-ups (a simple standalone ice fishing device stuck in a hole chopped in the ice). We listened to my dad and uncle’s fishing stories, hunting stories, farming stories, logging stories. The same ones told over and over, always the same but always different because with each retelling, I would hear some twist, some new angle to the tale.
Of course my grandkids also do their share of outdoor winter stuff; all five of them ski, go sledding, and ice skate. But no ice fishing, no smoky campfires and no uncle embellished stories.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Always remember as through life you roll, to keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole—except when you are ice fishing.
Happy New Year!
January 14, 9:00 AM, WTMJ 4 TV, Milwaukee. Old Farm featured.
January 19, 6:00 PM, Portage (Columbia County) Historical Society dinner, Old Farm featured. Call 608-742-1445 for further information.
January 30, Viroqua Public Schools.