One thing I have come to appreciate during this pandemic is greater appreciation for the little things in life.

Oddly enough, during this pandemic, Michigan has had some of the best weather in ages. I know it sounds weird to be talking about weather during a pandemic but it's true.

This weather has allowed me to do a variety of projects around my home. I bought an old farm that was vacant for four years so you can only image the amount of work that needed to be done on the outside of the house and yard, let alone the inside.

Working outside so much has given much more appreciation for the flowers that grow around my property. I can't tell you how many times I have smelled flowers this summer.

I have also been able to do a lot of fishing, swimming and kayaking with my son.

Back in the early spring when the shutdown came there wasn't much to do but go fishing and although I got skunked on all my trips trying to catch a steelhead on the Muskegon River, it sure was relaxing hearing the water run and breathing all that fresh air.

My son and I went kayaking down the Muskegon the week after Memorial Day and caught more trout in one day than I have caught combined in a lifetime of fishing. What was nice is that my son and I really looked over many of the fish we caught and both were amazed at their beauty. We threw them all back in hopes of seeing them again some day.

One night we were fishing on a chain of lakes system in Newaygo County and were night fishing for some bass. This was the weekend of the fourth of July and someone floated out some fireworks and lit off an amazing display as my son and I were fishing and we both thought that is was spectacular.

This past weekend my neighbor and I finally got to go fishing together. We have been trying for a year since I moved there but the planets aligned and we finally got out on the water.

We went to Croton Pond and after trying several times to catch a walleye on Hardy Pond, on Muskegon River I finally caught one. I know it's not a very big fish but my neighbor did show me some good areas to fish so the trip was really worth it. I just couldn't believe how such a small fish made me feel so good. Of course he wasn't big enough to keep and I released him for another day but the surprise I felt when I caught him was priceless.

I know COVID-19 is serious and this pandemic has changed so much for us all. I just want to remind you that its okay to still enjoy the simple things in life, even during a pandemic.