Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Thanksgiving 2015

For the last few years I have been posting this Thanksgiving day quote from Theodore Roosevelt. I have yet to find one better on this day.

Some of what I am thankful for...

Some of what I am thankful for…

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”

Theodore Roosevelt, Thanksgiving, 1903

And never forget on this day and every day, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, we enjoy Thanksgiving because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. For them I am eternally thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Serving the best we could

“I just served as best I could.”

This video is a powerful reminder that there are many among us who still deserve the recognition.

Migration

Update: On Jan. 3, 2015 Middle River Dispatch moved to new servers.

A new year, a new set of servers.

I can’t resist trying to figure stuff out on my own.

Thanks to Nick, Austin and Cory at GoDaddy for the great tech support!

Tom and Lily search for new water

Crossing over to new servers…

 

There will still be some clean up of minor glitches from past posts, but we are up and running.

 

Lilydeer Christmas Magic

a tiny Lilydeer

a tiny Lilydeer

My very clever wife made this very special Christmas gift two years ago. The two small horns are Lily’s puppy teeth.

It graces our home as a reminder of the magic that is Christmas.

The simple things really are the best!

Here’s hoping this finds you safe, happy and in the company of those you love.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Is it all real?

Originally published in The (New York) Sun, this September, 1897 editorial by Francis Church is still the best response to those who question the magic that is Christmas.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Caught my eye – 2014 week 50

Here are some things that recently caught my eye (in no particular order.) 

  1. Clarity from Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer > I wanted to share something that happened to me.
  2. John Fall talked about the therapy of fly fishing > I am now a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of fly fishing
  3. An interesting way to make a cooking fire pit > Tip from the Book: How to Dig a Dakota Fire Hole
  4. Another good friend joined the AFFTA board > Two New Board Members Join AFFTA Board of Directors
  5. What a sailor learned > A Sailor’s Perspective on the United States Army
  6. A soldier pays tribute to the men he left behind > Story Corps: 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon
  7. A wonderful tribute to a black lab named Duke > I Died Today.
  8. Congress finally did something good for public lands (but a price..) > Sportsmen Applaud Historic Move to Conserve America’s Finest Habitat
  9. Navy Beat Army for the 13th time in a row > How Many Times Does Navy Have to Win Before it’s Renamed the Navy-Army Game?
  10. Great political satire on the immigration debate > Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 220 Million Undocumented Whites