The One That Didn’t Get Away!

My dad is a fisherman at heart. From my earliest years our family vacations were always taken across the nearby border into Canada to go fishing. For a time we even had a small beautiful wood boat powered by an Evinrude motor and every winter my dad spent hours making his own fishing flies in anticipation.

A very blurry photo of me and my mother. I can tell you I was dubious about hooking my finger underneath his jaw.

For decades Balsam Lake was our destination with Nahma Lodge our home away from home. The various lodge accommodations were rustic and rarely updated. I remember small black and white TVs with bad reception and coarse plaid couches with pine arms. Still we were used to it. Fenelon Falls, the nearest city, was our source for the best butter tarts (I still dream about them) and in the early years my grandparents come up with us. Then just my grandmother. Some years other families joined us, but most years it was just us. 

It was not an exciting vacation, particularly as we got older. There wasn’t really anything for us to do at the lodge compound but fish and swim (if the water wasn’t too cold). There was a marina onsite that sold a few food items, like Drumstick ice cream cones, and we could usually cadge a little money off our parents to indulge ourselves. In the evenings we played cards.

I grew up learning to fish. How to bait my own hook, cast, jig the line to give your fly and bait some movement and how to set the hook after you got a bite (but not too soon). I learned about trout, walleyes, perch, pike, small-and large-mouthed bass and elusive muskies.

One of my biggest catches in my late teens. I have three layers on because we often went fishing at dawn when it was hecka chilly out on the lake.

I can’t even remember how many years it’s been since I’ve been fishing. Decades. But it’s funny how all these memories came to me as I looked at a pottery fish dish at my neighborhood thrift store. The speckled glaze of various colors looked so realistic and I was smitten. I knew I couldn’t leave this behind!

I’m not even sure if it has a purpose other than looking fabulous. It’s slightly concave and perhaps could be used for serving. Still trying to figure out the initial chop mark CG.

It doesn’t match marks for ceramic artists Colin Gorry, Christine Gittins, Carol Greenaway or Cally Gooding. It’s a tad similar to a mark by Chris Austin, but not his aesthetic, and most likely not made by him.

In other news, the beautiful antique silver-plate napkin rings I wrote about in my last post arrived and I realized they were better than anticipated.

There was no wear to the plating and they were much lighter than normal for silver plate items. Hmmm…I was darn certain these were sterling silver, not plate. I acid tested them three times (from the same spot) and they are solid silver…yeah! I found one that had been listed on RubyLane for $175, but I’m not sure if it sold for that.

So I’ll be selling these after all! Haven’t figured out pricing yet.

I find with all terrible news in the United States right now, taking this trip down memory lane was just what I needed.

Happy hunting (and fishing)!



  1. LOVE your red hair! I’ve always wanted my hair to be that color.
    That fish dish is beautiful. I wish there was a way to put him on the wall of your kitchen by the sink where you could see him all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Karen, Thanks for the memories! My Dad also loved to fish and having only daughters we learned to fish too. Spent a week Each summer in similar cabins in Canada, only ours were in Ontario. Love the play suit you’re wearing. Not sure what they’re called but I have similar photos wearing them.
    Love the fish plate and the napkin rings! Great buys.

    Liked by 1 person

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