One calm day, in late spring, Harry B. was on his lake up north and disappeared from Pat’s view in search of a trophy bass. Thoroughly engaged in the pursuit, Harry missed the warning signs of the coming storm. When the weather turned into an angry squall, Harry ducked under a willow tree and watched the fury of nature twist the lake into a whipped foam. In the old days, prior to cell phones, you stood your ground and let fate throw the dice. In 2 hours, the devil let go and Harry headed back to the lake cabin in a light drizzle. Waiting for him was Pat and 4 sobbing teenage girls. Here’s where nature really got out of control. Instead of relief, Pat began the most dramatic role of her life. With blood vessels bursting from her neck and 4 young girls looking on, she unleashed a fury on poor Harry for all to hear. Crying and screaming, Pat unloaded on Harry about how he put their lives in jeopardy if their only breadwinner was killed and left the 4 orphans and a widow all alone in this unforgiving world. She belittled him in front of the children and carried on about his selfishness to go fishing in such deadly conditions. Harry said nothing and took the verbal abuse like a man. He didn’t even mention that the lake that their cottage is on, is a backwater of a river system. Its maximum depth is 5′, and Harry was 5′ 9″ tall. After an eternity, Pat concluded her Oscar performance of gathering the 4 daughters around her and escorted the crying females back into the cottage, leaving a soaked and slain Harry behind to put away his gear and reflect on his poor judgement. After that, Harry pretty much just went to work, fished in the same lake within earshot of Pat, and sat on his land, alone, admiring the freedom of any animal who strayed onto his property. New gun costs were being redirected into his upcoming daughters’ weddings. Meeting any of their boyfriends, Harry kept silent. It would be Pat’s job alone to judge these suitors and approve.

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