By John Matonich
I am not sure if the fact I am getting older has something to do with it, but I find myself reminiscing a lot more than I did when I was younger. I enjoy bringing back warm memories from my youth here in the west of Da U.P. Given it is the Easter season I have been smiling a lot remembering some of the Easter Sundays in the Matonich household.
My mother was a big fan of any holiday. She had a complete house full of ceramics to fit any holiday and Easter was no exception. She spent a lot of time putting out her creations and while I may not have admitted it at the time, they were kind of cool to see around the house.
Easter Sunday itself was always a special day. Mother made sure we all had an Easter basket and it was full of goodies. Of course, they were all hidden (albeit not well) and when we got up on Easter morning our first task was to spend the time to find the one that belonged to us. It usually didn’t take too long to hunt it up and to sit down and enjoy a treat or 2 out of it.
The real pleasure for me was to see what else the “Easter Bunny” left for us. Our parents couldn’t afford to do much, but we always seemed to find a little surprise along with our basket. The small surprise was always appreciated and usually pretty darn creative. The one I seemed to remember most was when I found a new fishing pole with my basket.
It was a very basic Zebco 202 reel and rod and I couldn’t have been happier. I have always really enjoyed fishing and spent a lot of time in my youth biking to some of the local fishing holes to see if I could catch a trout or 2. This new rod and reel was just the ticket for a youngster to try their luck on the water. It was just the right length to fit through the brush to drop a night crawler in a calm pool as well being able to cast a lure out in a lake when my father would take me to Lake Gogebic to fish for walleye or Chaney Lake to fish for northern pike.
I used that rod and reel for many years until it simply came apart and I wasn’t able to fix it any longer. It helped me catch a lot of fish over the years and even if it wasn’t one of those expensive sets, it rarely failed me. It always seemed ready for me to take it out of the cabinet in the basement and head to some water to try our luck.
As I was listening to the radio on the way to the shop the other morning, there were numerous ads for a number of our local shops with ideas for Easter gifts, but I couldn’t help but remember the one that always makes me smile when I think about it and all the fun we had together. I guess sometimes getting older has its advantages given all the good memories.
Happy Easter to you and yours and I wish you all good memories for years to come.
And that’s the situation as I survey it.
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.