And what a year we had. We learned new things. We
taught new things. We discovered new things. We
created new things. We lived a world of new
At the same time, we enjoyed old friends. We practiced
old customs. We remembered old times. We cherished
old memories. We passed on old skills. We remembered
old friends who have passed from our midst.
That's what the end of an old year and the start of a
new year is all about. It's a link between our past
and the boundless future. A time that connects what
we have been to what we will become; we use it to store
up memories and plan for new ways to make more. We make
lists both ways; one for what we want to remember and
another for what we plan to do.
What do you remember? Most of us have a mixed bag of
memories to accompany each year. Some memories make us
smile and wish we could do it all over again. Others
might bring a tear to our eyes and make us wish we could
go back and change something we said or did, or say
something we carelessly forgot to say before it was
to late to speak those words. Life is like that.
Here at Fly Anglers OnLine, we made a few memories of
our own. We learned just how great Ronn Lucas can tie
classic salmon flies. We learned who was funny and who
was not. We debated serious topics on the bulletin
board, laughed together on other less serious topics,
and made a lot of new friends. We shared time together
in several places, celebrating something we call a Fish-In.
We learned to function as a family or fraternity. In a
sense we became one with each other in the spirit of
We discussed fires and dry streambeds. We talked about
floods and high water. We prayed together and hoped
together for the sake of our friends, and we grieved
together for those we lost along the way. We celebrated
new toys, new friends, new skills, new loves and other
new happenings like we had always been one big family.
We invited others into the fold and asked them to join
in the feast of information we all share. We even
squabbled a bit, as all families do from time-to-time.
We cared and shared together like we had known each other
all our lives; even though we had never seen the faces of
some of those we were caring for. "Pull up a chair," and
"pass the donuts," were common greetings we passed among
our guests, hoping they would also find a home here. We
mothered, fathered, coddled and cradled each other as needed,
just to show we care. And, we do care, that's obvious.
There is a reason we call this a big family.
We learned from each other, taught each other, shared skills
and talents in a way that others only dream about, and we
watched the family grow. The year that's passing by is
one we won't forget, and a building block for future memories.
Where else can you go to share what we have shared? Where
can so many different people with so many different
experiences from so many different places come together
with one voice and one focus? We are fly-fishers all,
and that is the common ground we share.
I have no doubt we will continue to grow if we stay on
this course. We will learn new things, share new
experiences, examine new ideas and all the while, we
will be relating the old traditions with those who are
new to this sport. In that common ground is the rich
soil where great experiences can grow. And, we will
grow if we continue to feed this experience with the
food of our knowledge, and hunger for more of the
nourishment the shared experiences can provide.
How could we not grow?
As the new year starts, I want to join each of you in
a prayer for your health, prosperity and growth. I'll
share what I know, and hopefully learn from each of you
as well. We'll learn together, teach together, celebrate
together and mourn together as the situations demand,
and as we do, we'll become better friends and better
people. That's what a family is all about, and I'm proud
to call this place home.