Friday, January 30, 2009

A Winter Weekend

I just came back from a few days at my camp. I haven’t been up in a while, and I figured I better check things out before I bring the kids up for our Annual Ice-fishing Weekend.

This has been a hard winter. The snow is a little deeper, and it’s been a lot colder. The temperature went down to -25 degrees Monday night. I hadn’t planned on lying on the ground under my camp for over an hour, but I had to crawl under there with my portable propane heater to thaw out my pipes. They froze overnight while I was there. My lab would crawl under every few minutes and lick my ear. It was irritating and at the same time comforting to know she was checking in on me. I am just thankful none of the pipes broke.

Last year we drove my four-wheeler and a snowmobile out to our tip-ups and ice shanty. With all this snow, I am not sure the four-wheeler will work this year. Recently, a friend sold me his two older snowmobiles and a trailer for $3,000. My son and daughter tested them out for a few miles, so I think they will work out well for our fishing trip. I already towed the snowmobiles up to camp and pulled the ice shanty across the lake to the place we will be fishing. 

The lake has a foot and a half of ice on it; I made sure to measure it before venturing out too far. I will be tuning up my power auger before the trip to ensure it is ready for the 200 or so holes we will be drilling.

I am planning to go up again this weekend with another truck full of gear. We need a lot of stuff to supply the 20 of us for a weekend. I am going to tow up another snowmobile and pull another ice shanty out onto the lake. I will definitely need to get the farmer across the street to plow out the road down to the camp. I already spoke to him about it. Right now I am feeling like I am a little ahead of things as far as the trip goes.

On a more somber note, my mother was just diagnosed with liver cancer. I took her in for a procedure where a tube is placed through a vein in her leg right into the cancer area and injected with chemo. She was home the next day, and she stayed up for a late night of playing cards with friends. Last night I visited her, and she said she was feeling weak. 

She has come along to help out on my past few fishing trips. She cooked for 12 of us kids growing up, so 20 orders of waffles is no problem for her. Before yesterday she was still planning to come along on the trip, but it now looks like she will not be joining us. The doctor said that one whole lobe was covered with cancer and the procedure would only slow the effects and help her to be more comfortable. Those of you who pray, I would greatly appreciate your prayers for her and my family during this trying time. Our family’s faith in the Lord is solid—we all know we will meet in Heaven some day, but times like these are still tough. Your prayers and support were an encouragement to me just a little over a year ago when my Dad lost his brief bout with cancer.

The dates for the ice fishing trip are February 6th-8th. The Black Lake Fish and Game Association Fishing Derby is only on Saturday this year. We will be entering everyone in the derby. They have a great youth division and generally many of our children win prizes.

If you are interested in helping us out with the ice fishing trip, you may help in any of the following ways:
· Ice-fishing line, poles, lures, tip-ups, small propane tanks for lantern and heaters, etc.
· Bait, grubs, wax worms, large minnows ($1.25 ea. We generally use 250 pike minnows)
· Food, drinks, snacks, paper plates, bowls, cups, napkins, paper towels
· Clothing (socks, mittens, scarves, mittens, etc) special thanks to a group that helped us get boots for children this year.
· Gas cards – we will be using a lot of gas for vehicles to transport everyone to camp, for the snowmobiles, and the ice auger.
· Monetary donations for Black Lake Derby entry fees, renewal fees for our Adventure Explorer Post (this provides our liability insurance through the Hiawatha Seaway Council for all our trips throughout the year, pizza and wings (Friday night), gas, minnows and any other expenses for the trip. Checks may be made out to Northside Community Police Center Fund.

Another way to support the Police Center is by simply going out to eat. I was recently contacted by a parent of children who attend our events. She works at UNO Chicago Grill in Carousel Mall and has offered to “RAISE DOUGH” for the Police Center on February 24th, 2009. 

All you have to do is go to UNOs on Tuesday, the 24th of February, present them with a RAISE DOUGH coupon, and order your meal. Up to 20% of your check goes to the Police Center. 

I am planning to eat lunch there and then return for dinner from 5:00-10:00pm. It would be a great time to meet some of you folks who support the Police Center. Be sure to ask your hostess where I am so we can visit. You may drop off or mail donations to our office at 255 Wolf St. If you have any questions on the above events, please give me a call at 471-3257.

Officer Clarke

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