My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Ponds

Just sitting around on a sunday evening eating these and tellin' y'all stories:

I faced it a long time ago: my hubby is a party animal. I'm a wallflower. Believe it or not, this is true. I am just so happy being home. But since he belongs to just about every organization he can, he has to drag me to dinners, picnics and every such thing he can. I guess he likes me going but I'm such a bore I can't figure out why. I do it to support him because he supports me in pretty much anything I do. He's a very tolerant and patient man. Me? Not so much. Sigh. So we went out there and after I ate and socialized for a while, I came on home and let hubby and the old Marines reminisce about the "Good Ol' Days" and then came back about 3 hours later to pick him up. So come with me on a picnic recently and the story of it.

First of all, the event was a Marine Corps League picnic, which in our area is a small detachment. It was held at the home of one of the members. He just happened to have to go to California, but he opened his property to the other men and women who belong to the organization. There were only about 12 of the members this day. He annually holds a couple of fish fries for the Veterans Home in Boise. A van brings them out and they can fish if they want, and this man helps them clean their fish and has a fish fry for them. A small thing to do for these men who rarely get out, but a very significant thing for them. Now these men are old veterans and very feeble. Some are in wheelchairs and on walkers, but they are treated as the heroes they are while out there. I don't know this man personally but he must be one heck of a man to do this while he is in such pain with his back from injuries.

His property has 2 ponds on it. The first one belongs to the Bass Association and the Fish and Game and they stock it. The man can fish and boat in it but he doesn't own it even if it is partly on his property. This is the first pond as I was driving down his lane to the picnic area. I shot the photo from my car as I was coming to pick up LB.

The lane to his house is well off the main 2 lane road taken to get there. It is mostly dirt and gravel on the lane until just before his property begins. Right at the first pond it is asphalted with an allèe and lots of rocks along the border of the lane.

The house is large and lovely but the setting is what grabs your attention.

The house would be in the right lower corner of this picture. You can just see the little white bridge on the left over to the island.

This is a picnic area he has made for anyone who wants to come out and fish in the pond. It's privately owned so we could fish without a license and catch as many as you want. He just asks us to release the crappie and blue gill back into the pond. Can you image owning a pond like this? It was beautiful out there.

There's th' Love Bunny commanding th' grill. The grill and all tables and chairs are there for any of us to enjoy. Funny thing though, the grill wasn't working that day. They tried and tried to get it lit but it just wasn't cooperating. The owner had liquor in one of 2 tin buckets—for lack of a better word for a thing that was about 40" square—just to the left and behind LB and even stocked it for all of us, but LB and I don't drink. He even thought to put ice in it for any perishables we happened to bring.

The pit. When we arrived there were 2 women and a man already there. He had built a fire in the pit with enough wood that it had to have been almost a full tree. The flames were almost touching the tops of the trees beside it. If I stood in that pit, it would have been up to at least my stomach. It was HOT around that pit!

At this point I was the youngest woman there by about 25 years, but those 2 women were just as alert as any one of us. One was a woman Marine, but the other one was her friend. I believe they came together to hold each other up! They were cute!

That metal box is an oven. I could have fit in there, it's that big. When we realized the grill wasn't going to work we used the top of the oven to cook some things in a pot and trust me, they cooked in record time. Our hamburgers and the ladies steaks we cooked on that flat iron piece stretching across the pit. They also cooked quickly as that was very, very hot.

This is the pond near the fire pit where some of the people were fishing. They assured me I didn't want to go onto that pontoon bridge and I believed them. The guys said most people end up in the water when navigating that bridge. It has to be pulled into place and you'd better have on your swimming suit when you help with the pulling. Best to walk around to the white bridge near the house to get to the island. I did NOT argue with their experience!

The owner even had one of those floating rafts you see so much in lakes for people to swim out to and rest before returning to shore. He must have grandkids who come and swim in the pond.

Straight across from the fire pit is this view.

The owner built this picnic area for use by his friends and acquaintances. It had 4 or 5 picnic tables in it with a couple of dozen chairs for guests to relax in.

The wife of one of the Marines attending is fishing and LB resting peacefully from his cooking endeavors. He loves to cook but I pretty much only let him BBQ outdoors.

The owner's private swing. It was a delightful day, and the area is a beautiful place to spend a bit of an afternoon.