The favorite activity that my father and I shared was fishing. Fishing taught us patience and respect, not easy lessons for my rambunctious siblings and myself. When we would catch something too small to eat we would always throw it back. I’ll never forget the first fish my baby brother finally caught. It was a tiny Bluegill no bigger than the length of my index finger and certainly nothing that was going to feed anyone. Beaming with pride from this seminal experience he threw it in the freezer instead of throwing it back into the lake. My dad lit into my wide-eyed little brother. With the frankness signature of a Marine-Corps drill sergeant he informed us that we don’t waste. If we kill we eat and when we eat, we use as much of the animal as possible.
That lesson struck a nerve with me much deeper than just my love of fishing or nature. Spending time with my father in the outdoors was a masterclass in respect. I’ve carried that respect with me from the lush forests of Northern Michigan to my arid home in Southern Colorado. I’ve tried to embody it everyday as an adult, as a mom, as a teacher and now as a State Legislator.Read More