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Not that many years ago, this would have sailed right over my head.  But I’ve wallowed in Church history enough now to find it intensely amusink.  (A glass of wine with Catholic Meme, via the lovely and talented Christine.)

UPDATE:  Father Z’s got a good one, too.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It seems that a case of teh blahs is working its way around the corner of the blogsphere which I am accustomed to haunt.  The lovely and talented Diane mentioned it the other day, and even Ace needs a break.  I confess that I’ve got a tetch of it myself.  I don’t know what the cause is – the approaching solstice, familial sickness (there’s a low-grade bug circulating at Port Swiller Manor), the seemingly endless stream of nooz stories suggesting that Western Civilization is flat-lining – but I certainly feel it.

So what to do? Well, on the larger scale I would simply say keep the faith.  What else is there to do?

On a much smaller scale, however, we should remember to appreciate the little pleasures that come our way from time to time.  This post is about one of those.

troutRegular friends of the decanter will recall a couple weeks ago that I said I had been put in the mood to read Lt. Zebulon Pike’s journals of his exploration of the southwestern part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1806?  Well, I started in on said journals last evening (after weighing through an awful lot of introductory material detailing a rayther nasty feud among historians over why Pike eventually wandered into Spanish territory).   Most of the entries concerning his gradual journey up the Missouri and Osage Rivers are fairly humdrum – distances traveled, weather conditions, game killed and the like.  But in his entry for August 11, 1806, after giving such details, Pike suddenly says this:

“This day, for the first time, I saw trout west of the Allegheny mountains.”

I burst out in a chuckle of delight when I read that line.  Perhaps it’s because I used to cast a pretty decent fly.  Perhaps it’s because of my fondness for geographical references of this sort.  Perhaps it was the sudden fellow-feeling I had for Pike in that he obviously felt the thing important enough to jot down.  Whatever the reason or reasons, the mental image that popped into my head was quite refreshing, almost as if I was splashing about in the waters of the Osage myself.

So there you are.  (I said it was a little pleasure.)


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December 2012