Time continues to fly by. I have spent the last few days doing nothing, yet having no idea where the days or time has gone. We've been suer at the shop and I've been trying to get everything sorted as the 'busiest time of year" is coming up. Truth be told, it's a slow time of year around the shop compared to most of the year, yet it still seems to never be dead enough to just waste away talking about lake fishing and the ethical merits of fishing the Redds.
We always have so many projects going on…it's stupid. How many times can I rewrite web descriptions, place an order, wonder about merchandising, mess with new website stuff, and work on social media. It's a bunch of stupid shit that just causes me anxiety and makes me question the logic of It All!
So, the family and I are going to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Much of the next couple of days will be characterized by me hiding out, trying to get everything ready for our "big sale" this coming weekend. Hopefully, I'll get it all done by Wednesday night and enjoy the rest of the little vacation. Hoping to catch some Bass and shoot some Ducks though.
The store will be closed on Black Friday after thinking about the logic of REI's decision to push this whole idea of not spending the day chasing deals in favor of taking the day to be outside. Also, it's never a crazy busy day for us and some of us end up really only being able to have one day off to spend with friends and family. Seems like I'm always the one that takes a few days off, so I thought I'd pass it along to my staff and pay them for a day off.
The other significance to this Black Friday is the fact that it will be the 15th Anniversary of our store opening. Hard to believe, but as I said to start with…time flies. In the last 15 years, I've gone through a marriage, had another marriage, another kid, lost some dogs, made a lot of friends, seen the world, and learned to work really hard. Although it seems like just yesterday Rick and I were trying to understand how to use Excel, it really was a lifetime ago. I've been lucky enough to have jammed the experiences of about 3 lifetimes into my 44 years.
I'm not always sure which one has been best though. The druggie teenage years had their moments, the maturation period from 22-28 had its' moments too. The 30+ years have probably been the best though, none really better than the last 5 when I stop to think about it. I wish I fished as much as I did 5-15 years ago, but I wish that I would have spent more time with the wife and kids more than anything the last few years.
Fins & Feathers and guiding has been a lifetime goal of mine, since I was 12 years old or so. Through the first marriage, through the drugs, through the epic scholastic struggles, broken relationships, and nomadic stages of my life, nothing has kept me here more than fish and water. Whenever I have been lost, the fish have brought me back.
There are a lot of legitimate reasons for having started Fins & Feathers, but the truth is that my dad believed in me enough to give me a chance. Take all the business and marketing shit out of the equation, the real reason that Fins & Feathers exists is that I would have been dead or wasted years ago if my dad hadn't taken me fishing and the store/guiding is the practical application of my efforts to try to "pass it on.'
I love the fly fishing industry, the water, and the fish…but most of all, I love what fishing with a fly rod in cold water has done for my soul. I hope it means than much to you…it probably does or you wouldn't have found this blog and paid attention to it over the years.
So…let's fuck 'em all…save the water, save the fish, save the land...and ultimately...save your soul through a hook with feathers on it!