Fun or Drudgery?

1_Either fun or Drudgery

A useful piece of advice…


Hello and welcome to the blog today.  It’s been a busy time… and not all of it easy.  But Friday’s fortune cookie reminder changed the outcome of this weekend… and for the better.

Monday was a day off from work.  It was badly needed.  At this time of the year, retail workers’ hours are usually deeply cut.  Some of my co-workers have even quit.  That left fewer people working fewer hours to do the same work: unloading trucks, stocking merchandise, and helping customers.  It’s been pretty rough lately.  But somehow I’m still having fun.  It took the fortune cookie message to remind me why.  Attitude makes the difference!


This is on the back of the van as well as the back of my car.

Monday morning I was tired, sore, and not in the mood to do anything.  Nonetheless, at 5 AM I headed up to the trout hatchery, arriving when the sun came up.  The Turkey River was pretty high and muddy due to heavy snows up north (near Decorah) and the runoff created.  Thankfully the hatchery pond was thawed out and in good shape.  It had not been stocked since the end of October but that didn’t matter.  Pausing to give thanks for the chance to go fishing, I asked the Lord for some fish to take home.  I stayed for five hours and eventually pulled out three decent fish, including one fat little rainbow.

Pond reflection

Sitting on the dock and fishing all morning is a great place for … reflection!

The trout in the picture below was the largest of the three.  It was only about 13 inches long or so but very well fed… a holdover from last year.  Other than gutting it, I left the fish intact.  On Thursday night it was stuffed with Stovetop Chicken stuffing mixed with 1/2 stick butter and baked…. delicious!  Jenny, who does not like “people food” has recently discovered fish.  She’s in for a happy life!

Trout 36

Oops, I digressed.  The fishing action on Monday had been slow.  It was cold and windy and I should have quit.  But there were two more fish to catch to reach the daily limit.  Normally it takes an hour.  After five hours I had moved to another stream and decided to keep angling.  It took an hour and a half and a good two miles of walking but I got the last two fish, found two fantastic spots to park and camp for free, and explored some amazing fishing holes.

Along came another challenge.  On Monday I’d driven my little Chevy Cobalt to the fishing destinations but started having troubles; the back brakes have been making bad scraping noises.  Today (Saturday) I spent much of the day (in 23 degree weather) trying to change the brakes unsuccessfully; the brake drums are stuck.  Frustrated, tired, stressed out and such, it was easy to get really pissed off and discouraged.  But then I thought about the fortune cookie and began to feel better.


That little message in the cookie applies to so much more than just employment.  When things seem to be at their worst, that thought is only in our minds.  I realized that the car is still functional and isn’t going away.  It will get fixed when it gets fixed – either when money allows or I can use a torch to remove the old brake drums.  What REALLY matters is still there:  the job, the homebase, Jenny, the van, etc… all the things that are enjoyed.  And if the car is something I can’t fix myself, who cares?  I’m not the first person who’s had to pay for a repair!

So everything is pretty good around here.  Everyone seems to be talking about the late winter storm coming tomorrow and Monday.  We’re looking at 4 to 6 inches of snow.  It’s going to blanket all of the areas where I like to go camping.  The plan had been to take some vacation and camp on Wednesday into Thursday.  Well, if that’s not possible, I guess it means staying home and making a snowman.  No use fretting!  I’ll take the fun over the drudgery.

Thanks for stopping by!  Let’s hope for some spring weather soon!  Spring is just 9 days from now… and daylight saving time starts tonight!

Safe and happy travels always!

Brad and Kitty Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

Jenny Fleece Sleeping

Snoozing on her Valentine’s present – a “Hello Kitty” fleece.

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

4 Responses to Fun or Drudgery?

  1. Jo says:

    Great post Brad. Why let the little stuff get us down it won’t fix the problem anyway.
    That is some beautiful fish you caught.
    I found someone to build my bed frame and i emptied out the camper. Even if it takes them a month to build that will be just fine.
    While you are looking at more snow I have had to turn on my a/c 3 evenings already. I’m not ready for this LOL
    If you have to stay home get some much needed rest.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. Cool about someone building that bed. You’ll really enjoy it. Wow, I can’t imagine having to use the A/C again for a while. 🙂 Too bad I cannot send some cool air your way! Thanks for the note. Take care. I’m looking forward to seeing how that bed works out!

  2. onevikinggirl says:

    That is the good life!!
    Did you go camping or did the blizzard get you?