Watching The Bobber
Some of the best times growing up were spent on a pool or creek bank with a wooden pole and a bobber or cork on the line to tell us when we had a bite. Plastic cork or a small stick with line wrapped around it, vibrations in the water said our bait had a visitor.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that. The key was to stay focused. Sometimes they simply bumped the bait. Other times they nibbled on the excess worm hanging off the hook. Minnows were trickier as they might slowly or quickly start moving the hook to evade their potential captor.
Many of us long for the simpler days on creek banks or pool dams, but even in retirement seems like situations continue to arise. Sometimes things occur instantaneously; sometimes they unravel slowly before our eyes. Unfortunately, we don’t always have a bobber bouncing up and down or deep diving in the mouth of our potential supper. Insidiously trouble often vibrates like a cork warning us of potential trouble.
So much of life is like toilets and sinks; they didn’t just stop up overnight. We saw the drain slowing down. We heard the car motor sputter as the check engine light remained on for a while. The washing machine’s rocking back and forth like a bear in a hula hoop. Seems like once trouble starts, it’s not likely to stop.
Most material or mechanical things can be repaired or ultimately replaced if it’s more cost effective or simply gone kaput; human conflicts and concerns, not so much. A wife might find a smudge of lipstick on hubby’s collar and it ain’t hers. Maybe a little bag of grass like substance was discovered when Mom’s cleaning out Jr.’s pants pockets while doing laundry. Maybe Dad happens to see something ominous on Sissy’s phone as it dings to notify her of an upcoming party not in the daughter’s best interest.
Life happens. No one likes to be blindsided. Maybe sometimes we saw the bobber vibrating on the water but didn’t want to check the line. Maybe we didn’t want to wade into another family fight with a recent one in the rearview mirror. I’ve often said as the repairman did that you can pay me now or pay me later.
Sometimes we ignore something and it goes away; sometimes not so much. Sometimes we confront the situation and end up with a bigger mess and hurt feelings. Then sometimes a little intervention at the right moment can head off trouble and maybe spare the family and the individual a pack of trouble. Sometimes you don’t know what to do. That’s when you use your best judgement maybe with the aid of some wise council, and wade right in. Later they may thank you. Maybe you don’t venture forth and live to regret it. Almost like a poker game, you win some and you lose some.
By Dr. Juan Harrison