Fishing and Animals
I (Donna) was born with a fishing pole in my hand. Not really but my dad loved to fish. Mom wasn’t much of a fisherperson but did go with dad. My Deike grandparents had a cabin on Lake Elysian, Minnesota. It wasn’t insulated but was lots of fun. Back then we didn’t think anything about using the outhouse as we also had one at home on our acreage/small farm. My dad would laugh at me fishing for sunfish with pole between my toes. With my grandfather passing away when I was 7, my parents starting going to the Mississippi River. We had a pickup camper that slept 4 but would have 6+ cramped it. Little ones slept on the floor. In 1979 they bought a trailer in a park in Harpers Ferry, Iowa and then bought a cabin on the river. What a fun town! One of my most memorable fishing trips was to Harpers Ferry, Iowa. Dad said the Northern were biting in the backwater boat slips. We moved the boat no more than 20 feet and caught seven Northern in a flash. The first one I caught was around 7 pounds and didn’t even put up a fight. I thought, well this was easy. The next one made me rethink the fight of the fish. That is where all of us kids (except Dennis the vegetarian-fish have brains?) got the love of fishing. Dad would get up a 5 in the morning to go to the dam and try his luck. If you have never been to the Mississippi in the McGregor area, it is well worth the drive. It would always tear our hearts out to leave the area with the magnificent hills and bluffs. Dad and mom also fished in Canada and had a place in DelRio, Texas on the dam. Our acreage/farm backwater had lots of bullheads. Of course I can’t forget to mention introducing fishing to my sons. They are a great part of my life and they loved their fishing trips as much as I did. Remember to “Cast away your troubles and go fishing!” Grant ended up being a vegetarian for a few years and gave it up. He also was a great shot and could outshoot everyone. So he doesn’t fish or hunt! My family is still into fishing. My brother’s family bought my parents cabin and replaced with a new place. My nephew and other brother’s family bought park models in Prairie du Chien. My sisters’ families love to fish also.
Dean was also raised fishing. His deNeui Grandparents had a cabin on One Lake, Backus, Minnesota. He loved to fish and swim. Dean caught one of the biggest bass and mounted in that 80 acre lake. He didn’t fish the Mississippi or the Cedar River. He thought the fish were dirty tasting. I could never figure out what he meant. He would say when he was a kid, he would watch toilet paper come out of sewer lines into the Cedar River in Waverly, Iowa. He was raised in town and loved to go to the Cedar River which was two blocks away. He would climb under the Waverly bridge and catch pigeons for a little extra money and run home before the police caught him. Dean has lots more crazy stories than I have. His grandparents’ cabin was passed on to his parents and then to the kids. Dean would tell stories how he would turn over the boat and float out in the middle of the lake and dive underneath. Dean swims like a fish and was a lifeguard for a while. We sold off our share of the cabin when we bought Bluffy Lake Lodge. His two brothers still own it and it gets lots of use. Dean’s daughters don’t fish much but his grandsons do. Dean loves birds and dogs and other animals. We had an exotic license and had bobcats, cougars, raccoons, Canadian Lynx, emus, deer, quail, and black bears. His most favorite time was raising bears. His favorite was a cinnamon black bear (Kneewaw), would give us kisses and new commands. He was around 550 pounds at his heaviest. We raised Kneewaw in the house and bed him with a bottle till he was two. Kneewaw loved to swim and wander through the woods. Yes, there is a thing called bear hugs! We would have a litter of three cubs from Bertha (the bitch or a bitch) every year. Some were sold to individuals like us (Idiots) and some went to parks and France. We purchased all the animals through other breeders. Dean said he would like to raise another bear but they live to be 15 plus years. 15 years on to our age???? And now we raise and breed Gordon Setters. Our first Gordon was in 2008. They are very intelligent. Now if we could teach them to do chores.
Dean and I met at a local bar even though we hardly drink. We might have crossed paths earlier since my brother and cousin graduated with him. My sister is a good friend of Dean’s. He has taken me on a lot of adventures. Life is never boring! I swear that we moved to Longville so I could get weaned off of the local Walmart. We live in the middle of nowhere or an hour from the nearest shopping town. Now we are in the boonies again. Life has been very interesting and there are more fun years to come. Please join us for the next adventures!