Mysterious Ways

March 2, 2008

“…why unblooms the best hope ever sown?”
-Thomas Hardy, Hap

The Mad Fishicist has never considered himself a fortunate person. His few fishing successes have always been the result of hard work and time spent on the river. Not a first cast kind of fisherman or an opening day kind of hunter. Don’t ask him when he caught his last trout.

So it happened that a month ago he was in a sporting goods store and he glanced at the gun rack. This rubberized looking rifle appealed to him like no other rifle has before. In fact, he was so intrigued that he longed for a closer look. The lady behind the counter explained that to get that rifle off the rack, she’d have to unlock all the guns and she hasn’t seen the key all day or she’d have unlocked them already. You’d have to know him, but The Mad Fishicist is committed to making life easier for everyone around him. He’d never inconvenience somebody else just for something so trivial as his curiosity. So he even surprised himself when he listened to a still, small voice tell him to go ahead and ask the lady to find the key and go through the trouble of unlocking all the guns on the shelf.

The gun looked right. The price was too high. The caliber was perfect. The rifle was too nice. He’s never owned a new firearm and he has never planned to own a new firearm. That’s why he was so surprised that he actually insisted on seeing the gun close up. But when he held it in his hands, when he saw how pleasing it was to have and to hold, he fell in love then sadly gave it back to the sales lady. Clearly, it was out of his league (although he was able to determine that the rifle was worth the high price because it was made expressly for the damp, nasty weather so common in Alaska–nearly indestructible).

Two weeks later, the Thorne Bay Middle School wrestling team went to the same sporting goods store and bought the same rifle for a fund raising raffle.

Guess whose ticket they drew.



  1. She’s a beauty.

  2. That is AWESOME. I’ve never heard of God giving anyone I know a rifle. And of everyone I know, you’re the best suited for it. Very, very cool. Congrats!

  3. I heard this story first from Steve…I LOVE it!! (Can you hear the laughing/shrieking in our house? Uh, mine – not his.) What a gift.

  4. I know–and it happened for a good reason. You needed a lift and you needed to win, just once! Someone up above knew that. Congratulations on a first win!

  5. Way to go my #2 son
    In winning the raffle and getting the gun.
    Not every day does a guy win a prize
    It’s so unexpected ,comes as a surpise.
    We never know how things may come our way
    Our thanks goes to God our strength and our stay.

    I think it’s time for a bakery run for some eclairs. What do you think?

  6. mmmm. rubberized!

    I do recall a trip to bi-mart for a certain gopher-wasting shotgun.

  7. Oh yes.
    I have owned a new firearm. You bought it for me. Remington 870 Express 12 ga. That shotgun killed a lot of ducks.
    And a gopher.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Very, very cool. Congratulations.

  9. I am way excited for you. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Can’t wait to see you drop a PWI buck with it.

  10. It is so neat that God gives us gifts here on earth…and the ones we don’t even know that are coming are so neat. Blessings to you and your family.

  11. wow that is so cool that you won it!!! Have fun and be safe.

  12. As a former middle school wrestling coach, I’m glad to see what kind of fund raisers those kids are getting into that is brilliant. Congrats on the win.

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