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Fishing with Mamaw {Guest Writer}

Today's guest writer is the one and only Sharrol Hensley, my Mamaw.

My Mamaw and Papaw, George & Sharrol Hensley.


I asked Mamaw to write me a story about her childhood. I wanted her write anything, short or long, funny or sad, etc. She did not disappoint. A few weeks ago she handed me a few sheets of college ruled notebook paper and said " Here, now it's not much, so you take it and use it to write your own story." I read the story she had written and realized that I didn't want to touch or change it. It was sweet, simple and something I believe you will love to read. The story is about Mamaw and her Mamaw Kate. I also wrote a short story on Mamaw Kate a few months ago and if you would like to learn little bit more about her, click here to read. Here we go...

Fishing with Mamaw

I had a wonderful grandparents that we called Mamaw & Papaw. They were hardworking mountain people of the Brethern Church. They lived beside the Toe River and the Clinchfield Railroad. Their yard had the railroad at the edge of it. On the other side of the railroad was the gravel road and on the other side of the gravel road was the muddy Toe River.

My Mamaw loved to fish and she would grab her pole and go to the river any time she could. Her problem was she didn't like to go alone. She frequently had Papaw bring her to our house to get one of the grandchildren to go spend the night and go fishing with her the next day. Our day would begin with a big breakfast. After the meal, she would say " Now young'uns let's get our work done and we will go to the river. As we washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen she would ad comments like, "Children we must do a good job at any task we put our hands to. We must do everything as if we were doing it for the Lord."

After the floor was swept, she would say " Now bring me my Bible, we must start our day with God's word and hide it in our heart" After reading she would pray and ask the Lord to protect us on our fishing trip. Then she would say " Now get your shoes on and we will go dig some worms."

She had a special spot where she found worms, but I let her do the diggin' and all of that because I didn't like to touch them. She would dig out a dozen worms or more and put them in a bean can with some moist dirt. Then she would select our poles and to the river we would go. We walked across the railroad track and across the road, down to the river.

Mamaw had several favorite spots she liked to fish from. They already had a little path from the road to the river, which was about 10 -15 feet from the road. The location usally had a couple of rocks to sit on. She cautioned us over and over not to fall in, because we didn't know how deep it was at that location.

She would bait our hooks and cast our line in a spot she thought we could catch a fish. As we obediently sat where she told us to. She was always overly careful about our safety, and we knew she would not allow s walking around freely so close to the river.

Our conversations were peppered with words from the Bible. She would say "Children, Jesus' disciples were fishermen, and tell us how Jesus told them to become fishers of men"

Sometimes we would get a bite and she would have to bait our hooks again. On rare occasions e did catch a fish, which was often thrown back into the water.

After an hour or so she would start the walk back home. Our afternoon would be spent sitting on the porch string beans or some such activity, looking over the river and counting the number of cars on the trains as they past by.

If we had no peeling or stringing to do she would go get her church song book and we would sing hymns to the top of our lungs as we sat on the porch swing. Just sittin' and swingin'.

I don't have a porch and porch swing that looks over the river, but I do try to do things with my grandchildren that they might enjoy and try to tech them and bring them up in the fear and the admonition of the Lord that they may become fishers of men.

Written by Sharrol Hensley




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