Mother’s Day, Bamboo Fly Rods and the "Best" Lifestyle

It’s Mother’s Day.  Naturally, I am feeling proud, content and superior to all other mothers full of self doubt!  In the weeks leading up to this sacred day, our culture inundates us with the images of “perfect mothers” by showering them us with accolades, flowers, perfume…blah,blah, blah.  Sans the perfume…that’s how my day began as well…but it did not take long for me to question the deserving nature of it all.

While the catalyst for moving to a rural community in the North Georgia mountains was finding a proper place to raise our children, the reality is our children spend most of their time in a bamboo fly rod making shop on Main Street in a busy little tourist town surrounded by eccentric shop owners, fly fishing guides and the mountains are simply our backdrop.  And, most days this feels natural and “best”.


Some days I wonder if the infamous “cul-de-sac” culture is “best”.  I shut my eyes and remember my own upbringing…a two story brick house on a 1/2 acre lot in a subdivision north of Atlanta with the outstanding schools.  Children were everywhere…all of the time.  There were block parties, go carts, swimming pools, tennis courts, trampolines, ponds stocked with fish, paved roads and stay-at-home mothers with the sweetest nature about them (although now as an adult I realize most of those mother’s were simply drunk).

Then I snap out of it.  Indeed, I had a fairly ideal childhood.  Because I have chosen to do something different does not interpret into either choice being right or wrong.

When we visit the suburbs, I can not help but notice other little girls sitting quietly, holding a purse with their legs crossed clutching the latest and greatest advertised toy.  I think (for a second)…where did I go wrong?  This stark contrast haunts me (for a minute).    My little girl does not even know the meaning of an “inside voice”…does not sit long enough in one place to cross her legs and her favorite toy is the shop’s pic ax (don’t judge me).

Roni and Cutter’s life inside the shop…friends…new and old…real ones.

My self doubt eventually gives way to that unabashed maternal confidence that comes from deep down…not a perfume commercial.

Our lifestyle is good. Our children are happy.

The environment we provide for Cutter and Roni exposes them to hard work, an enormous amount of love, art and nature on a daily basis.  Even though there are not a lot of other children (they do have a few quality friendships) around the shop, their “peers” are Oyster clients (who are truly some of the most interesting people on earth) and their lives are enriched because of them.

This is probably the most valuable lesson I have learned about motherhood:

There are infinite ways to parent well.   There is not a “best” way to raise a child.    Do what feels natural for you and your family and it will all work out.

Regardless, your children grow and hopefully flourish.

Speaking of…

show me happy, show me angry, show me sad, show me confused, show me shocked

…Roni turned four last week.  Her party was in the local park and the guest list was…well…varied…it included the entire family, 2 friends, one Oyster client who surprised us from Colorado and mostly fly fishing guides.

show me 4
Case and Point (see “best” reference above).
Our groove has simply improved each day with the new building…it already feels like we’ve been there forever.  Also, there have been significant improvements made to our bamboo fly rods recently as well…both aesthetically and artistically.  After a decade of planning, we have a new bamboo fly rod that is quiet revolutionary in our tiny little sub-culture.
Cutter Love
Since it’s Mother’s Day, I’ll save the real “shop talk” for later.
However, I will tell you about my new shotgun! It’s a Beretta Perennia 20 G with a 28″ barrel.  I love it and it loves me back. It does. Don’t judge me.
Of course, it’s spring in the Blue Ridge mountains so we fortunately have made time for shooting, fishing and even dusted off our mountain bikes.
fish, bang, FISH
Here’s the crazy thing…it Mother’s Day and I have everyone’s blessing to do whatever I want…
So, I am going to the shop to see my family and meet some new friends
(a bamboo fly rod making class started today).

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