Monday, September 29, 2014

Deschutes Fishing

This past weekend, Chris and I went on a fishing trip with his family.  His dad, Dan, is an avid fisherman and he invited us to go out on the Deschutes with him to fish for some Steelhead.  This was different fishing than I've even done, and I loved it!
Chris and I drove out to a campground near Maupin (Central Oregon) on Saturday to meet his dad, mom, sister and brother who had gotten there the day before.  Most of the crew had been out on the river fishing all day.  His sister caught a hatchery fish (identified by their clipped back fins) which you can keep, as opposed to the native fish which you have to throw back.  We ate good that night - Dan cooked up some steak and a bit of the fish.  Delicious!  As it got dark, we all sat at the picnic table and played Apples to Apples by lantern light.  You could hear the river rushing just about 50 yards away - so relaxing!
The next morning, Dan, Chris and I headed out on the river in Dan's drift boat around 9am.  The river keeps a good steady pace, but Dan knows how to maneuver that thing through the water.  We wore waders and boots and fished in sometimes waist-deep cool water (no fishing from the boat allowed on the Lower Deschutes).  We would stop along the bank, climb out of the boat and cast our line out using a jig and slowly walk down with the current waiting for a bite.  I caught one fish, and fought it with everything I had to actually get the sucker in.  He was a big one and right as Dan was trying to get the hook out of him, he swam off with the hook still in his mouth.  He was probably about 10 lbs, but we weren't able to get a picture of him... so in that case, I actually think he might have been closer to 20 lbs.  I fought even harder for what I thought was a bigger fish and ended up realing in a big mossy stick... I'll tell you more of that story later, Uncle Les, so you can get a big laugh out of it.
It was a beautiful, fun day on the river.  We came in around 4:00pm, headed back to the campsite to pack up and then drove back to Portland.  We're so fortunate to have such close access to amazing rivers and fishing!

Monday, September 22, 2014


A time to withdraw from your natural rhythm to rest, relax and refocus.  A period of seclusion for the purpose of prayer and meditation.

Last week, my department at MTI went on a 2-day off-site retreat in Western Washington.  We stayed at a simple retreat center in the middle of nowhere.  We were surrounded by dirt roads, trees, deer and cows.  There was no cell service and hardly any internet connection.  It was a true escape.

And it was wonderful.  A much needed time away from the normal routine.  We were all forced to disconnect with the outside world, and engage with one another.  Rather than watching tv, we played bocce ball.  Rather than being in our rooms checking Facebook on our phones, we sat on the back deck and gazed at the stars.  Rather than being consumed by work emails, we talked about how we wanted to grow as a team.

The second day we were there, we even had a morning chapel service where the theme was Stillness.  Here are a few scriptures and quotes for you to contemplate as you start a new week...
  • "As soon as we are alone, inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does no mean that we immediately shut out all our inner doubts, anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important."
    - Henry Nouwen, Making All Things New
  • "Silence of the Heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere - in the closing of a door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals. What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us and what He tells others through us. In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice."
    - Mother Teresa, In the Heart of the World
  • "Be still and know that I am God."
    - Psalm 46:10
In our culture, we pride ourselves with being busy.  In our world busyness = importance.  I am guilty of this.  I like to always be going and doing.  I strive to be constantly "productive."  Being still is a discipline.  Focusing can be difficult.  As summer comes to a close and we settle into our less busy "hibernation season", I hope to remember and embrace more stillness and solitude.