First Love


lincbar.jpg (5556 bytes)



            In the small northern Manitoba mining town of Snow Lake, there was not an abundance of choices if you wished to go out on a date. The autumn, winter and spring months severely curtailed out door activities. One had to wait until summer to pursue any kind of meaningful relationship, and even then, you shared the experience with the swarms mosquitoes and black flies.

          It was during the brief, but hot summer that one could go swimming; pack out for lingering picnics; or take long walks or bicycle rides. If things looked really encouraging, and the weather was favourable, one could always make a lunch, hop in the boat and find your own private spot on the huge lake. This also eliminated most of the pesky insects.

          I saw Nola during the Christmas holidays. She was new in town, and hung out at her dad's hardware store. She didn't seem to do very much, but that didn't matter. Every day, I made some pathetic excuse to go in, just to sneak a peek at her.

           She was all a chap could wish for. She was a little taller than I was, very slim, and supple, with clear green eyes. I don't think she knew I existed. I didn't care. I would wait until early summer before I attempted to take her out.

            It was a long winter and even longer cold spring.

            Finally, on a Saturday in late June, I said, "Today's the day." I went to the hardware store.

           Since I certainly was in no hurry to come home, I put extra gas in for the five-horse Johnson, so that I could stay out longer. I packed a good lunch. Finally I put her in the boat along with Lance, my Springer Spaniel.

            It was wonderful.

           We spent the whole day fishing together.

           With her Shakespeare Supreme casting reel, fifteen pound nylon braided line, and my supply of Dare Devils, she never once let me down.



J. Graham Ducker 2002