“The Old Tackle Box” by Reva Lachica Moore

While rummaging through the attic one day, I found a familiar item. An old fishing tackle box. It looked all scratched up, showing years of use. Instantly, I had flashbacks of long ago, even as far as 42 years back when my husband Edwin’s favorite pastime was fishing.

Things were quite simple then. We didn’t have children to worry about. Life at the apartment was boring so our evenings and weekends were spent fishing. From work each day, we went straight to the lake.

It would be dark when we would finally drag ourselves back to the car. Often, with a string of fish but too tired to clean them up. But we did clean them up anyway, and when we had plenty in the freezer, we would invite friends to a fish fry.

As newlyweds, we did not have many things, but the tackle box, a fishing rod, and a rod and reel were our valued possessions.

The old tackle box was not the type with numerous trays for a plethora of tackles. It did not have a storage bin under the trays. It was not waterproof and had no built-in light like what some serious anglers have. It was just a simple, tan and brown plastic tackle box with one tray with partitions.

It contained the simplest of fishing tackles: hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, baits, a couple lures. These were all we could afford then.

We normally used crickets or worms for baits. I can only handle crickets since live worms give me the creeps. Edwin usually fished with a piece of plastic or wooden lure with dangling hooks, or an artificial bait like a soft, plastic worm to lure bass. I had a tough time learning how to use a rod and reel, for it takes skill, so I was quite satisfied with using a simple fishing rod.

Our fishing pastime continued after our sons were born and were in grade school. By this time, he had purchased a bass boat and another tackle box. The box had three compartments that opened up to display its contents. Almost every weekend, he was buying new rod and reels, lures, lines and baits. Fishing had become a costly hobby.

One day on a whim, we decided to drive to Grand River to fish. We heard the fish was biting, so we loaded up the tackle box, rod and reels and baits.

A few minutes later after getting nibbles, we found our fishing hole. Instead of using the anchor, my husband tied the boat onto a tree. We started fishing. However, my husband made the mistake of bringing only worms for bait, so he had to bait my hook. For me, the next hour was simply exhilarating. I was pulling fish every minute while he baited the hooks and unhooked the fish. An hour later, we had a large bucket filled with bream.

I did not fish as much after my sons were old enough to go fishing with their dad. They thoroughly enjoyed fishing like I did and looked forward to weekends. I could still hear their shrieks of excitement as if it were only yesterday. My sons and their father had many memorable years of fishing together all the way to their teen years.

After my husband passed away, going fishing did not excite my sons like before. Fishing made them sad because they missed their father. Neither of them wanted the bass boat so I sold it. I do not know what happened to the many rod and reels and the 3-compartment tackle box.

Upon seeing the old, brown and tan tackle box in the attic, I thought my son Adam might want it since his house is near a lake. I placed the box on the garage floor and told Adam to take it. He said he would even though he does not really do any fishing anymore.

The old tackle box stayed on the garage floor for two weeks, untouched. I opened it to see its contents. Two old worn out lures, part of a line, a few plastic worms that had fused together due to the heat, some rusted hooks, sinkers and floats. Then I thought about the man who loved to fish. How he cherished that old tackle box through the years. I couldn’t throw it away, so I put it back in the attic.

Maybe someday, my sons and I would see it again and be reminded of those happy, carefree days when a string of breams, sac-a-laits and bass brought so much joy to our simple lives.

BUT our greatest WISH is to someday be reunited with the man who loved to fish. Thank God for the Blessed Hope!

Ecclesiastes 7:14 says… When times are good, be joyful; when times are bad, consider this: God made the one as well as the other, so people won’t seek anything outside of his best