It’s Sunday and morning came a little too early. Most of the guests and some of the wedding party have left and the memory of yesterday is fading quickly as if a dream.
Today both Chap and Charlie are to bid farewell to Shari and me but we agreed to share the stream one last time.
Nine a.m. found us pulling into the overflow parking lot of Bakersville funeral parlor. As we began lugging our gear from the rental van Chap and Charlie came up from the stream.
I immediately began assembling Shari’s rod, attached the tippet and fly, a beadhead Crystal Blue Persuasion. Rod ready and in hand, Shari asks me, “where to?”. I told her “Charlie will be your guide this morning so where ever he puts you will be a good place”. I could feel the warmth from Charlie’s heart as he led my new bride to the infamous “bend pool”.
Charlie and I have been like father and son for many years and the instant connection he felt with Shari is a blessing to us all. I thought it only fitting that he should coach Shari to her first trout on Cane Creek.
Before I could finish assembling my gear, Charlie had Shari into a pretty rainbow trout. As the proper guide, Charlie netted her fish and removed the hook and pictures taken before the trout was skillfully released.
The day was gorgeous. There was a warm, bright sun in the cloudless pre-noon sky. A dream trip for sure but shortly lived. It wasn’t too long before Chap came and said his good byes. His plan was to fish the upper wild water on Little Rock before heading back to Tennessee.
It was a sweet but emotional parting. The realization that as an adult, dreams are short-lived and reality sucks. It is never more painful than when those you love most dear and desire to spend time with have to go.
As we said our good byes and watched Chap drive in the direction of Glen Ayre, NC the three of us fished a little longer. It didn’t seem long before it was time for Charlie to say good-bye.
We helped him pack his gear and promised to see him soon then he drove away in the direction of home. It was like the ending of a good movie when you struggle with notion that your escape from reality just came to an abrupt end. Presently, we found ourselves alone…together.
We have been to these mountains and streams several times together in the past but somehow that was different then. Now we turn our eyes and hearts toward the water as man and wife and chapter one in our book of a fly fishing life has begun.
As I strolled the stream, Shari fished and I felt like life for the first time made sense. It was never going to be easy, it never was supposed to be. No, it is going to be hard but rewarding. I have now a partner who is dedicated to living a fulfilled life surrounded by all things beautiful. In a world of our making with a strong reliance on our Creator.
We fished for several hours and caught some wonderful fish. We captured as much as possible on camera. It was about late noon and the weather began to change and we both felt tired and a little hungary. After stowing the gear, we headed back to the inn to clean up for dinner.
While eating, we shared our thoughts on the day with the Facebook world. Internally, I was heart-sick at knowing the honeymoon and trip were coming to a close. Having to remain strong for Shari, I said nothing but comforted her for feeling the same.
Monday morning and we have to leave. The wedding has come and gone along with all those who came to share our celebration. Before heading home, we wanted to stroll the banks and town one last time. Last nights rain raised and dirtied the water so fishing was out of the question, not that we had the heart to do so anyway. We walked the banks and collected leaves and wildflowers and talked about ways to make this our home.
We left at 2:00 pm and arrived back in South Carolina just in time to get the kids and go to dinner. I say we arrived in South carolina but won’t say we are home, that is until we have a Spruce Pine, NC address!
Shari and I hope you enjoyed this short series. It was a dream wedding come true and we feel so very blessed because of all that made it possible. Please take some time and visit our friends at the switzerlandinn.com . They made our event so perfect, I wish there was more I could do for them to repay their generosity and kindness, I am honored to count Gary and Jackie Jensen as friends.
We also want to say thank you to all of our family and friends who went out of their way to be a part of our special day. We wish you all the love, happiness and kindness you have shown us…times 10!