Monday, January 30, 2012


Yesterday my husband drove me to the airport with the top down on my car. The weather in Houston was 65° and sunny. I boarded a flight for Minneapolis where the weather is 10° and partly cloudy. I did this voluntarily. Why? I was invited to go ice fishing. So here I am at dawn, about to get onto a bus for a two hour ride to a wilderness lodge on a frozen lake, pulse pounding with anticipation. Okay, scratch the pulse bit, I need more caffeine.

It’s not that ice fishing was ever on my Bucket List. So why leave the balmy temperatures for snow and cold? Because it’s something I’ve never done before and it sounded like fun.

Many years ago an older woman (she was probably not all that old, I was just very young) said to me, “I wish I’d had the chance to scuba dive and live on a tropical island when I was your age. But I had too many responsibilities and now it’s too late.” Then and there I made a promise to myself—when I was old I’d only regret what I’d done, not what I hadn’t done.

Over the years I’ve made a lot of mistakes through selfishness, lack of experience and just plain stupidity. Those I regret and hope I’ve learned from them. But whenever an opportunity to try something new or have an adventure has arisen, if time and finances have allowed, I’ve almost always said YES!!

Not all of these adventures turned out well—the snowmobile trip from hell, an arrest for piracy (I was innocent, of course!), and an infamous dive that ended with the bends come to mind—but once over, even the worst calamity evolved into a great story over time.

So ice fishing I go today. I’ve got my silk long underwear, cashmere socks, warm boots, scarf, coat  and gloves, and I’ve heard the cabin will be stocked with hot coffee and bourbon. Maybe not a death-defying extreme sport, but who knows what lurks under the frozen lake. Hmmmm, I feel a paranormal plot coming on. Let you know on Friday how it goes. 


Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I'm jealous! Ice fishing isn't high on my list of things-to-do-before-I-die, but I envy your determination to live life to the fullest.

"Then and there I made a promise to myself—when I was old I’d only regret what I’d done, not what I hadn’t done."

Words to live--and ice-fish by.

Have a great time, Lark!

Lark Howard said...

Thanks, Pat. It's gorgeous here! I didn't catch any fish yesterday, but I'm going to try again this afternoon.

Sarah Andre said...

Hope you're enjoying yourself!

Although I heartily agree with your motto, and it's one I should sew on a pillow or something, I draw the line at winter-Anything. No more skiing, skating, sledding, shoveling snow or shivering for me. (Hey, all of those words begin with S!)

I lived in snowy countries and states from birth until grad school and one bitter cold day in Boston, while chipping ice from my windshield with my credit card, I looked around at the bleakness and said "no more."

The latest I will visit northern states is October (and only for a weekend) to smell the hay, cider, dying leaves and wear a couple of dusty, out-of-date sweaters.

Catch a pike and swig that Bourbon!

Lark Howard said...

This place is a lot different in the summer, Sarah, but it's still fun.

Since moving to the Virgin Islands at 23 I haven't spent a single winter in the cold north. A couple days or even a week of winter is kind of fun for me, though, especially when I know I'm headed back to the warm weather shortly. An entire 3 months--NO!!!!!!!

Sheila Seabrook said...

Oh wow, Lark, piracy? How cool is that?! As you say, not at the time, but what great fodder for your stories.

I need to take a page from your book and be more adventuresome. I can't wait to hear how your fishing trip went. :)