The past two years I have been the recipient of a special Christmas gift from our daughter Angie and her husband Todd: a guided striped bass fishing trip on Lake Buchanan in central Texas with their son Kolby and their daughter Kayla, who just happen to be Terry’s and my grandchildren.
This year’s trip took place last Friday. My lucky catch was a 34-inch striped bass weighing 16.25 lbs. Our guide said it’s the largest such fish he’s seen taken from Lake Buchanan in the past 6-7 years. All four witnesses wanted me to mount it, which I was considering until I heard the cost: $18/inch. Do the math. Guess what I told the guide: “Clean it!”
To see the fish (before it was cleaned and eaten) go to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=860028237406000&set=a.860028470739310.1073741825.100001964954873&type=1&theater
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Over the weekend, ISIS militants seized the key Iraqi city of Ramadi. An Associated Press report said: “The contested city of Ramadi fell to the Islamic State group on Sunday, as Iraqi forces abandoned their weapons and armored vehicles to flee the provincial capital in a major loss despite intensified U.S.-led airstrikes.”
“Bodies, some burned, littered the streets following mass killings of Iraqi security forces and civilians. Humvees, trucks and other equipment sped out of Ramadi, with soldiers gripping onto their sides. More than 250 civilians and security forces were killed, including police and others shot dead in the streets or their homes, along with their wives and children.”
Monday’s Austin American Statesman reported details of what first appeared on Sunday’s newscasts: “A chaotic shootout Sunday between rival biker gangs that also involved Waco police left nine dead and a city on alert for further violence.
“The shooting erupted at the Twin Peaks restaurant just after 12:15 p.m. Sunday during a ‘Bike Night’ event police had sought to shut down. Waco police said they had feared the large gathering of up to 200 bikers from at least five different motorcycle gangs would turn violent after tensions had risen in the past month.”
How strange that while deadly manifestations of ungodly greed and childish pride erupt around the world and places closer to home, in this land of the free and home of the brave I spend a morning on a lake catching a big fish. I am blessed! And so are you! Don’t take those blessings for granted. All of us are blessed to be a blessing!