By Jim Sollecito
I remember reading in May 2007 Field and Stream magazine about the best fishing guide in Cuba, Samuel Yera. He won the All-Cuba Fishing Tournament six times. He also drove a ’57 Chevy Bel Air. Decades ago I had the same car and that was where our similarities ended. I saved that issue. Over many winters I dreamily reread the article.
There are 10 commandments for any kind of great fly-fishing trip. The first two are Find the Right Guide. I forget the other eight. For years I researched. I eventually arranged a trip with a Spanish-speaking friend to the north coast of Cuba and secured Samuel’s expertise. I enjoyed some of the most spectacular tarpon fly-fishing I ever could have imagined. I caught more than just fish; I caught memories. And like so many other Cubans I have met over the years, Samuel “Lord of the Flies” and I became friends.
I planned to return but then hurricane Irma leveled the area, washed away boats and destroyed housing.
That was four years ago. Due to policy changes, travel to Cuba became impossible. There is no U.S. mail service to the Cuban people. I can’t even be in touch with my Cuban friends.
That does not stop me from thinking about returning again when things settle down. On cold nights when the north wind howls I long for the sweet gentle tropical breezes off North Cuba’s aquamarine salt water and the days I fished with Samuel. When 9 p.m. was “midnight” and everyone slept with the expectations of the next great day of fishing.
Life surprises us. We don’t always get to do what we want. But we find ways to work with what we have. And we make new plans.
This winter many of us are sticking close to home, behaving as carefully as we can, supporting our local businesses while eagerly awaiting spring. The anticipation of spring 2021 is probably greater than most years and rightfully so. Competition is tight for next year’s nursery stock availability. So we ordered and took possession of plants in fall to insure our high-quality inventory selection in spring.
In our garden center we sell more food-producing plants now than ever before. These are sustainable plants that come back every year, subsequent crops more abundant than the year before. All without the use of pesticides. On my own farm I organically grow over 17 fruit varieties and enjoy the harvest from June through November. I enjoy the flowers, the foliage, and then the fruits.
If your plans have changed and your new vacation location is the house where you eat breakfast and dinner, give us a call. With some creative design, we can freshen up or create a new view. Nature helps us reset. We specialize in creating gardens that allow people to feel natural in them. Maybe our travels will be exploring our own yard. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all, there’s no place like home. This spring, make yours special. Then make some fresh, inspiring and maybe even delicious memories.