Bill Stancil: Retirement left Stancil busy, busy, busy


Bill Stancil


By Bill Stancil
The Billboard

Friday, August 11, 2017

I thought when I retired from my previous employment in June, that I would just relax at home, sip coffee and watch time go by without having to do anything but write about it.

If the grass needed mowing and I could not do it, someone else in the family would get it done for me, plus several other things that I can no longer do.

Then this past Saturday morning, my daughter and her fiancé came over early, while I was in my favorite relaxing place – our screened porch. I was thinking about going down to the newspaper box and getting the newspaper, if it was not too strenuous. After that, I would refresh the few drops of coffee left in my cup.

Suddenly she said to her fiancé, “Show him what we caught.” As he was holding up the fish, I suddenly noticed that they had rods and reels, artificial bait, and a bait bucket of live crickets. They had already been fishing and were going again.

“We are going to a better place to fish. Don’t you want to go?” she asked, knowing I would jump at the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of my busy home office.

She knew how to get to me. I taught her to fish when she was just a little girl.

“Let me get a rod and reel,” I said, as I poured out the remainder of my coffee. Then she and I hurried out to my workshop – deer cleaning station – fishing equipment and tool mausoleum, where old tools go to rust and die.

When we arrived at the fishing site and baited our hooks, I quickly cast into a likely spot. I don’t think I had to wait over 15 or 20 minutes before I had a nibble – she had some peanut butter nabs. Then I had a real nibble on my bait. I hauled back on my line and ducked as the line, cork, hook and bait – everything except a fish – came flying over my head. I strained my eyeballs looking for the fish, but he didn’t come in with the equipment.

Meanwhile, our conversation was so inviting that a stranger came over and sat down by her fiancé, and they started a lively conversation about good fishing places. I never heard them mention the spot I was in, but I heard a giggle whenever I cast for fish.

So I said to my daughter’s fiancé, “Why don’t you call Kent King and ask him if this a good place to catch fish. I like Kent’s fishing column and I knew he would not steer me wrong. “If he says no, then let’s leave.”

I had just got the words out of my mouth when I had another bite. “Never mind, I think I have a big one on here now,” I said. Then I began to crank that reel faster. I was determined not to lose this one.

However, the fish did not come up with the sinker, float and line. The line wafted in the wind as it went over my head and dropped near the fiancé. And because it broke, he decided to fix it.

“Boy, this line is old and brittle,” he remarked. “Just how long has it been on this reel?”

I tried to remember, going back through the years in my mind. “It was new when I bought the reel several years ago,” I said.

“Guess I’ll have to put a new line on that reel, just as soon as I get a free moment. Retirement days get filled up with things that need fixing, adjusting, replacing or just throwing away, you know,” I told him.

“We are going to another place to fish, but I know you are too busy to go with us,” my daughter said.

Before I could answer her, they were making a place in the truck to carry me and my fishing equipment home. That’s the way these retirement days go. Now I will be reel, reel busy for a while.

As I was writing this, a flock of Canada Geese migrated overhead, going north.

Where does the time go? Hunting season will be here before you know it, and I will be busy getting ready for that. It’s time to get a new can of coffee.

Boy, retirement days sure can be tough on you.