I found I was short a couple of tip-ups, but after we got, I guess, 13 in place, we settled down to coffee, sandwiches, crab dip and conversation. I've never experienced such fog while ice fishing, and some sleet, rain and snow spattered on a very light breeze. Very mild at 34 degrees or so, I thought the temperature was just right for initiates, although hard core ice fishing challenges have had my son and I active at 0. Tough morning for a nine year old, but the photos I have don't lie. He enjoyed it.
I watched the tip-ups now and then. All was quiet and still. I knew, like on many outings, things can seem unyielding quite as if nothing will happen, until something does. Hanging out was enough, and if we caught nothing, the day would have been fulfilling.
And yet, had that flag never risen--and a second flag after sunset as we packed up, perhaps a missed hit, Jeff wasn't certain if a breeze kicked it--Maureen and Jeff never would have got that taste of childlike innocence in so humble an event as a fish on, certainty no one can deny, no one who has experienced.