Gator Disappeared, as if by magic

I’m involved in an interesting new project. George bought another place on the lake for his grandson. It’s a couple of acres, has a minimal dock, an incredible steel quonset hut, and a small, Jim Walter stilt home. It’s close to 40 years old and somewhere along the way an owner closed in the area under the pilings to add to the living space. I would guess the upstairs, the original home, is on the order of 800SF; ditto the lower level. Upon closer inspection, there’s a fair amount of termite damage and the pilings holding up the structure are rotten. Much of the drywall on the lower level is dampish and loaded with mold. So basically the entire lower level will have to be gutted. It’s a family project but I’m considered part of the family in terms of construction/destruction projects. An engineer is supposed to be coming to see exactly what can be done with the pilings but we have plenty to do tearing out the interior down to the basic wood.
Also on George, he’s been having chest pain episodes all week but avoiding the doctor’s office or emergency room. He looked really bad on Tuesday and I thought for sure I was going to be rushing him to the hospital. He made it until Saturday evening where it nailed him at a church event. He thought it was a stent collapsing as it did before or another blockage. If it was the collapsed stent, the doc said they would install another stent inside the one that collapsed. Never heard of that. As it turns out the blockage was in front of the earlier one so they did another stent in the same artery in series with the old one. I talked to him several hours after the procedure and he sounded fine and said he was feeling the same. Probably home the next day. This all seems so casual and routine.
Catching more fish lately. I attribute it to a modification I made to the poke boat. One of the advantages I’ve had over my fellow fishermen is that with the poke boat I am super stealthy. It glides over wet grass so I can get back to the inside pockets that others can’t reach without seriously disturbing the area. But with the aluminum shafted paddle and fiberglass gunnels on the boat, it’s really easy to make too much noise when putting down the paddle and picking up the rod. It’s not enough to disturb any normal person but it drives me crazy because I know every bass within 25’ has been alerted that I’m back. I tried several remedies but none would hold up to the environment for more than a few minutes. Then I was out fishing the other day and saw something bright green way back in the shore grass. Turned out to be a styrofoam tube, locally called a swim tube. It’s about 3” in diameter with a hollow core. I cut off a piece about 18” long and slip it lengthwise to the core and was able to slip it over the gunnel. Perfect. Totally deadens the sound and I’m now truly the stealth fisherman.
No further gator sightings so I’m guessing the folks on the other side of the lake are feasting on gator tail.
Is it my imagination or is this administration the most destructive to our foreign policy ever? Certainly in my memory. All along I attributed it to having a Chicago community organizer as Pres., a lack of understanding, but now I’m thinking perhaps it’s more sinister. Did we elect a Manchurian Candidate? The bad guys have taken his measure and decided there’s never been a better time to make aggressive moves; the good guys have decided it makes sense to put some distance between themselves and us – we’re not a dependable ally. Where I think this is going to get very interesting is watching the Clinton folks – how do they unhook from the current foreign policy. I think they’re going to be dropping hints that the reason Hill left was because she disagreed with Obama’s policies and then start taking them apart one by one. Maybe a trip to Israel is in the cards – billed as an attempt to repair broken relations.

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